Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lutherans, Vegetables, Wendell Berry and Natives

Today, I finished my last day of my sabbatical with a "bang." First, I joined the Calvary Lutheran Church congregation at their 8am service. Their pastor Lonnie "Jake" Jacobsen and I connected at a prayer retreat up in Schuyler, NE last April. Also, I met CLC's Discipleship Coordinator, Grace Knuth, back in 2008 when Grace was working for the Peoples' City Mission; that summer I had a chance to spend time at the PCM, learning the inner-workings of their ministry. I very much enjoyed the time this morning with the CLC congregation; Jake has a tremendous heart for Christ and is an excellent communicator as well.

Next, I went to the Hi-Way Diner and grabbed a veggie omelet. Tanya, kids and I are eating more plants these days, coming from the conviction that industrial meat generally is not healthy for us or humanely-raised and leaves a significant carbon footprint in light of the heavy use of fossil fuels necessary to grow the crops that are used to feed them. I've blogged about some of this before:

Also, Tanya and I were intrigued after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives regarding the connections between cancer, heart disease and meat consumption. Much of the documentary was based on a book called The China Study. My dad had his first angioplasty when he was in his mid-40s; I'm getting close to that age, so managing cholesterol, health, checking inflammation levels in my body, etc. has been something I have been doing for over a decade now. We still eat meat but just not nearly as often as before; meat is more of an occasion than an expectation. When we do eat meat we try to get it from a local rancher who is committed to feeding grass, rather than grain, to the animals and to raising them humanely. Have you ever tasted a free-range, grass-fed chicken? Oh my goodness, if you haven't, it's as if you've never tasted chicken before. Also, I'm learning how to appreciate various plants and grains as well; eating has definitely been more of an adventure as of late (in a good way). So I had my veggie omelet at the Hi-Way Diner and spent some time reading Wendell Berry's The Long-Legged House

After spending time at the Hi-Way Diner, next I picked up our 15-yr.-old foster son Darius, and we went to Sacred Winds Methodist Church. Darius and I joined the 11am service at SWMC. From what I understand, SWMC is the only Native American church here in Lincoln. Because folks from Grace Chapel have been traveling to serve on the Omaha tribe reservation every summer for almost five years now, I was interested in seeing the SWMC ministry. There were about 35 folks of all ages present and the congregation was extremely warm and welcoming to us. Also, I think they were intrigued with Darius (something about a handsome 6'4" young man who has Native blood in him). We especially enjoyed some of the service being expressed in the language and music of the Dakota Sioux. Here's the story of SWMC and their partnership with St. James United Methodist Church (where SWMC meets):

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