The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


I am a rural pastor

This is my calling. I will stay where I am planted, a tree in the desert.

Worship is over, and I turn off the ceiling fans. I can almost smell the chicken baking in the oven. Shutting off the air conditioner, I walk across the alley to the parsonage to enjoy the meal.

As a rural pastor, I do what all clergy do. Once Sunday dinner is consumed, next week's worship looms large on the horizon. People of word and sacrament have called me to administer these among them. It's a task I take seriously.

Rural life has an ebb and flow — of nature and its seasons, of planting and harvesting, spring and fall. It's reflected in next week's worship rolling around again, ordering our life together as God's people in this place.

What I do in my calling this week may be different than my colleagues in other ministries, but not significantly — except in miles traveled and hours spent in the car. My parish is large, not in numbers but in geographical boundaries.

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February issue


Embracing diversity