Today is a quiet day around here. Ted is on his way to Australia, Bruce is home packing, and Ed has returned home to Indiana. Ed was here in Montana for almost a week. For a few days, he spent some time for R & R in Yellowstone National Park with his sister and brother-in-law. Then he came to the office for some planning work and a Board of Directors meeting. It was great to actually see Ed. He is beginning to heal. He showed us some of the progress he is making and why it will take so long to regain mobility and strength in his shoulder and arm. His irrepressible personality is still quite intact, and it was a joy to have him here. We pray for continued healing for Ed, and patience and fortitude as he begins therapy in September. Ed is back to work and still notices some fatigue, so we pray that he also be blessed with endurance.
It's official, Bruce has accepted a call to Hamilton, Victoria in Australia. He will be there for a year and this will be a Reconciliation Ministry Pastorate. The congregation has had some conflict which resulted in the vacancy. Bruce's role there will be to help them reconcile relationships in the congregation and put together a reconciliation ministry in the congregation to address lingering and future conflicts. He will teach biblical peacemaking studies, train reconcilers in the congregation, coach and mediate existing conflicts, and help them to prepare for calling a pastor. In some ways, this will be a more thorough process, similar to a Group Reconciliation Assistance that AoR does with congregations. Bruce and Kathy have rented out their home and will need to sell their cars, get visas in place, and make their transition over the next couple of months. We pray that all will go smoothly and that God will bless them with the knowledge of His guidance as they try to tend to all the details. Bruce completed his last training event as an AoR representative yesterday in Wyoming. It is a bittersweet occasion. We will miss them terribly, but know that God will be with them. It is an uncertain time with many unanswered questions. We pray for God's will to be plain to Bruce and Kathy, and that they will understand His leading and directing. He has still been coming into the office to continue his work here, but his hours will be lessening. We also pray for Ted, Susan, and me to be able to pick up all the things Bruce is so good at here at AoR.
Ted is in transit to Australia. He will arrive just after lunch tomorrow, Adelaide time. Taking into effect the time change (at present it is 1:45 pm here but 5:15 am Friday in Adelaide) that means he still has about 7 1/2 hours of travel yet. He left early afternoon yesterday. His first presentation is the evening of August 21, so he has a little recovery time. He has begun this trip already tired, so we pray for his strength and good health, as well as God's direction of his teaching. Ted will begin with a presentation at a district convention of Lutheran Church of Australia. His next event is at Australia Lutheran College, then on September 3rd, he begins teaching with PeaceWise in a number of different locations. He will begin his journey home on September 11 and arrive (with time change, he loses a day) home that evening. He will change suitcases and leave for Washington, DC on the 12th for the Peacemaker Ministries Annual Conference. Ted won't be back in the office until September 22nd, a very tired man. We pray that God will help all the details to fall into place, and that Ted's teaching will bring God glory. We pray for those who will receive the training, that their hearts will be open to the Gospel and see God's plan for them in regards to peacemaking.
Last Tuesday, our Board of Directors met by conference call. We were very pleased with our phone system. We were able to have the conference call at no extra expenses other than our normal phone bill. We have a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Phone) that has been very economically beneficial. This is the first time we had used it for this purpose, and it came off quite well. Thank you, God for all Your blessings, even technology. The Board looked very thoroughly at our financial situation and discussed some options for the future. We pray for God's direction and for improvement very soon. We pray for God to provide the answers so that AoR will be able to continue in the work that is so necessary in the kingdom.
In October and November, AoR will be having Church Reconciler Training events. The first is October 3-9 and will be at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning, MN. The other is November 7-13 in Aurora, Nebraska. If you, or someone you know, is interested in attending or in seeing more about this training, see http://www.hisaor.org/web-content/Training-Practicum-Reconcil.html. We would love to fill up these events to train more people for service in peacemaking. We pray that God will provide the participants, and bless the preparations and training.
I pray for you, dear brothers and sister, that God will bless you. With the summer winding down, most people are returning to more regular schedules. Kids are back in schools and churches renew classes and see people return to regular worship. Thanks be to God for the ease of summer, but also for the resumption of "regularity". May we all be strengthen for service to our Savior.