Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Brothers of John the Steadfast Conference, Day 1

Note that these posts are a day behind, because I didn’t have time during the Conference to get them done.

Beg your pardon. In my previous blog post I said we were attending the Brothers of John the Steadfast National Conference, when it is actually the International Conference.

These Conferences are not without their challenges. Paige had class until early Friday afternoon, which meant we had to fly down the highway to get from Mequon, Wisconsin to Naperville, Illinois in time. There was the added challenge of eating lunch in the car while driving. That didn’t turn out quite so well since Paige got ketchup on her pants and shirt, precipitating an emergency pit stop at the roadside A&W to do a little in-sink laundering. That created a modest line of women waiting for the bathroom. Then there was the matter of me getting chocolate on the seat of the car, which of course got on the back of my pants. I guess we all bear our crosses.

We did manage to make it to the hotel, get the chocolate out of my pants, and still make it to Bethany Lutheran Church with time to spare. From there on out, we had a wonderful evening. Pastor Tim Rossow, the head of Brother’s of John the Steadfast, is the undershepherd at Bethany. Thanks to the good people of Bethany for all their warm hospitality.

Chris Rosebrough, the man behind Pirate Christian Radio, author of the blogs Extreme Theology and A Little Leaven (plus a couple of others), and host of the radio show Fighting for the Faith, spoke to the group about his escape from Evangelicalism. While I knew Chris’s story well, his presentation was still very moving, as he described the rat wheel of self-sanctification that he ran until he met up with Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, who helped Chris see the truth of the Gospel. If you’ve never heard Chris speak, in person, or on the radio, you’re missing out.

Then it was on to the Vespers service. NID District President Rev. Dan Gilbert offered the sermon. I love Vespers. What more can I say?

After a great pizza dinner, we all headed out to various “No Pietists Allowed” parties. Dr. Fritz Baue layed down tunes on his guitar at a private residence. Pastor Rossow’s wife Phyllis led one group out to Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, and another group headed to two authentic Irish Pubs. Paige and I were the guests of Elaine and Tom Gavin, along with honored guest Chris Rosebrough and a bunch of other people as well. Chris, Tom Gavin, and several others of us managed to discuss theology until the early hours of the morning. Was it worth it? You bet!

Apparently, my photographic skills must have been clouded by the wine though. I messed up a setting on the camera, and these photos looked blue, so I attempted to digitally rescue them, with limited success. Tomorrow's pics should be better. That's Chris Rosebrough on the top and Elaine and Tom Gavin on the bottom.


Thursday's Child said...

May I suggest not dressing before heading out on a trip?

I mean, by all means, wear clothes {PLEASE!}, but perhaps some you don't mind spills on? That way you have ample time to change at the hotel. (Just a little something I've learned from transatlantic flights with 3 young children.)

orthodoxy hunter said...

I agree. Wear traveling clothes and save the good stuff for when you get there.

What have you done to these poor photos? I mean... I know what you did. You used the wrong white balance setting... but... to "rescue" them? Sheesh! I can't recover from your "rescue". Send me the originals and I'll fix them.

Just let me say again how jealous I am of you! Lord, have mercy.

Scott Diekmann said...

But if we had worn our regular street clothes and changed, we would have missed out on half the adventure. I really didn't think we'd have time to get to the hotel first, and it's sort of tacky to show up at a conference toting your bag so you can go change clothes in the rest room!

Cheryl said...

Tom and Elaine are wonderful hosts and fine people. I'm not surprised you had a wonderful evening with them!

Sorry I missed meeting you. Next year!

Cheryl M. (wife of Phillip)

Scott Diekmann said...

Right before Paige and I left, we had a nice chat with Phil in his office. We thoroughly enjoyed the music, as well as the entire conference.

Elaine said...

Hi Scott, I am so happy to have had the opportunity to meet you and your lovely Paige! I thought your trip back up to Mequon couldn't have been more eventful than the trip down. Wrong! Ah, the joy of driving on the Tri-State. I hope the pic of my and Tom's big ol' mugs on your blog don't put anyone off their feed but, hey--it is what it is. I have just subscribed to your blog. Your writing is delightful, and I relish your "Animal House" references. (It is one of Tom's favorite movies, and is an endless treasure trove of quotes applicable to any number of situations, isn't it?) God's continued blessings on you and your family. I look forward to staying in touch with you through "Stand Firm." Elaine

Scott Diekmann said...

Thank you Elaine. We certainly enjoyed your hospitality. And I liked the snow too.