Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We’ll Always have Paris Fort Wayne; the 2012 Symposia, Part 2

One of the best things about the Symposia is being able to hang out with fellow confessional Lutherans, and there’s always plenty of them to be found – perhaps too many in fact, judging from my lack of sleep.

Most of the “quality time” that I spent with others occurred over dinner. I was able to break bread with my friend Joe Strieter a couple of times. Joe has a lot of insight into synodical issues, as well as being a solid confessional Lutheran. One night I had dinner with Gene White and Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller, followed by a contest of wills with Pastor Wolfmueller, seeing which of us could continue a lucid conversation while staying awake later than either of us should have been up. Eventually Wolfmueller cracked – of course I had a one hour time zone advantage on him, he being on Mountain time, while I was operating on Pacific time. I also had dinner with Pastors Tim Rossow and Jonathan Fisk, and Chris Rosebrough (who wasn’t attending the symposia). It was good to see Chris, whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of years.

The most egregious social event occurred when I went to a bar someplace in the middle of nowhere with Pastors Drew Newman, Tim Rossow, Marcus Mackay, Clint Poppe, Scott Porath, (who has a radio program along with Pastor Brent Kuhlman in McCook, NE), Christopher Gerdes, Kent Schaaf (hope I got all that right), and a couple of others whose names I’ve subsequently forgotten - sorry guys. I’m pretty sure I was the token layman of the group. I mostly kept my mouth shut, not because of my layman status, but out of fear that my teeth would be discolored from all that cigar smoke. At times I was wishing I had a pair of night vision goggles to maintain visual contact with everyone in the group. I wonder if the cigar epidemic has anything to do with a certain synodical president? Probably not. Seriously, that was a lot of fun. Where else can you sit around with a bunch of guys and never have the conversation drift towards football? This is what true unity brings. I paid the price though. Pastor Rossow and I didn’t get back to the hotel until well after midnight, and I still had to bid on next month’s flying schedule before I went to bed (plus wash my clothes in the sink for de-fumigation purposes), so I didn’t hit the hay until 4 a.m.

The list of fellow bloggers with whom I at least got to say “hi” to includes:

Rev. Tom Chryst, Preachrblog
Rev. Dr. Al Collver, The ABC3s of Miscellany
Rev. Dr. Burnell Eckardt, Gottesblog
Rev. Jonathan Fisk, Worldview Everlasting
Rev. Christopher Gillespie, Outer Rim Territories
Rev. President Matt Harrison, Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison
Rev. Kurt Hering, Laughing Martin
Rev. Dr. Jack Kilcrease, Theologia Crucis
Rev. Dr. Benjamin Mayes, Lutheran Orthodoxy
Rev. Dr. Michael Paul, 因基督稱義
Rev. Larry Peters, Pastoral Meanderings
Rev. Robert Portier, Smoky Mountain Bible Institute
Rev. Dr. Larry Rast, Rastaman Vibrations
Chris Rosebrough, Fighting for the Faith (and multiple others)
Rev. Tim Rossow, Brothers of John the Steadfast 
Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller, The World-Wide Wolfmueller

In the basement near the bookstore Adriane Dorr and Deaconess Pam Nielsen were manning a booth (maybe that should be “personning” a booth). We had a lively conversation. I hadn’t met either of them before – now I know why Wilken and Schwarz are always trying to marry off Adriane, and why they continue to ask Pam back to the studio. Speaking of bookstores, I demonstrated amazing restraint in only purchasing one book on this trip.

A smattering of the many other people I talked to: Pastor Peter Bender (his last series discussing vocation on Issues, Etc. was great), Walter Dissen, Pastor Aric Fenske, Dr. Daniel Gard, Dr. Arthur Just (who also saw our daughter down in Haiti), Pastor Michael Kumm and his wife Janet, Greta Martin, Bob Myers, Dr. John Nordling, Dennis Peskey, Prof. John Pless, Rev. Klemet Preus, Lilian Spilde, Rev. Doug Taylor, Ginny Valleau, Rev. Larry Ziegler (whose main claim to fame now is that he's the father of Mollie Ziegler Hemingway), and Rev. Tom Zimmerman.

I’m thankful for all of my Lutheran friends. They are a true blessing. See you next year.


Anonymous said...

Schmoozing is always an important part of the Symposia. It's obvious you took full advantage of those schmoozing opportunities, Scott. And thanks for the kind words--I'd have felt cheated if we had missed connecting. The single malt wasn't bad, either.

Joe Strieter

Christopher Gillespie said...

It was good to see you again!

Dennis Peskey said...

The unnamed establishment would undoubtably be the DuPont Bar and Grill - just on the northern edge of the city of Ft. Wayne (to avoid the pietistic non-smoking regulations of Ft. Wayne). Now I know where Pr. Rossow and my two cigars went.

I doubt you were the only layman present but in this place, one is judged by the quality of their cigar. And the conversation does center around theology - both doctrine and practice much more than secular interests such as politics or football (had my Packers still been in contention the conversation would have focused on them given the quantity of fans in attendence).

The most difficult part of Symposia is the koinonia aspect - too many confessionals, too little time. Choose well your words and choose better your cigars; they both have value. At least now you have some familiarity with the levitical priesthood being baptized in the aroma pleasing to the Lord.

Scott Diekmann said...

Joe, judging from the price that single malt is bordering on liquid gold!

Thanks Pastor Gillepie. I'll see you in cyberspace.

That's pretty funny Dennis. Yes, it was the Dupont Bar and Grill. It would seem your two cigars were put to good use.

Ginny Valleau said...

Thanks Scott, for the links to all the good blogs. I didn't know that some of them existed.

So many blogs, so little time...

God's Blessings,
Ginny Valleau

Scott Diekmann said...

You're welcome Ginny. And you're correct, so many blogs, so little time!

Adriane said...

I'm glad you understand my Issues, Etc. dilemma now. *sniffle* Nice meeting you in person!

Scott Diekmann said...

You too Adriane!

For a little levity, I wrote the IE crew about our little encounter, which is pasted below.

I'll see you next year, if not sooner Adriane.

Dear Craig, Jeff, and Todd,

While at the Symposia last week in Fort Wayne, I bumped into Adriane Dorr and Pam Nielsen. We had a rollicking good conversation that eventually drifted to Issues, Etc. and the current state of the Lutheran Public Radio studio. Adrianne and Pam both gave it the designation of “man cave.” Normally I might bristle at someone picking on my friends, but in this case I had to regretfully agree with them (well maybe it was more like “gleefully,” but I digress). They seemed to think that the level of cleanliness at LPR left something to be desired.

With on-air talk of smelly trash, Jeff’s sticky lunch residue on Todd’s desktop, stacks on stacks of assorted stuff, and the current position of the toilet seat, I guess man cave is an appropriate moniker.

I’ve never quite been able to get over one recurrent thought I’ve had in relation to the man cave. Todd reported that some listener had graciously sent you ice cube trays, the residents of the man cave apparently being unable to secure such trays on their own. Putting the best construction on this, perhaps the residents of the cave lacked motivation to secure their own trays because it was getting too close to the time of hibernation, they becoming lethargic in preparation for their long winter’s nap. Anyway, Todd mentioned that the Collinsville water might not produce such great ice cubes due to the water’s poor taste.

Somehow the idea of water, be it Collinsville, bottled, or water from the White House tap, contained in an LPR ice cube tray generates a rather unholy vision. I just can’t see how any water is going to make a tasty cube. With various odors of questionable origin wafting through the air, and a possible outbreak of some exotic strain of bacterial infestation within the freezer, when I drop by the studio, thanks, but I’ll take my Diet Coke warm. Christ-centered, cross-focused, but go light on the cubes.

Have a great weekend.

Scott Diekmann

Puyallup, WA