One of the more interesting experiences thus far was preaching in a local church here (not Elk River -- I'm actually teaching at the Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute right now) that is going through difficult conflict. There has been substantial conflict between the church's board of elders and the senior pastor -- so the senior pastor has been suspended, and the associate is carrying the load of trying to lead a very divided congregation. To add to the complications, the senior pastor and his wife still worship in the church while they wait for resolution to the whole situation. So just before I stood up to preach, the congregation takes a coffee break -- which I think is brilliant -- and I found myself visiting with the suspended senior pastor and his wife for several minutes. The chasm between him and the board is basically a theological issue, so it was interesting to stand up and preach and wonder (in some disengaged part of my brain) while I was preaching how the various theological parties in the church were hearing this sermon. Kind of surreal.
This few minutes is about gone, so on to the next set of duties. More (hopefully) soon!