18 June 2008

Missing the CCA (Again)

If I had my druthers, I'd be on my way to Sussex, Wisconsin, for the Concordia Catechetical Academy. This is the second year in a row that I've not been able to go, which has me feeling pretty glum. I kept hoping against hope that I'd find a way to make it this time, even if only for a day, but, alas, with my daughter's wedding two weeks ago and the Higher Things conference in less than two weeks, I simply couldn't afford to be gone again.

Mainly I wanted to go for "selfish" reasons, because the CCA has contributed so much to my Christian faith and life, and has assisted me tremendously in my pastoral growth and service. It probably sounds extravagant and dramatic to say, but the truth is that I am the pastor and the person I am today in large part due to the CCA. I understand my office and vocation better than I did, and better than I would have, thanks to the catechesis I have received from my very dear friend and colleague, Pastor Bender; both because of the good things he has to say, and because of the exemplary way he does what he does. I don't get to see him or talk to him nearly as much as I would like (another reason I regret missing the CCA again this summer), but there is hardly a day that goes by in which I do not recognize some benefit from the things he has taught me. Whether they realize it or not, my parishioners are better served because of those things, too, as well as my own family; and there's nothing more important to me as a pastor and a parent than that.

Aside from the benefits that I know I'd be receiving if I were at the CCA this week, I would gladly have gone if for no other reason than to lend my support to what Pastor Bender and his congregation are doing for the life of the Church. I know there are other good things happening here and there (both within and without the LCMS), but I know of nothing more significant, nothing more meet, right and salutary, than the Concordia Catechetical Academy. Of course I'm biased in this assessment; not because I've been a speaker at the CCA in many recent years, but because I have received and gained so much from attending the CCA. I would have floundered and failed years ago, I think, if the Lord had not preserved me with this catechesis.

If I had my druthers, not only would I be going to the CCA, but the entire LCMS would be there. What we need are those teleportation devices from the old Star Trek series. Beam us up, Peter, there's no intelligent life out here (or seemingly very little of it). Perhaps we could avoid the high cost of hotel accommodations by staging a CCA "Woodstock" of sorts. We could all camp out in the midst of the mud and the blood and the beer and listen to great catechesis non-stop for days on end. It would all be very eschatological and grand. I'm not sure what to say about food, except that if all the homeschooling moms and all the soccer moms packed coolers full of homemade sandwiches and stuff, I think we'd survive.


Moria said...

Not to rub it in, but you missed a tremendous, dare I say, seminal, paper by Rev. Piotr Malysz on Humanity in the Image of God. That will be worthy of discussion over a few beverages.

sarahlaughed said...

" Beam us up, Peter, there's no intelligent life out here (or seemingly very little of it). "

Hmm. The problem is not with their intelligence, methinks. (but note that that is only my thought) Perhaps their intelligence is getting in the way of their receiving abilities... just a thought.

"We could all camp out in the midst of the mud and the blood and the beer and listen to great catechesis non-stop for days on end."

1st: Sounds Great!

2nd: Is that "mud and blood" used allegorically, or as a comic reference or both?

3rd: If used as allegorically, does "mud and blood" refer to life under the cross or to that which sustains life under the cross, namely flesh (which is dust) and blood of Him who also lived in the mud and blood?

Scot K said...

And on a personal note, I missed you being there too.

Aaron.D.Nemoyer said...

I have nearly identical feelings about having to miss attending an HT conference for the second year in a row.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

I'm sorry that you're missing out on the Higher Things conference again, Darth. I wasn't able to go last year, either; and, even though I'm serving as the conference chaplain in St. Louis this year, I'm presently missing my entire youth group in the Poconos, and I won't really get to benefit from the conference apart from the daily services. I'll spend my days in the beautiful chapel (like heaven on earth), and I suppose I'll spend my nights in my dorm room. Not quite the same, for me, as past conferences.

Ah, well. "Wait'll next year."

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Truth Questioner, I'm a little slow (or, rather, a lot slow), but I'm finally getting around to responding to your comments and questions.

"Beam us up . . . there's no intelligent life. . . ." goes back to the original Star Trek series. You're right that a lack of intelligence is not generally the problem. Good point. I was trying to be humorous, but I fear that my cultural literary references are becoming outdated.

The "mud and the blood and the beer," on the other hand, is lifted from a relatively current country song. Your assessment of it is far more profound than my intentions were. But now that you've said it, I'll go with your third option. I'm always up for Christological allusions.

Thanks for your helpful input.