Minnesota Farmer

Sunday services in the Ondini Circuit

Sunday services in the Ondini Circuit were always a dress up affair.IMG_1126

Women, youth and men all had their uniform, different some times congregation to congregation, and they all wore it proudly.


Sunday, or even a week day service meant the preachers dressed up.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) has been having a discussion on how pastors should dress and perform services.  They have come to the conclusion that they need to have more ceremony and more elaborate dress in the ELCSA, not less as seems to be the pattern in the U.S.  Sunday services are done with all the pomp and ceremony the congregation can muster.  If they can get 10 acolytes helping with the service, they will all have something to do, complete with ritualized actions, incense and bells.


While we were there they held an induction service for Reverend Ncanana.  Every pastor in the circuit was there, plus the Doicese bishop and representatives from other Circuits, Diocese and the visitors from the U.S. and Germany that were staying at the Centre.

An Induction is not an ordination, or an installation service as we know it in the Lutheran Churches of southwestern Minnesota.  The pastor is assigned a church, then after a few weeks, if they decide to stay, they are inducted.

Pastor Sarah had asked the day before how long the induction would last.  She was told “The whole blessed day.”  And it did.  There was over 3 hours of service and ceremony, a sermon to tell Reverend Ncanana how to behave as a new pastor, communion and a sermon by the newly inducted reverend.  About noon, apples and bananas were passed out and then they kept on going well into the afternoon.  All of this was done in a way that would have fit in well with a service in the Vatican.

In the afternoon portion of the induction there were many gifts to be given.  I even saw them trying to stuff an appliance of some kind into the reverends small car.  After all, what is a party without gifts.

Singing fills every spare minute of a church service.  Before the service starts members of the congregation would be singing hymns chosen by some self appointed song leader.  The pastor would call out a hymn number and some lady would start singing before you could even reach for your hymn book.  They seem to have the whole hymnal memorized.  There is also dancing.  Processional offerings were an excuse to dance.  Hymns quite often had motions to them that everyone knew.  Even in a church so crowded that you could hardly move, they danced.IMG_1083

Offerings would include at least two plates if not three or more.  There were offerings for the wider church, the congregation, the pastor, the youth league, the children’s fund, they sang and danced and added their offering to the pile.  They are a great people for celebrations.

There is great joy in the celebration of a Sunday service in the ELCSA.  A joy in the gospel that I do not see here in the states.  We could use a bit of that joy here.


Projects; New from old
January 14, 2017, 4:28 pm
Filed under: dust, family, happiness, projects | Tags: ,


Wife has had me moving furniture again.  She gets this idea that I need to be bumping into old things in the wrong place periodically and nothing will stop her.  Along with new furniture arrangements can come new projects.

This one as usual came with a need. There was a space on the wall that needed a special hanging.  Nothing too much, but a lot just right.  She gave me a direction with some pinterest pictures, where do I go from there?

First I go digging through my mental closets, I have “stuff” stored away all over the place.  Some of this “stuff” has been the subject of “When are you going to clean that up” requests.  The problem is that, what at one time may be “junk,” at another time becomes “raw material for a beautiful object.”    Digging in my mental closet disclosed the location of some of my “treasures.”  Off to the hidden corners to retrieve my raw materials.

Ages ago I was at an auction and saw a bunch of cedar shingles.  For no special reason I bought them.  They were cool and I knew I would need them someday.  They were piled away in a corner and awaited inspiration.

When an old family barn was to be torn down I came across some old half pint glass milk bottles.  Some even had the remains of metal caps on them.  I dusted them off and put them away for inspiration.

This picture is the result of the inspiration.  A bit of twine to hang the jar, a hole drilled in the shingle, some fake grass and we have an inspiring dust catcher (I don’t dust).  The grass could be swapped out for other seasonal items.

Yep, I made her happy again, all because of a bit of “junk” and her inspiration.  We do well together.

Never have
December 31, 2014, 10:55 pm
Filed under: happiness, love, new beginnings, new year | Tags: , , , , ,

Happy new year.  But it really is not that new.

I know, I know, it’s the cynic in me being all Bah Humbug again, but I never did understand this thing about new year celebrations.  So few people take the time to use the next year and make something new of it.  They just keep on doing the same old thing.  New years celebrations just seem to be the opportunity for folks to go out and do stupid things.  The start of a new year is just not important enough to celebrate.  There are some things I do find worth celebrating though.

New life.  I’m a grandfather again this past year.  Watching Gwendolyn grow, now that is worth celebrating!  I do so love watching my grand daughters make discoveries.  As a farmer I’ve seen the start of lots of new lives, they are all worth celebrating.

New beginnings, like weddings, or new jobs, or retirement, those are worth celebrating.  Wow, there is so much worth celbrating there.

New industries.  While many of you were not watching there was the introduction of the first celulosic ethanol plant here in the U.S.  A brand new industry that many people thought was not possible, and some even worked to prevent.  Think of all the new opportunities a new industry can provide.

Peace.  Although the news services trumpet the rage and destruction of life in sense less murders and wars there really has been an advancement towards peace this year as fewer people were killing each other than at any time in the modern age.  Now if only we could all see that peace, if all would walk away from doing harm to our fellow human beings.

New friends.  Yeah, I’ve made a few this year, and I’ve seen the enriching of several of my old friendships.  So to all of you in this new year, I wish you all sorts of happyness.  May their be peace, love and friendship all around you.  May you be witness to new life and may you experience a real new beginning, not just a new year.