wolf

Some of you will remember that ten years ago or so we heard the warning that Synod was going to be short of pastors. Officials urged men to enroll in our seminaries to meet the anticipated need. They did. But then came something no one foresaw: an economic downturn that convinced many pastors that retirement at age 62 might not be in their best interest. And so they continued to serve their congregations, causing the shortage to vanish. For several years our seminaries' heads of placement had to ask District Presidents to please find more congregations for the sudden surplus of graduates.

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robotics

I watched a disturbing video the other day. You can find it on youtube listed at the end of this article. It is called, “Humans Need Not Apply.” The video paints a troublesome future as the world turns more and more to robotics. Near the end of the video the presenter lists thousands of jobs that will no longer exist as machines grab more of our work. He suggests that we could experience unemployment at the rate of 45%. If you think it is only lower paying blue collar workers who will suffer, you are wrong. Significant numbers of doctors, lawyers, composers, mathematicians, and writers will also experience the shock.

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Young-teens-by-Fort-Meade-Creative-Commons

At a recent circuit picnic, I was talking with Pastor Mike Saylor about a recent trip he and a number of his parishioners made to Cleveland to work with Building Hope in the City. He talked excitedly about the impact which their several days had on the people and places where they had served, but also about the impact the trip made on the people he brought with him to Cleveland. The paint job they gave the school at St John, South Euclid, spruced the place up just in time for their open house. The school saw 12-15 new families register. Some fatherless pre-teens received some positive male-bonding from the visiting teens. That inner city life is different from rural northwest Ohio struck one adult as he remembered the response one little girl gave when instructed to make something with the ball of clay set before her: “I think I’ll make some cocaine.”

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