Grandpa Deacon

This Sunday, I will baptize my first grandson, Gus (technically it is Guthrie David). I was blessed to baptize my youngest granddaughter, Emmie, on December 6, 2015, the day after I was ordained a deacon. Anne and I have doubled our grandchild population over these past few weeks. My daughter, McKenzie, and her husband, Mark, welcomed twin boys into their hearts just seven weeks ago. I will baptize their sons, Mark and Harrison, in September.

Being a grandparent is a great gift. Anne and I have enjoyed all the time we get to spend with our six (3 girls and 3 boys) beautiful grandchildren. Our children all live in town, so we regularly see our grandchildren, often caring for them, so their parents can get a little break. I feel honored to be able to preside over the baptisms of Gus, Mark and Harrison, as they begin their journey of faith.

The Diaconate has been a great gift to me and our family. As a deacon, I am conformed to the image of Christ, the servant. As a father and grandfather, I am often serving my children and grandchildren in beautiful and wonderful ways. My service to my family helps me to serve those I meet in the parish, in correctional facilities and in other places where I am called to serve.

A deacon is a man who lives in two worlds. I am married, have a family and work a regular job, just like many men in our parish community. I am also ordained, so I have responsibilities to many people who are family to me, as brothers and sisters in the Lord. My family life feeds my ministry, and my ministry feeds my family life. It is truly a beautiful gift from God to be husband, father, grandfather and deacon.

We recently celebrated the fourth birthday of our oldest grandchild, Zariah. She is an amazing little girl with a wonderful imagination and a vocabulary that is well beyond her years. Since Zariah lives in our house, we have many more “grandpa” moments than I do with my other grandchildren. One of the beautiful things we do periodically is to pray together. I hear a little knock on my door from time to time when Zariah decides that she wants to join me for prayer. She has her own prayer book, and she knows exactly where to find it on the shelf when it is time to pray. She sits on my lap and she reads her prayer book while I read mine. I love these moments of sharing God’s presence with my granddaughter.

God has delicately woven this beautiful new reality into my heart, as I embrace being a husband, father, grandfather and now, a deacon. My seminary studies prepared me well for the duties of my ministry. God, in His wonderful wisdom, is teaching me how to integrate and live these different roles that I am called to live in my daily life. I suspect that all of us walk this same path of learning and living new realities, as God weaves the story of our lives through the many people we meet and events we experience. What a beautiful thing it is to encounter God in so many amazing ways.

In a few weeks, my family will head to the great north country for a family vacation. This has been a tradition over the last several years, and one that we deeply cherish. In the space of one week, we will pack 6 of our 7 children, their spouses and our 6 grandchildren into vehicles and head for a week of leisure at a northern Minnesota resort. There is time for golf, fishing, swimming, great food and drink and, of course, snuggling with our grandchildren. I hope that your summer includes time for a little rest and relaxation.   It is during these times that we can set aside the pressures of daily life, suspend our schedules and enjoy God’s creation together. This is important because it helps recharge “our batteries” and gives us time to really appreciate all that we have been given.

This weekend, Jesus gives us wonderful parables about the Kingdom. It is easy to contemplate the Kingdom when we are sitting in Church, but do we think about how we are called to build up the Kingdom within our own families? God is always at work in us. Often the ministry to and with our own family members is some of the most challenging that we are called to do in our lives. Jesus uses beautiful images of growing to show us how the Kingdom is built upon our willingness to say “yes” to God, and it shows us His providence in providing the growth for us to do His work.

May you continue to grow where God has planted you and enjoy these days of sunshine!

In the Heart of Christ, the Servant,

Deacon Tim


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