13 years ago today I began my service at Trinity Lutheran, Pembroke Pines. I wasn't yet ordained (the photo comes from that day, SEPT 14, 2000) and my family had not yet moved into the parsonage. And I hadn't baked my first of some 2,000 loaves of bread for communion or planted my first plant in the garden (which would come later, in 2007). Baptisms, 1st communions, weddings, funerals, hospital visits, pies in the face for Vacation Bible School, they, too, would all come in time and in bunches. Good ideas and bad ones, inspiration and a few dark nights of the soul. What a long strange trip it has been. These years have been years of learning, joy, frustration, hope, challenge, change, risk-taking, and awe and wonder at it all. Much gratitude to the pastors who shaped my formation for ministry: Bishop Jim Mauney, John Sabatelli, Andy Ballentine, Roger Schleef, Wayne Gollenberg, Vern Awes, and the late Terry Clark in places as far and wide as Agana, Guam; Virginia Beach; Baltimore; New York; and Virginia. And to my boys and especially my wife, Piper Spencer, who above all believed in my call to this ministry. Thanks to God for having a sense of humor and for the people of Trinity Lutheran for taking this journey with me down roads and paths often unmarked and ill lit and full of strange twists and turns all the while trusting not in me, but in the one who sent me and who sends us all to love and serve in his name.