Sunday, July 23, 2006

First Federated Church Splash Party

Splash PartyLast night was the second Splash Party held by First Federated Church at the Clive Aquatic Center. I took a bunch a photos which are now posted on a special Flickr account I set-up for photos taken at church events. This photo here links to the the website.

You need to be one of my friends (eg. someone I know) with a Flickr account in order to see all the photos taken tonight. I'm not comfortable making all the photos I take available to the public at large without obtaining permission from those in the photos. I tend to make the photos that don't show anyone in particular public so some of the photos are available.

The events was attended by a lot of people. I was amazed at how many people I didn't really recognize (which is a good thing.)

It was a fun event which I probably should have enjoyed myself a little more. I ended up taking a lot of photos of other people having fun while following my son Ean around the park. He wasn't extremely thrilled with getting into the water, but he did love exploring the entire place.

Church informed of special congregational meeting August 13

On Sunday, August 13, Mike Rose will visit First Federated again to speak in the morning service. In the evening a special congregational meeting is scheduled at 6:00pm for the congregation to vote whether or not to call Mike Rose as the next Senior Pastor of First Federated Church.

This morning following the worship service Bob Sorensen, Official Board chairman, informed the congregation that Mike would be returning. He also informed the congregation about the current status in the youth pastor search. Currently the youth pastor search committee is looking at three different individuals from around the country for the position. Bob also let everyone know that our transistion between Senior Pastors is influencing who actually will consider the position.

Based upon the applause that I heard following these announcements I believe the church is excited for the future.

Friday, July 21, 2006 links for 2006-07-22

Church asks Mike Rose to candidate for the position of Senior Pastor at FFC.

Wednesday night, July 19, the official board gathered along with the staff and senior pastor search committee to decide whether or not to call Mike Rose to candidate for the position of Senior Pastor at First Federated Church. The vote at the end pretty much reflected the direction of the dialogue... all the board members voted to extend the call with one person abstaining from the vote.

As far as I know, the next steps in the process included announcing to the congregation three different times that a candidate has been selected and when a vote of the congregation is to take place. Mike will come back to Des Moines to speak again at another service, possibly have a town hall meeting in the afternoon for people to ask questions of Mike, with a vote of the congregation in the evening whether or not to call Mike Rose as the next Senior Pastor of FFC. These are pretty much the last steps in a pretty difficult and extended process.

I personally doubt that the congregation won't call Mike Rose to be our next Senior Pastor. The only thing that would keep this from happening is to discover some terrible bit of information that has yet to be discovered by anyone. I've never remembered a vote of the congregation going against the recommendations of the Official Board... at least in the last decade. Yes, you always have a handful of people who vote no for some reason but 98% of the people always tend to agree with the board.

I keep praying that the right decisions are made by the leaders of the church. For all I've seen and heard about Mike he appears to be a great fit for the church. The months ahead will be full of change regardless of what the outcome may be in a few weeks. New leaders always bring change. Some only those in leadership really will notice and other the congregation may notice as well. Regardless of what may come I must remain faithful in trusting the Lord with all my heart and leaning on him for understanding. He has always proven Himself worthy of my hope, trust and faith. I may not always understand His purposes but His ways are definitely higher than mine. He cares for me and knows me by my name.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 links for 2006-07-21

  • (tags: restaurant local ames iowa)
    The family ate here on Thursday night. Even though it seems like Ames would be pretty far to drive to eat, it takes a little less time to get there than it does to go to West Des Moines. The prices are pretty reasonable for the quantity and quality of the food. Evan eat everything... Ean picked at his food. Mom and Dad almost cleared our plates. Hickory Park also serves a whole lot of ice cream. We just could leave without sharing a dish.

  • Albany Baptist Church | Pastor Mike Rose
    (tags: work church)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 links for 2006-07-20

I've been gathering up all the places to submit events to local community calendars.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blackout at Target

Tonight the family went to Target for some shelves Jayne wanted for the boys rooms. We didn't plan for it to be a long trip to the store; however, we did up there for over an hour because the lights went out.

The power in the entire store went out just as we were heading towards the checkout line. It was the first time any of us had been in a store without any power. We weren't in the dark for long. Target must have a pretty big back-up generator because a bunch of lights in the check-out area and throughout the store came on within a minute of the power outage.

We later found out that the entire neighborhood was experiencing a power outage. On our way home we thought the power at our home might be out as well. Thankfully, our lights were still on.

I don't know what caused the power outage for sure. It was probably demand and heat related. All weekend the heat and humidity were pretty high compared to how it has been for most of the summer. We just wanted to stay indoors with the air conditioning on.

It was pretty interesting to see how Target reacted to the power outage. It took them about 10 minutes to get their registers up and running so people could check-out and leave the store. They had a few bugs to work out; however, I was surprised you could check-out at all. I even saw one family use a gift card. The cashier had to make a phone call to determine the balance on the card. It took a little longer than usual but she made it happen.

The other interest thing to note about the experience was some of the attitudes customers had. Some people just have no respect or common sense when things don't run as smoothly as they expect. Blaming Target and their employees for a power outage is pretty pathetic. Yes, Target conspired with the power utility to turn off the power so people would have to stay a little longer in the store.

I guess I should have taken a few photos with my phone. How many times have you seen a department store without all the lights turned on?

Sunday, July 16, 2006 links for 2006-07-17

These are the favorites we had on our home computer. Some we haven't used for quite a while. links for 2006-07-16

I've been trying out as a place to bookmark the places I visit. It is pretty cool.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

First Federated leadership meets with Mike Rose

Mike Rose answers questions

This morning the church leadership of First Federated Church met with Mike Rose, a possible candiate for the vacate position of Senior Pastor. For three hours Mike fielded questions on many topics that the church leadership had to ask him. Mike was not alone in answering questions since his wife answered a few as well.

Tomorrow, Mike will be bringing a special message to the church in the morning worship service. People will also get the opportunity to meet him and his wife following the service.

It was just last week that our church said good-bye to our former Senior Pastor Roger Poupart. Good-byes are particularily tough for me and this occassion was no different.

The next person to become the Senior Pastor of First Federated Church will be the fourth pastor to serve at the church since I first started attending with my family in 1979/80. I knew each of the former pastors pretty well during their years of ministry at the church. They each brought unique and different attributes to the position. In the process of seeking a new leader it is extremely difficult not to reflect upon those years in formulating an opinion on a prefered future.

I was asked today, and I'm sure to be asked several times in the coming week what I think about Mike Rose becoming the Senior Pastor of First Federated Church. At this time, I honestly don't have a strong leading in any particular direction. I'm not even sure what additional questions Mike could even answer for me to come to any specific kind of conclusion. Thankfully, the decision is not mine to make. It would be nice to think my opinion in the matter would make a significant difference in the process; however, I'm more inclined to sit on the fence unless God calls me to specific action. Don't take this to mean I don't care; however, in this particular case I don't have enough information to make or discern what my position should be.

In the end, I know God can to do great things when we look to Him for guidance. After all, the church is not about who the Senior Pastor happens to be; it is made up of those individuals God has joined together in community. So far, I think Mike would fit into our church pretty well; I will have to work along side of him for a while to know how well that fit will actually be.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The American Flag

Sanctuary of First Federated Church Des Moines, IAI don't have all the answers to this question, but I do know it is a tough one. Does the American flag have a place in the Sanctuary of a church?

This is a question the staff at our church considered for several minutes today. Opinions were shared. Our thoughts considered. Further contemplation definitely required.

In seminary one of my professors definitely had the opinion that the symbols given any space in a worship service must be carefully considered. He didn't believe flags were appropriate.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Wife

Jayne and Evan StarkMy wife wrote a really nice blog for our wedding anniversary this year. I think she was trying to embarrase me a little with a few of the things she was saying.

After seven years of marriage I can hardly believe all that has happened between us. It really doesn't seem that long ago that we first started making "eyes" towards one another. We still do. Sometimes the eyes speak nicely; other times they say something entirely different.

Jayne is a pretty special lady. It really does go without saying that I don't deserve her. But, I think it is pretty cool that we have each other.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Seven years of marriage to John Christopher Stark

John and Ean Stark eating some popcorn. Ummy!Well, John has wanted me to blog for a few day now. I said that my first one would be on our 7th Anniversary and that it would be sappy. This moring when I got up a card was waiting for me with 7 Take 5 candy bars. They are my favorite right now! (if you have not had one yet, they are awesome!!!) I must say that I was impressed that I got my card right away in the moring because I get them most of the time at 11pm at night. He thought of me before hand and that means a lot to me!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

I want Jayne to blog with her account.

Someday Jayne might write a few things on our website. I hope she will. I think it is pretty cool.

Urbandale Fireworks with the Family

Jayne, Evan, Ean with John's Parents

This fourth of July we once again headed towards the Longstreets' place. I'm not sure how many years we've been going there on the fourth but I think it has been close to 15 years now.

For the first 8-10 years I was a single white male... then I went a few years as a married guy... and now I'm going with two boys! This year it seemed like once of the things to do was to keep an eye on the boys.

This year, like last, we watched the fireworks from my parents house now on Meredith. This year Urbandale shot the fireworks off at the middle school instead of the high school. It didn't make much difference since my parents kindda live between the two schools.

Urbandale IA Fireworks

Ean spent most of the time inside because he didn't like the booms. Evan spent most of his time on my dad's lap having a great ol time.

Before the fireworks I also found myself helping my mom with a project on the computer she needed help with. She was pretty happy for the help. It helped pass the time away while waiting for the fireworks to start... which was at 10pm this year.

The most depressing part of the whole day was at the end when I realized that in the morning work needed to be done at the church. While going to work wasn't a bad thing, I did find myself needing just one more day to recup from all the activity of the holiday weekend.

One more thing... this was the first time I've ever taking photos of actual fireworks before. I experimented with the shutter speed a lot. A few of the photos turned out okay; however, I definately need to do some learning on how the pros do it. With a digital camera it was good being able to see the immediate results of the photos I took... with my film camera it would have taken days to get the same kind of feedback.

If you haven't signed up to check out ALL our photos on Flickr I'd highly recommend that you do so. We love it, and I think you would too. Click on any of the photos on this blog to check it out.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Ean loves to see Carter

Ean checking out the action at the Clarks

Last Sunday the family spent the evening at the Clarks. Ean had a really fun time playing with Carter.
It is pretty neat seeing him getting to know other boys his age and observing how they interact.

If you look closely at this photo you'll see the new haircut Ean's grandma gave him a few nights before. She used clippers for the first time with Ean's hair and it came out pretty good. I heard Jayne saying later that night that after the haircut Ean really looked like his dad. It probably had a lot to do with them giving him a similar haircut to mine.

Ean is definitely growing up. When you are growing up with him it is hard to see the changes without taking some time to reflect, ponder, and consider the progress he has made. Just tonight I was amazed at his increased vocabulary and quickness to learn new words.

Pretty cool!

Evan makes his father proud

Evan sitting in his scroller

Evan is now about 14.5 months old now. He is just about to the point of walking on his two feet instead of crawing to go from point to point. He is saying new words that we’ve never heard him say before. He loves any attention you give him.
In the last week, Jayne and I have noticed that Evan now wants me whenever I’m around. He wants me to hold him.

This morning Jayne set him down on our bed and as I was walking around the room about to leave he wanted me to pick him up instead of mom. It was kindda funny. A week ago he wouldn’t have cared who picked him up as long as he was by someone.

Evan definitely needs physical touch on a regular basis. Ean likes hugs and kisses before going to bed, but he doesn’t crave physical touch like Evan does. Our boys are really different in this particular area.

The other funny thing we’ve noticed lately is how Evan always wants to do what Ean does. If Ean is eating something, then Evan wants some too. (It would be nice if Ean would be the same way! He might eat more kinds of foods.)

It still amazes me that I have two boys. Three years ago I didn’t have any children. Raising two boys can be a lot of work. It is a huge responsibility along with being a great character builder.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Moved everything to WordPress

Today after some consideration over the weekend I rebuilt my personal website with Word Press blog software. Up until today I was using Joomla, a CMS (Content Management System). Why the switch?

The simple reason was for simplicity.