Barn Geese Worship is the offshoot of a small community of pastors who have been meeting every summer for the last five years to brainstorm around the coming liturgical year. We call it: PREACHING CAMP.
But it became about more than preaching, because we believe strongly in centrifugal worship. The texts we preach on are also at the center of our worship, and driven by the momentum of the Holy Spirit, they fling out all kinds of possibilities for a faith community’s life together.
That’s what this blog is about: exploring those possibilities. We offer materials to ground your community’s faith in the weekly scriptural texts of the Revised Common Lectionary, from preaching commentaries to children’s sermons to committee devotions to at-home devotional prompts.
All of us are pastors ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, though not all of us serve in ELCA congregations. But because of this shared background, you’ll notice a few trends in our work that reflect of our some basic theological tenets:
- Low anthropology: we believe that humankind is a hot mess, and that we depend on the grace of God made known to us in Jesus to get anything done. The good news is, scripture tells us repeatedly that God loves working with sinners and broken people. Because beautifying the broken is how God likes to roll.
- Trinitarian: We believe in God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And who is also Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. And likewise Fortress, Cornerstone, and Anchor. And also Midwife, Mother, and She-Bear. We revel in the many names used for God in scripture that in turn reveal God’s many facets, and are committed to reflecting their diversity in our work.
- Jesus-centered: Jesus is our primary source for who God is and how God works. We lean into Jesus’ incarnation, and love to wonder about what it meant, really meant, that he was fully human and fully divine.
- Seeking the sacred in the secular: We believe that God communicates with us in the everyday things of our lives as well as in sanctuaries and through sacred things. We think God has a sharp sense of humor and love that Jesus’ first miracle in John’s gospel was turning up the volume at the wedding party. We think the Holy Spirit looks like a dive-bombing pigeon at least as much as she resembles a descending dove. We live at the intersection of the common and the cruciform.
What’s in the name?
One Preaching Camp, Linnea brought an idea for a November series exploring several saints whose feast days happen in that month. We were all attracted to the story of Martin of Tours. Martin was a righteous and upstanding person of faith, and people wanted to make him bishop, an office which Martin did not wish to inherit. Apparently he was literally being chased down by the bishop-makers when he decided to hide in a barn. Un/fortunately, the barn he picked was full of geese. Geese are not naturally inclined toward subterfuge or hospitality, and made their feelings about this shushing invader known. The cacophany attracted Martin’s pursuers, and he became a bishop.
There are better-known stories about St. Martin, most of them about his charitable and principled life as a soldier. We just like the goose one better.
We resonate with the belief that within each of us, there are gifts of the Spirit that are meant to be shared. And sometimes, the Holy Spirit feels like a honking goose, prepared to drive us out of hiding for the sake of the world.
Who are we?
Rev. Victoria Larson,
Pastor Larson is a self-professed liturgy nerd who enjoys creative writing, social dancing, and long walks with her dog Zin and a good podcast on. She is currently on leave from call, enjoying a year of adventure while applying to PhD programs to deepen her work in the field of Liturgics.
The Rev. Linnea Clark
Pastor Linnea loves cats, tea, social justice, knitting with hand-spun yarn, and creative liturgical aesthetics. She serves at Emanuel Lutheran Church (ELCA) in New Brunswick, NJ, where she goes through a lot of beeswax.
Rev. Emily Trubey-Weller
Pastor Emily is a home-loving rambler who has put down roots from coast to coast and at several points in-between. She’s passionate about ministry to and with the youngest members of the church, and serves as Pastor of Families at First United Methodist Church in South Bend, IN, where she lives on a farm with her growing family and 20 lbs. of home-grown pickled jalapenos.
Rev. Justin Kosec
Pastor Justin loves board games, names all his rescued greyhounds after literary characters, and delights in creating liturgical dramas and dramatic liturgies. He serves as Pastor of Outreach and Communication at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD.
Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko
Pastor Katie enjoys a rich and varied life, which has at times included pilgrimages in foreign lands, serving as a Senate page, and living with Cistercian nuns. She’s the eighth generation in her family to serve as clergy, and is serving as Interim Pastor at Living Faith Lutheran Church in Rockville, MD.