A little humor to brighten your day.
LCMS Pastor resigns to read
LCMS Pastor Joe Bookman resigned his call of 7 years today to read. Bookman had served as pastor of Patience and Fortitude Lutheran Church in Narnia, Kansas since graduating seminary in 2005.
Members of the congregation were not shocked by the news. Peter of Hobbit Hardware said that Bookman could always be found reading in his office, and often had to be pulled away from the book he was reading in order to lead the services. Lucy of the Skywalker Bakery recounted how Bookman once planned to read a Luther sermon out of a book as part of an evening prayer service last year, and wound up reading not just one sermon, but all 14 sermons. ‘He started with a sermon on Micah 5, and two hours later was reading a sermon from Holy Week. The elders had to shut the power off in the church to get him to stop.’
The LCMS Reporter was able to get ahold of Bookman and ask him why he resigned his call. Bookman’s response was that there was simply too much to read. ‘While in seminary I was told to read Law and Gospel, Church and Ministry, Hammer of God, the Bible, a volume of Luther’s Work’s and the Book of Concord each year. And then I was told to continue to read works by Sasse, Gerhard, and Chemnitz regularly; not to mention theological journals, and works by the Church fathers every other year. And then on top of all of that, I was told to read commentaries and preaching books as well. I just could not do it.’
Bookman continued: ‘The first year I kind of slacked off and just skimmed through them all. But after that I resolved to read them all cover to cover, even the index’s just in case. It worked for a few years, but recently Concordia Publishing House has just been putting out so many good books, I had trouble keeping up. The Lutheran Study Bible and The Apocrypha really did me in, to read the verses plus all the footnotes, and then the added articles; I knew something had to change.’
Rev. Paul McCain of Concordia Publishing House could not be reached for comment; but LCMS President Matthew Harrison did issue a statement expressing sorrow that Bookman had resigned his call, saying that ‘If our pastors could only read German, we would not have to go through the process of translating and making study notes for them. Learning German, and even Latin, would save pastors hundreds of pages in reading time.’
A new pastor for Patience and Fortitude Lutheran Church has not yet been announced, although Carl and Lewis, both of Pilgrim’s Progress Insurance agreed on one thing: the new pastor will not be getting a book allowance.