Some title other than what was here before...
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3 point parish of Gran-Park-Rollag

My name is Jim - well, James Allen Odden, but I'm most likely to respond to Jim. I was baptized on August 5th of 1973, though I can't really say that I remember it clearly. I was confirmed on Syttende Mai of 1987, & I do remember that day. It was HOT! It was in Cañon City, Co and we had to wear these thick, wool robes over our suits. I remember my knees getting wobbly & almost passing out. Now, it may be that I was overwhelmed by the Spirit, but I think the layers of hot clothes added to a very full, non-air-conditioned chapel on a 95° day may have contributed a bit as well. Who knows...

I was a mischievous kid at best, in fact, it may not have been too often that I even reached that mark. I attended Sunday School & VBS regularly, though in a variety of locations. My dad was Lutheran; my mom is Congregational; my step-dad is Baptist & my step-mom was RC, so I did get a bit of variety in my classes. I've lived in most of the states West of the Mississippi & changed schools 22 times before graduating from high school. The perpetual new-kid I suppose. Having never really seen a place where I 'fit-in', I find it very easy to connect with people who see themselves as outsiders in one way or another. I connect with people quickly in nearly any circumstances, but those seen as marginals in some way are likely to be closer sooner.

Though maybe a bit atypical in some ways, I was pretty normal in most, including that I largely disappeared from worship after my confirmation. My belief didn't waver, but faith was not a priority in my life for quite a while. I spent several years in my late teens & early 20's working weekends, so did not make it to church outside of Christmas and Easter. That changed in 2002.

Lots & lots of details skipped, I was working weekdays again and was able to attend weekly worship regularly. Very shortly after that, I began to get a tap on the shoulder nudging me toward seminary. I did the reasonable thing for several years & ignored it, but it's persistence was more than my stubbornness and eventually I did give the idea some consideration. I talked with my wife, my pastor, my mom - several close friends & it turned out that I was the only one surprised by this so I followed through.

Skipped details again - feel free to ask anytime you see me in person (not an online offer); I looked into both Word & Sacrament and Word & Service ministries. While the Word & Service does seem to have a very strong pull, I felt that Word & Sacrament is where I needed to be. Because of this, I am on the M. Div. course rather than an MA course. I do not know yet where we (my family & I) will be called, but we are open to global mission.

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