I'll file this under monthly missions, even though it's not starting on the first day of the month, as well as the fact that it will run longer than 30 days.
So I'm going to start learning American Sign Language! Why? Well, one large reason is that one of the congregations in our circuit is a deaf congregation, Our Savior Deaf Lutheran Church in Madison. If you, a hearing person, go there but cannot understand sign language, YOU'RE the one who needs an interpreter. It's an interesting experience and you should try it sometime. Anyway, it's probably fair to say that the congregation has somewhat of an isolated existence from the hearing congregations within the circuit, the LCMS congregations in the greater Madison area, and the South Wisconsin District in general. Maybe I can play a small part in starting to bridge the gap between their congregation and ours. And maybe some of my duties as a deacon (and a person with a Theology degree from an LCMS university) can be put to use in some way, shape, or form as well.
I'll be taking a sign language class through MATC (I think they call it Madison College, but I'm going to keep calling it MATC, just like we still call River Forest "RF" and we still call Seward "Seward" even though they want to be known as Concordia University Chicago and Concordia University Nebraska, respectively. Too bad. We still call Concordia University Wisconsin "Mequon," so there.), at the Portage campus, and it turns out that the instructor is a member of the deaf congregation in Madison, so that's cool.
The class meets once a week for two hours and it goes for six or seven weeks, if I remember correctly. I won't be fluent when the class is over, but I'll know a lot more ASL more than I do now!
So my mission is simply to pass this sign language course which will start in a couple of weeks and end somewhere in the middle of October.