It’s Time to Spread Some Cheer!!

By Ross Engel

ross and joel

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with The Godfather, Paul Koch, and the Voice in the Wasteland, Joel Hess. Cold days, warm coffee, a few BEvERages, lots of good conversation and even some learning resulted from our time at the January, Ft. Wayne Symposia.

Our time in Ft. Wayne also permitted me the chance to pick out the next Bell Ringer recipient. As you may recall, our last recipient was Robert Bailey of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. We were able to send off a nice check of $225 dollars to Robert for the purchase of a few books and some drinks with his friends. He certainly was very appreciative of the generous support of you the readers. He picked up a few books that will help him with some of the practical aspects of Pastoral Ministry. I also offered my own insight and suggested he pick up a few of Eugene Peterson’s books, in addition to the other two he bought. (I personally really like “The Contemplative Pastor”.)




Robert recently participated in a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser and shaved his head as a part of raising funds for childhood cancer research. Here he is sporting his new do and a cold BEvERage, too.


(Robert is on the right)

While Paul, Joel and I were together in Ft. Wayne we had the opportunity to enjoy a drink with the newest recipient of the highly sought-after Bell Ringer Fund. It is a joy to introduce you to Seminarian James Hopkins.


(“Don’t force this guy to drink Miller Light and read Joel Osteen!” –James Hopkins)

James, who was quick to request one of the coveted Jagged Word t-shirts, is honored to be chosen as this year’s Bell Ringer. James is a 4th year seminarian anxiously awaiting Call Day. He will soon learn where he will be going to serve God’s people at his first Call. He served in the Marines for 14 years (active and reserve positions all over the world) and attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. He plays a pretty mean post for the Ft. Wayne Seminary’s basketball team and he and his wife Caroline are expecting their first child. James is a most worthy recipient of this year’s Bell Ringer Fund! We at The Jagged Word have no doubt that he will be a faithful pastor and a positive crusader for the Word.

The Donation button is hot, so let the bell ring again. Let’s buy a few rounds for James and his friends. Let’s be generous so that this future pastor and soon-to-be new father won’t have to drink Miller Lite and read “Your Best Life Now”!

Donate Button

For those who are new to the Jagged Word, here are the details of the Bell Ringer Fund:

Upon accepting the Bell Ringer Fund we entrust you to follow these guidelines

1) Do not write us a thank-you card. You have better things to do! However if you can send a pic of you buying a neighbor a drink. We would appreciate that!

2) This money cannot be spent for bills or loans.

3) This money must be used for the following 2 things:

a) Drinks with your friends

b) A book (or books) that will be beneficial to your pastoral formation

4) Spread the word about The Jagged Word and find us next year.

5) Know that you are not alone. Be faithful unto death!