What are the chances of this connection?  At a meeting with our Thrivent Financial rep on Monday, she happened to mention an Australian who works at a nearby Lutheran church.  I asked what his name was.  Amazingly he had the same last name as the principal of the school I'll be teaching at in Australia.  (This principal has been my main contact at the school.) It ends up that I then contacted him through email and found that he is a first cousin of the principal.  He has been here in the US for many years, and currently he and his wife are on the staff at a Lutheran church no more than 2 miles from where we are living now with my mom.

We met for lunch yesterday and had a very enjoyable conversation.  Their fathers were both Lutheran pastors, and they and other siblings have found themselves following in their footsteps as Lutheran churchworkers.  Not so different from my family tree.  On my maternal side, I am a 4th generation churchworker; 2nd generation on my father's side.  I have more than a few aunts, uncles, and cousins who have been in churchwork.  Similar to this story of this principal's family story, my father and my uncle were both encouraged to leave the family farm to work for the church.  It's a small Lutheran world after all.