Carving in wood or stone. Biking 35 miles. Preaching a sermon.
Activities like these all fall within the comfort zone, and perhaps a typical day, of the Rev. Scott Duffus.
Duffus, 46, is interim pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Mason City. He blends art and spirituality into a unique ministry.
Duffus, whose home is in Owatonna, Minn., comes to Mason City on Tuesdays and stays through much of the week. He then returns for weekend services.
Duffus grew up in St. Peter, Minn., and is a self-taught artist who forges his own carving tools, creates his own molds and pours his own bronze for sculptures.
His undergraduate degree was biology. He did graduate work in entomology and worked as an agronomist before attending seminary.
Duffus has been a pastor for 12 years, almost exclusively serving churches in need of an interim pastor.
In his first call as a minister, Duffus decided to incorporate art into his church work. He placed a block of wood in the church on Ash Wednesday. During that Lenten season, he carved a crucifix from it.
"When I did that, I found there are people who relate visually" to a message, Duffus said.