August 22, 2006

I do

I said "I do" four times tonight ... I officially became a candidate in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Another hoop has been jumped through ... but this one feels really great.

August 16, 2006

There's no place like home ...

It feels weird to be back in my room at seminary. In many ways it doesn’t feel like my home. It doesn’t feel right to not be in Mississippi. I miss that church – those people who are so visibly church in their hospitality and warmth. That place began to feel like home to me and I can’t remember what it was like to live here on-campus.

Perhaps that’s a side effect of moving around so much in the last six years, with college and seminary. There’s no place like home, but I don’t know where that home is for me right now.

It was Laurel, MS this summer – it just felt so right, it was such a good fit. But now I’m physically in Decatur, but not for long. In a few days I’ll fly “home” to Michigan. And really I do still call that going home. But I haven’t stayed there for more than a visit in a few years. And then I move to Florida and I’ll try to construct a home for myself there, with the knowledge that it’ll only be a temporary home.

Maybe this is all to say that I want to be somewhere permanently, but that won’t happen until at least June 2008. So what do I do in the mean time?

August 13, 2006


I am horrible at goodbyes. They are often hard for me. I am an emotional person and so that also means that I tend to cry at goodbyes.

Saying goodbye to my teaching congregation was very difficult this morning. I got choked up as I gave the charge and benediction at the end of the service. During the goodbye luncheon following the service, I cried as my supervising committee presented me with a beautiful quilt that was made and signed by the congregation.

Then at the end of the luncheon, the pastor stood up and said some thank you's and gave me an opportunity to say a few words. I couldn't see the people as my eyes welled up with tears and I stammered something about having learned much from them this summer and missing them deeply when I go. But one congregation member helped to lighten the mood as I was presented with the following:

I truly believe I was sent to this place for just such a time as this. And that time is over now. And I have a wonderful keepsake to remember these people by. But that doesn't make saying goodbye any easier.

August 12, 2006

The summer in review - in words

I had a choice between two really great internship placements. One was extremely attractive for its outward package (condo on the beach for housing, etc) and was recommended by many friends as a good placement and the internship I should do.

The other didn't call much attention to itself (small congregation in small town in Mississippi); yet this is the one that called to me. And I am so grateful that, after much struggling, I chose to go to the second internship. It was the place that God had called me to and I was a good fit for the congregation and the congregation was a good fit for me.

Over the past ten weeks, I've done a lot. And I can't really put words to it all - I thought it would be easier when I started this post. So maybe I'll just say it simply.

I've learned.
I've grown.
I've discovered.
I've loved.
I've cried.
I've laughed.
I've prayed.
I've seen.
I've listened.

I've experienced congregational ministry and loved it.

So my summer gets five out of five stars.

August 11, 2006

The summer in review - in pictures

A glance at the world that was my summer internship:

the official photo spot of the church

in the pulpit

my office

singing at Vacation Bible School

VBS: "Jesus is our friend ... Viva!"

my parents came to visit and we went to New Orleans for the day

my mom and I playing with masks in the French Quarter

** I'm having some issues adding the pictures, so that's it for now. I'll try to add some more later. **

August 09, 2006

The summer in review - in numbers

The first in a series of posts that review my summer internship:

• 0 hours of television
• 1 robe purchased by congregation
• 2 called meetings of presbytery attended
• 3 sermons preached
• 4 funerals attended
• 5 mornings of ecumenical Vacation Bible School
• 6 weeks of activities for children & youth
• 7 dips in the pool outside my back door
• 8 mornings of children’s Sunday School
• 9 movies rented
• 10 weeks in Laurel, Mississippi
• 15 books read
• 18 session/committee meetings attended
• 19 people on group canoe trip down the Okatoma River
• 42 cockroaches killed
• 62 hours of Felicity watched (or all four seasons from beginning to end)
• 475 hours worked (approximately)

August 08, 2006

Loneliness in my future?

My time at the internship church is wrapping up and I had my last supervision session with the pastor today. It has been an amazing experience - I was a good fit for the church and congregation and they were a good fit for me. I had many really good experiences this summer and learned a lot.

So, as I was reflecting on the past 10 weeks with the pastor I shared that the hardest thing for me this summer didn't have to do with anything ministry-related per se; one of the hardest aspects of the summer was how lonely I felt. Moving to a new state for 10 weeks, I didn't have any friends in the area; I didn't really know anyone outside of the church. And that was hard. Sometimes I just wanted to kick back with someone and hang out or go see a movie.

The pastor talked about how ministry can be a very lonely profession. And that might be a cross I need to bear as I continue into ministry in my future. Well that gave me a pretty dismal outlook.

August 06, 2006

Packing procrastination

I don't want to pack. Packing makes leaving real. Packing would force me to acknowledge that my time here is almost done. Packing is just not fun.

And so I've been procrastinating:
  • I made cards for all the children and youth and sorted pictures from our activities to include with the cards
  • I've taken a nap
  • I've stared at my stuff, willing it to pack itself
  • I've cleaned out the frig
  • I've studied for ords
  • I've caught up on all my emails
  • I've studied for ords some more
  • I've agreed to babysit the next door neighbors tonight
  • I've stared at my stuff some more ...

August 03, 2006

Being a Rebel

Despite the crazy day of traveling, my annual consultation meetings with my church session and CPM went very well. Both engaged me in great dialogue and challenged me with questions; and more importantly, both approved my move to candidacy. Though I won't officially be a candidate until August 22nd when Presbytery (hopefully!) approves me.

During my meeting with CPM, one man asked me if I thought Jesus was a rebel. I replied, without a second's hesitation, "Yes, absolutely." Then he quickly responded with "Where are you a rebel in your life?" Not a question I was anitcipating during my meeting. I stammered something out about the last sermon I preached that had ruffled some feathers in the congregation. Not very rebellious, but I was thinking on my feet. The man asked what speed I drive. I told him that I usually drive 5 over the speed limit (which is true & in Atlanta traffic it's more like 20 over). This seemed to satsify him. Who would have thought that a CPM would encourage someone to be more of a rebel?!

Truth be told, there's probably not many things to add to driving over the speed limit though. I can be a pretty boring, rule following individual. Though at lunch today, someone did remind me that I do know how to pick locks and have used that skill in the past year. But overall, not much of a rebel. I'll have to work on that ...