About Me

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This summer, I am an intern at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Sylva, NC through Project Connect. I will be attempting to discern whether I am being called to public ministry (ie being a pastor). This blog will cover all sorts of things I learn about, things that I find interesting and decide to pass on. It will also be about other fun stuff I am doing here in the mountains :D

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Thanksgiving Story...

So the day after Thanksgiving, the three cousins were talking about what our favorite food from the meal was. My cousin, who is a purist when it comes to cranberry sauce, does not like anything but the cranberry sauce from the can. He will eat others, but does not like it. One of the people who came for dinner brought a cranberry sauce that had a lot of ginger in it. When describing it, he said that putting ginger in cranberry sauce was blasphemy, and before I could stop myself, I found myself explaing that it was actually heresy, because heresy is either not going far enough or going going too far, and that by adding the ginger she had gone too far and... my two cousins looked at me like I had grown a third head. Wonder what they thought I learned over internship?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I'm Thankful for

So, back at the beginning of November, one of my Facebook friends started posting four things she was thankful for each day. At first, I was like "Oh that's cool." and went about my business for the day. A few days later, I was having a not so good day, and saw her list. Reading the simple things she was thankful for made me rethink my day, in particular the things that had happened that had brought me down. I then decided to try writing a list of my own. Coming up with four things would be really easy, or so I thought. It took me a few minutes to find four things I was truly thankful for, but once I had, those four things overshadowed the negative from the day.

Every day after that, before I went to bed, I would post on my facebook four things I was thankful for from that day. They ranged from rasberry flavored hot chocolate to great friends to hot showers. Small things that you wouldn't normally think about, to every day things like food and shelter. It didn't matter to me if others even read it, but writing them out helped me to remember to look for the good things happening every day.

People started noticing. I started getting comments mentioning how they loved to read my lists every day. One friend commented that "I think you're onto something." I then saw him start to post lists too. It was pretty awesome to see him start posting lists too.

Doing the lists have really helped me change my frame of mind. I have stopped focusing so much on the bad things that happen throughout the day. I may not continue posting all of my lists on Facebook, but I will definately continue thinking about the positive. Here's the list for today:

1) Friends
2) Family
3) Good food
4) playing cards

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Whoa, you're back!!

Yes, I know that it has been forever and a day since I've updated... (actually only a month and a half or so, but who's counting??) I've had a lot going in my personal life, including a lot happening in my spiritual journey, so that's what I'll share with y'all.

Now as my last blog post said, on the 18th of September, I led worship solo. Just me. And I'm fine admitting that I was scared out of my mind. What if I completely messed up the service? What if I did something wrong? What if I forgot something? What if someone asked me a question and I couldn't answer it?

That morning, I arrived at the church around 8 in the morning. Service didn't start til 11, and there was no Sunday School, but the routine of showing up and getting ready was something I needed. I made sure that the sermon was still on the pulpit and that it was in the correct order. I made sure I knew all of the hymns that we were singing that day. Looked to see that the prayer book was ready on the alter. And then I prayed. I spent about 45 minutes sitting in the sanctuary asking God to remind me that He was with me, and asking Him to help me not screw up.

Then, people started showing up. I went over the changes in the service with our choir director and our organist. Since I am not yet an ordained minister in the Church of Christ, I couldn't preside at Communion, and the wording of the Confession and Forgiveness. The council president, Bill, walked up to me standing by the alter and said "The book goes in the center of the alter when we're not having communion." So of course, I just slipped it to the center and prayed that no one noticed the almost mistake. Bill also said that he would help me with the announcements at the beginning of the service, which was a big help to me.

Before I knew it, it was 11am, and time for service to start. After explaining to anyone who might have been confused that I was NOT Pastor Rosemary, I went through the changes in the service with the congregation. Bill took over from there, and then announcements were done. It was time for the first big part of the service, and up until the very moment I started talking, I was scared. But as I was speaking the words of confession, peace washed through me. Suddenly, I was not afraid. It felt right, like it was what I was suppose to be doing. The rest of the service went along fine. Yes, there were a few mess-ups. But overall, it went really well.

As many of you know, after my internship ended I was leaning more towards possibly becoming a diaconal minister or an AIM, but not necessarily a pastor. However, after my experience that Sunday, I have brought back the idea of becoming a pastor. I'm still talking with God, or moreso listening to God, trying to discern His path for me, but I think I may be closer now.

God's Peace be with you.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Encore, Encore!!

So, I know my internship ended a little over a month ago, but I get to reprise my role at SotH tomorrow. PR's mom is in the hospital, and so she's asked me if I can lead service tomorrow. Not gonna lie, I'm more than a little nervous. However, I'm also greatly honored that she trusts me with something so pivotal. I just pray that everything works out, both at the church, and with PR and her mom.
Peace be with you all!

Monday, August 8, 2011

All's well that ends well...

So yesterday was my last day as the Intern at Shepherd of the Hills... and I have mixed feelings about it. I am very happy to be at home with my family and friends, but I can't help miss being at the church.

This summer has been an amazing time for growth and reflection for me. I have had a couple of really good mentors who have helped me along my journey of discernment. I am still not 100% sure of what I am going to do, but I now know a lot more about the different options of public ministry.

One thing that I am having a hard time explaining to people, both at SOTH and at FLC is that I have NOT made a decision. This summer wasn't ever about making a decision. I still have three years before I can even apply to a seminary, because I need to have an undergraduate degree before going on to a master's program. This summer was about discernment, which I wrote this newsletter article about:

I have used the word discernment or some variant of it many times over the course of this summer. Before going to orientation at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, I had a few vague ideas of what the word meant. I knew that it meant trying to figure something out, or something along those lines. The dictionary definition is: the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend that which is obscure or an act of perceiving something. In Christianity, we believe that discernment is looking inside to find what your vocation is.
Vocation is commonly referred to in the secular world as being a job. However, there is a bit more involved with vocation than it simply being a job. The word vocation comes from the Latin root “vocare” or to call. Therefore, our vocations are occupations that we are specifically called for. Traditionally, it is used to describe a position within the Church, such as a clergy member, but more frequently, it is being used to describe non-clergy jobs.
If teaching is something that a person is extremely good at, enjoys, and feels an inner calling to, then teaching would be considered their vocation. If being a musician is what someone feels the inner call to do, than that would be their vocation. There are so many different vocations that it can be kind of confusing to try and figure out what your vocation is.
So, this whole discernment process is to help me find my mine. I am hoping to do that by lots of reflection, prayer, and mentorship. This summer is a huge step for me, looking into and trying to plan for the future. I appreciate all of the support that everyone here at Shepherd of the Hills has given me. I may not know this month, this summer or even this year what it is, but I have no doubt that I will figure it out.

I have definitely done lots of praying, reflecting and talking with others who have gone before me. I have a few different ideas of what path I'm being called down. I still have three years, and a lot can change during that time, but I'll keep y'all up to date with where my life is going!
God's Peace be with you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Seven down, three to go

So, yesterday's service went well. PR is visiting her mother, so we had a fill-in pastor, Pastor Rosa. Pastor Rosa arrived at the church nice and early, which gave us plenty of time to talk through the service and what may have been different than what she was use to. Service ran smoothly (no major mess-ups). I was veryh thankful that we had Pastor Rosa. For a while, it was looking like I might have had to lead service, which since I've done it once, it'd be okay, but not my first choice. Thankfully, I heard from PR on Monday or Tuesday that Pastor Rosa was coming. It took stress off of me :)

It is really hard to believe that I have three weeks left. This summer just seems to have flown by! It seems like just yesterday that I drove the four hours up the mountain to get to this wonderful place. I've thought about a lot, learned a lot, and prayed a lot.

After my three weeks, I will be home for a week and a half, and then it's straight back here (this time for actual school). When I come back to SOTH, I will return to being the normal campus ministry student.

I must admit, I'm looking forward to being home, even if it's just for ten days. I'm already starting to plan out those days with what I'm going to do and who I'm going to see. It's the only way to get done all I need to!

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Not gonna lie...

Today's self-defense class was one of the best, and one of the worst I've had. It was great because I got to work one-on-one and go over what the person had questions or fears about. The bad thing was, there was just one person.

That's one of the things about working in such a small community. I had four or five people tell me that they were going to come, and in reality only one showed up. Things happen; stuff comes up. You have to be prepared for having one- or no one- show up for activities planned. I get that now, but it still kind of hurts.

We went over A LOT of different things, though. Basic formation of the fist for punches (fold pinky-forefinger down, thumb resting in between second and third knuckles) to frisbee escapes to running like heck. We covered car defense which was something I just learned about during the past semester in my RAD class and we talked about elevator defense (if you're wary- don't get in).

All in all, it was a good two hours spent. Even though there was just one other person, I showed her things that could help save her life. In my opinion, if I can help one person, then the time was not wasted.

- Peace