My soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning.
Over the summer, I worked for ten weeks as the pastoral intern of First Friends Meeting, an FUM meeting in Greensboro, NC. I was able to experience many aspects of pastoral ministry, including helping with four weddings, a memorial, and two baby blessings. I also
preached in programmed worship, worked in the office, went on pastoral visits, and organized Quaker Eights groups. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed pastoral ministry, and how it brings together my gifts of vocal ministry, pastoral care, and administration. It was also wonderful to connect with Friends from other meetings during my time in Greensboro.
In the fall, I returned to Atlanta for my final year at Candler. Now that I have finished my Contextual Education obligations in the meeting, this has been a good time for me to discern what I feel called to do and what to let go. I joined the Friends Journal Board of Trustees and traveled to Philadelphia for my first board meeting. I took some interesting and challenging classes, including Ecclesiology, which gave me an opportunity to think about Friends’ practices and structures, and a class on Religion, Sexuality, and Reproductive Health, which was cross-listed with Emory’s school of public health. I experienced a lot of changes in my life: I started a new relationship, had to leave my apartment, and I got a car. The changes have been mostly very good, but I am still adjusting.
Letting things go has continued to be a good spiritual practice for me. I withdrew from a class this year for the first time in my academic career, and I am not planning on taking the second semester of Hebrew; instead, I plan to focus on my thesis. My support network is
Looking ahead, the biggest thing on the horizon is graduation in May. I am actively seeking employment for after graduation. In December, I spent a weekend interviewing and preaching for a semi-programmed FUM meeting that is looking for a full-time pastor. The search committee and I are in discernment, and I should know more in January. I feel like my classes this semester are preparing me for pastoral ministry: I am taking classes on Conflict Transformation, Preaching, and a practica on Weddings, Funerals, and Confirmation. I am trying to be open and embrace the new things ahead in the coming year.
Thank you for your support and prayers.