Thursday, January 3, 2013

Big changes ahead

Hello, dear blog!  I have neglected you.  My apologies.  I've been a bit busy.  :)

The semester is well over, and so far it appears I've passed all my classes (whew!).  Things are going very well at my internship church, even as we're now 48 hours away from sending the original pastor, Deb Stehlin, on to her new role at the Minneapolis Area Synod.  For the next few weeks, her day-to-day tasks -- pastoral care, worship planning, relationship building, community organizing, sermon writing -- fall to our mission coordinator, the intern pastor (me), some affiliated ordained pastors (to preside over communion), and a group of lay leaders who have increased their time commitments and stepped up to get a lot of very important things done.  Hopefully, by the end of January, we'll have an interim pastor in place who will help us through the next steps in the call process.

I keep looking at this church with total amazement.

There is a rising group of families and individuals who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to Light of the World's mission -- to be a relational community that transforms its people and the world.  They have said, "We're not leaving."  They have said, "The mission continues."  They have said, "The feeling of love and welcome that people get when they walk in the door the very first time -- that absolutely will not change."

It is amazing to watch.  It is amazing to be part of a church that has truly bought in to what it says it is about.  The grief at losing Deb is still palpable, but now it shows up arm-in-arm with hope and vision.

I have told many of my seminary friends that I have the best internship supervisor I could think of.  Now I can say that I also have the best internship church.

I have so much hope, and feel so very lucky.

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