Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Long Overdue Update

Hello All!

Many have been asking for an update, so I figure it is high time to update you all on Vicar life!

I am not even certain when my last update was sent out to you, so I will try and backtrack a bit. Sabbatical did go wonderfully, and was probably as smooth as a month in a large parish could have been. I found the time with the pastors away gave me a much needed boost in my confidence level. Since the month away, they have left a couple more times, and the time alone now seems completely natural. I am very comfortable in the role of minister, and know that God has given me these alone times to help me grow in my independence.

Last month, we held our Vacation Bible School. I was "Rowdy the cowgirl" for the week and the kids loved it. I had to break out of my comfort zone and get really goofy in some ridiculous skits. Although a bit humiliating, I must admit I enjoyed being silly for the week. It was a great time and another chance to bond with the families.

Just a couple days after VBS finished, we went into a week of confirmation camp. This is a wonderful program some of the pastors in the area have been doing for over 20 years. The kids loved it, as did the adults. It was awesome to watch their progression not only in knowledge, but in their relationships with God and each other. No matter where I end up in ministry, I would love to participate in a program like this, as it truly leaves an impact on all involved.

A week after camp, my father and stepmother flew in for a much needed week of vacation. We took off to Gettysburg, Washington DC, and Strasburg (right outside Lancaster). We had the chance to explore the Smithsonian, had a private tour of the Capital building (thanks to a congressman I know), and watched the fireworks over the Washington monument on the 4th of July. On Tuesday night we got to witness a sunset ceremony at the Iwa Jima memorial done by the Marines. There were many other great moments in this trip and I could go on forever. Although it was jam packed with activity, it still provided me with some much needed rest away from work. It helped me realize the importance of taking time away from the congregation you are serving. Although I love work, I am human and needed a break!

This week I head out for Family Camp. It is a five day program with about 50 some odd members of our congregation. There are twelve families participating and many call it the highlight of the year. I have been looking forward to it since I arrived, though I know there will be many "humiliate the Vicar" opportunities. They tell me this is because the love me! *smile*.

Aside from this, I have been having a minor annoyance with my foot. I have tried to keep this as quiet as possible, only telling those necessary, as it seems so silly to me. I have a small growth on my nerve (morton's neuroma) that started as a series of charlie horses and is now in constant discomfort. It has been going on since February and as all other conservative treatments have failed, I will be having a minor surgery on the 20th to cut the ligament between two toes; this is called decompression surgery. I hate to even bring it up, but if you could keep me in your prayers that all goes well, it would be appreciated. It is a very quick procedure, but necessary. I really hope it relieves the discomfort, as I have come to realize a painful foot is not a helpful thing in the busy life of an intern. Thankfully, there is a wonderful team of doctors and physical therapists in the congregation who have taken over caring for this problem. I am so grateful for their care.

As you can see, I have loved every moment of my internship, even with a bad foot. As the summer nears a close, I am preparing myself emotionally and spiritually for the move back into seminary life. It will be very difficult to part from this place I have called home and the congregation that has become like family to me. They have treated me with nothing but love and respect. Each person has taken on the role of teacher in a way I could not have imagined. There is nothing about internship that I have disliked, and I know that is a rare thing. My time here ends on August 26th, and I ask that you would hold the congregation and myself in prayer as that transition takes place. Please also keep the new Vicar and his family in your prayers as they begin their time serving at this wonderful place.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. If you have a moment, let me know how you are doing!



Sue said...

My prayers will be with you as you have foot surgery -- it is amazing how important our feet are. I will also be with you as you begin a new phase of your life. I am sure this church family will miss you and you miss them. God will provide you a great church when it is time. I am glad you had a great visit with your family; it is so great to be with family isn't it. It is a blessing to hear from you again. God has good things planned for you!

Teresa Dunkin said...

Hi Laura,
I've been visiting Asher & Angel Jacob's site, finding my way there from another Caringbridge site. My son's fiancee's young cousin, Codey St. John, is battling Neuroblastoma and I've found many other sites through his site. I've been amazed by Asher's progress and the miracle of his and Jacob's birth.
I was interested in reading your postings that you are a Lutheran Seminarian. My husband graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 1976. We lived in the married student housing and I remember the seminary and Gettysburg area very fondly. My husband, Ralph Dunkin, has been bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland synod of the ELCA since 1997.
May God be with you as you continue in your studies.
Teresa Dunkin