Monday, September 24, 2007

Goodbye Vicar Life, Hello Seminary!

Hello Everyone!
I know, it has been another long stretch since my last update. I really do apologize, life just got too chaotic.
I finished internship on August 29th in a whirlwind of activity. For two weeks out of August I was on my own while the pastors were on a mission trip to Honduras. Thankfully, no major crisis' arose during their absence, as I was busily packing up the apartment and working on the dreaded approval essay.
For those who do not know, the approval essay is a twenty page theological essay on trinitarian theology (topic changes each year). This is part of the last phase of the candidacy process to be ordained. Writing this paper was very difficult in the midst of saying goodbye to the congregation and moving to seminary. Thankfully, it is finished!
The transition from internship back to seminary went better than I anticipated. I was afraid that entering classes again would be difficult and the motivation to do schoolwork would be lacking. To my surprise, I am loving school and feel energized to learn. At the moment, I am taking: Hebrew, Ethics, Epistles, Mission Strategies, and Integrative Seminar III. Integrative is a course taken each year, depending on what year of schooling you are in. It is simply a reflective type course and the curriculum in it is very light. At the moment, I am loving each course for very different reasons. The language of Hebrew is not required at this seminary, but I am very thankful I chose to take it. I am finding it fascinating and learning the language is very much like doing a difficult puzzle. It is a good thing I love puzzles!
The day after arriving back at seminary, my younger sister Jamie arrived for a twelve day vacation. I am so grateful we scheduled this trip, as it was just what I needed after the emotional goodbye from Zion. We went to Philadelphia and toured the Independence Hall area and went to the Franklin Institute. It was very cool! I would attach pictures but Jamie still hasn't sent them (hint hint Jamie!).
We then went up to New York City to see the broadway production of Spamalot. For anyone who loves Monty Python I HIGHLY suggest it! It was so much fun and relaxing. For the first time, I chose to stay at a hotel right outside Philadelphia before going to New York. This made it so I wasn't exhausted from driving four hours up, spending the day in the city, then trekking back to Gettysburg all in the same day. I really don't know what ever compelled me to do it that way in the first place!
The rest of our trip we spent going to places around Gettysburg, such as: Lancaster, Harper's Ferry (beautiful), Hershey Park, and even the York County Fair. Jamie and I competed against each other to win the biggest stuffed animals, resulting in a massive pile on my couch! If anyone wants one, let me know!
Now that Jamie is gone and most of my boxes are unpacked, the cats and I are just trying to settle back into seminary life. It is surreal being back. The school still feels like home, yet part of me feels like it is still missing. I loved doing ministry at Zion so much and cannot wait to get back out again. As much as I love school, I love doing ministry in a congregation even more.
This wednesday I would like to ask you to please keep me in prayer. At 9:30am, I will be in my Faculty Approval Panel. This is the second to the last step towards being approved for ordination. In my book, it is the most scary. I will be sitting down with two faculty members of the seminary to be interviewed based on my approval essay, my years in seminary, internship, and discerning my call to the ministry. I know deep down I have nothing to be nervous about as I do believe God is calling me to the ordained ministry. I think my nerves are the result of wanting to be ordained so much, the thought of not being ordained rips me apart. From the sounds of it, the rest of the senior class is right there with me. So, I ask that you not only keep me in prayer, keep the whole class in your prayers. When this is all over I think i'll need to treat myself to a movie or something!
Aside from all of that, I am looking forward to going home for Christmas. I am sure many of you are rolling your eyes at me right about now! I just bought my ticket to go back to Seattle in December. I miss my family terribly, and haven't been back to Seattle since last Thanksgiving. During Christmas vacation, it sounds like I will be having the last of my approval interviews. This will be with my candidacy committee from Alaska and is the most important step in the process. They have the final say over whether or not I will be ordained. I will update you when I know the date for sure. I think it will be my greatest Christmas present. Not having that hanging over my head during the holidays will be wonderful!
So, as you can see it has been a very busy month. Thank you all for being such an incredible support. I will try and make these updates for frequent now that I am more settled. Please do not hesitate to write at any time to update me on how you are doing. In the meantime, know that you are all in my prayers.
New Prayer Site (just moved it this weekend!):

1 comment:

buddyclark said...

Good Luck and many prayers as you begin this journey and mostly your interview this morning. You will do well and the committee will see your love for the ministry shinning through.