Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Best Weekend EVER!

To say this past weekend was one of the best ever feels a bit like an understatement. It seems everything that possibly could have gone right did. What a tremendous gift!

My father, stepmother, and older sister all arrived on Thursday evening. It was such a gift to have them here to witness graduation and the last part of the call process. We had a great time visiting over the past six days and I miss them already. In between all the exciting events, we were able to explore Gettysburg and Lancaster county. The weather didn't always cooperate, but that did not phase us brave northwesterners at all! My amazing professor from Trinity, friend, and now colleague Audrey was able to make it for graduation! She is one of the main reasons I ended up going to Gettysburg. I could never thank her enough for encouraging me to attend all the way across the country. Pennsylvania has become my home and I would not trade my experience at Gettysburg Seminary for anything.
Graduation was everything I could have hoped and more. I really did not realize how important this was to me until I was up there about to receive my diploma. Looking around at my classmates and professors, I realized how much each person in the room has become a part of my life. God really used this amazing community to help in forming my pastoral identity.
Receiving the hood and the diploma was an incredible experience. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would recieve a Master's degree, let alone a four year Master of Divinity. I sat and stared at the diploma many times for days afterwards. It is a tremendous accomplishment only possible through the Holy Spirit. I know I could not have done this by any other means. God is so good and I cannot wait to serve in the parish!
Another major component to graduation day was Terry's arrival in town! For those who do not know, I met Terry online about 15 months ago. Why I joined eharmony is a whole other email but let me tell you, I am SO glad I did! Two weeks into my online journey, I was matched with Terry and knew from that moment on my membership would have to simply run out.
Our first conversation was over two hours long and it just kept getting better from there. He was in Okinawa at the time, serving as a religious program specialist in the Navy assigned to a Marine unit. The majority of our time has been spent communicating over the phone and online due to the distance. He is now living in South Carolina, making the distance better but still not great. We have become amazing friends simply through the phone and letters.
This weekend we decided to officially begin dating. We know with the distance this will not be easy, but we are up to the challenge! He will be in the states until October and then will do a six month tour in Iraq. After Iraq, it is our hope and prayer he will be able to begin seminary here in Gettysburg sometime soon after!
On Sunday Terry, my family, and I all traveled up to the churchs for my final call vote! This included my leading worship in both congregations. It was so special having them here to witness this event. I am pleased to announce there was a 95% majority vote in favor of calling me to St. Luke's in Mount Union and St. James in Huntingdon, PA! I will be the solo part-time pastor at St. Luke's and the Associate part-time Pastor at St. James in charge of youth, family, and intergenerational ministries! It is a wonderful call and I am so excited to begin.

Ordination is now scheduled for June 5th in Altoona, PA at the opening worship for Synod Assembly. If any of you are able to make it, please feel free to join us! I will officially be a pastor after ordination and will begin working that Sunday.

So, that is my big update! Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support. It has been a crazy journey and I could not have done any of it without you. I will continue to keep you posted on all the exciting events!


sparks said...

Congrats Laura!! I know you have worked very hard for this.

I also love the video for asher and jacobs site. I"ll have to try and post it on my blog. Oh yeah bty I started one so you can see my little munchkins now finally!!

Sue said...

Oh my what a post -- where do you even begin. Your right God has truly blessed you. I am so proud of you. It is an example if you follow God's work he will guide you. Congrats on everything; you deserve it.

Paul & Denise said...

Congrats on an awesome weekend. It's so wonderful to see family when you're living away from them.

I don't know if I've seen Brenda since she was very little.

Oh, and I just found out there is a lady a couple of streets over named Laura Lindsay. I think of you every time I think of her ... did you know Grandma Lynn's maiden name was Lindsay?

Anyway good luck in your new adventures!!!

Candy Noelle said...

Hey Lady! I'm so proud of you! Oh you should totally update your profile as you're not in your fourth year of seminary anymore! Oh as you can tell, I have a blog now! It's not much, so check it out! Hugs!