Wednesday, March 16, 2011


     Yesterday was one of those days that, as seminarians, we have dreamt about since before we even begin seminary. It was reading and research days here on campus and I stuck around campus for the break. The day was as normal as an empty day on campus could be. Most milestones here on campus are marked by: the community gathering, the community upholding in prayer, the community worshipping, and the community rallying around the days events. This one however was semi-unexpected and as I walked down to my mailbox I had no idea what I was going to find. I got to my mailbox and did the normal, squat down and was excited to see that there was something in my box, I am semi-convinced that my mailbox is a black hole for what can feel like weeks at a time.
     I spin my lock to open the box and naturally couldn’t get it to open, so I tried again (3 times) and finally opened my mailbox. I was expecting to find a letter from my mom, my grandma, or another loved one, I could see that it was a larger envelope (the kind that holds a full sheet of paper) and so I was trying to think through what my mom may have mailed me that she wouldn’t have wanted to bend. When I looked at the envelope I realized that it had come from the Northeastern Minnesota synod! I was surprised and anxiously opened the envelop there standing in the hallway, not a person in sight and no one could be heard.
     As I opened my envelope I found a letter from one of the assistants to the bishop describing a bit of what I would find behind the letter, A CONGREGATION’S PAPERWORK! The moment was surreal, I couldn’t believe what I was holding in my hand. A congregation’s paperwork describing themselves and a little bit about what they are looking for in a pastor. The assistant to the bishop has sent my name and paperwork to them and their paperwork to me?! This is a step in the direction of taking a first call.
     I realize that just because this is the first set of paperwork that I have gotten it does not mean that it is the call I will take, but it is still something to discern. I must discern, the congregation must discern, and together we will see what God is calling us to do. Is God calling us to journey together or is God calling another to live and serve amongst these people and calling me elsewhere? Time will tell.
     While this doesn’t really seem like a very big milestone it was one that caught me a little off guard, while I knew the paperwork might be on its way, it was still a surreal experience. It is hard to believe that while I look forward to graduating, it is a little strange to think that my classmates and I are now the candidates being sent out to congregations all across the United States. I am excited at the ways the Spirit is moving and calling us and meets us in all the unknowns that are before us. I am nervous and unsure at the same time. I trust the Spirit’s moving and guiding, knowing that the Spirit is everywhere and I am being called to live alongside God’s people in a new place, and the Spirit is already there working and moving, and will be there while I am there, and will remain when I am called elsewhere. God is present, God is moving, and it is humbling to see the ways God is moving and that God is in fact calling me to love and serve a particular congregation.

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