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Exciting Times

It is that interesting time in the life of a young (as in first year) seminarian's life when opportunities to serve begin to present themselves: Being part of a chapel team supporting worship with and for the seminary community; service options through which gifts of time, talent and treasure might offset the rigors of all the reading, lectures, writing and testing that go into structured education as part of the on-going formation process; and searching for a field work parish to begin exploring facets of emerging ministry while hoping and praying you find a voice to proclaim the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

Sometimes hearing 'No' or 'Not You' or 'Another instead' can be hard to accept.  However, we must, especially in these instances and settings, understand this is all about the work of God - God's Work, not our own, and movement of the Holy Spirit that drives these things and makes them possible.  With each 'no', we look to the next answer, for we are always hopefully for a 'Yes' to eventually come.  We have been called by God into ministry of a new sort and kind.  There is purpose in all this, and there is process too.  Any door that once seemed opened, but now has been closed, opens other avenues in which we move and do and be.  The 'Yes' is out there because we have already answered 'Yes' when God called.

Thursday was an exciting day for me.  Two calls came in one day.  The first to serve as a sacristan in the VTS chapel for the next two years.  This draws on my experience of many years at Grace Church serving on the Altar Guild.  But it will require more because it encompasses more like that of a verger where you are not only responsible for the appointments and set-up of the worship space, but you must ensure all the necessary participants are accounted for to make worship happen.  That is where the greater challenge will be for me.  But I welcome it, and I am so grateful for the Dean's trust in asking me to serve.  

The second call was to a field site parish. Most of my life experience in the Episcopal Church has been middle-upper class, white, suburban church.  There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever.  But that's not all there is.  Clergy friends have repeatedly encouraged me to explore ministry and service in an urban setting.  And there's always the rural countryside fellowship of smaller parishes (which is where someone my age might expect to serve.)   But the city experience with its peripheral atmospheres seemed to draw me.  I'm very excited to have been called to serve St. George's on U Street (near Howard University) in NW Washington, DC.  It is a predominantly African-American, high Anglo-Catholic, parish with lots of spirit, style and great music.  The rector is an alum of VTS, and presently is teaching a class there.  I am so thankful for this call and the opportunity before us.  Heart Of My Heart is excited right along with me, grateful that we have a place to go and grow.

God is good.