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MAPTP Random "Dots"

I have not yet completed my first full week of my Mid-Atlantic Parish internship (started Monday; still need to experience Sunday services), but I already feel this is the right place for me for this next step in my formation.

Here's some random things to share:

  • When asked, the rector agreed to us praying the Daily Office/Morning Prayer together. I need the discipline.
  • Years of church networking paid off immediately in helping the rector find a supply organist for two upcoming Sundays.
  • The rector, associate rector, parish secretary and I have lunch together. A great opportunity to hear interesting things about each of them, share about myself, and learn lots more about the parish. 
  • My mentor is Dean of his Region (VI). When I asked if there might be clericus meetings to attend, he invited to a weekly clergy breakfast. There were some familiar faces around the table, and some new ones too. Amidst all the playful banter were helpful exchanges offering me good insights to parish ministry. 
  • I enjoying making pastoral calls which include carrying out communion. I must remember to thank my father-in-law for the pocket calendar he sent me that containa prayers, devotions, and select sacramental rites appropriate for visits. 
  • Attended a Vestry meeting. Interesting leadership dynamics for a pastoral sized (small) parish. Mostly good stuff; some things were just good to observe.
  • Found a friend (from my presenting parish) who lives in the military retirement community I'll serve Wednesdays for Holy Eucharist.
  • My liturgical leadership opportunities will include "deaconing" which has me completely jazzed. Thank you, Lord! 
  • The weekly "Holy Folders" volunteer group for newsletter/Sunday bulletin prep is another wellspring of information re: my parish.
  • Told my mentor I want to do as much as possible in these eight weeks. So a late breaking opportunity this Saturday includes assisting at  a funeral; there is a possibility I may be left to do the graveside commital "solo."
So sitting here in my study, posting this blog entry, I'm counting my blessings already for this internship opportunity. Yet when I look to the framed poster on my wall which commemorates the 25th anniversary of RADM (USN) Alan B. Shepard, Jr's historic golf shot on the moon during the Apollo 14 mission, I recall the paraphrase of the "Alan Shepard prayer" from the movie Space Cowboys: "Lord, please don't let us screw up."

That's kinda how I feel. 


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
David - It sounds like St. Mark's hasn't changed a lot. Small parish ministry is what I enjoyed the most. As you will experience there is a comment that you will hear more and more: "I know it is your day off but ...". Parish ministry for clergy is a 24 hour a day, seven days a week ministry. Your phone may ring at 10 PM with a parishioner needing some help. The unexpected is something that you can depend on. Schedules are wonderful, but they are also things that must be flexible. The hardest thing is to keep some time for your self. It is difficult at times to say "no", but you must always keep in mind your own needs and that of your beloved spouse.

What I guess I like the most of the small church ministry is that you will get to become very close to all members of your parish. You become a member of their family and they a part of yours. I still have members from Buchanan with whom I have frequent contact as they call on me for advice and guidance and I call on them also.

You will learn a lot at St. Mark's about what God has in mind for you - just keep listening for His still quiet voice. It is too easy to get distracted.

Love, Dad
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )