Next month, I’ll hit my one-year graduation anniversary. (Well, technically, this time last year I still had three months of field work to complete, but I walked in graduation all the same.)
I’m a little over a month into my first position as an ordained pastor. Before I started, I knew I would be learning a lot. But let’s just say that expecting information overload and experiencing it are two different things.
Recently, I attended a social gathering of Lutheran pastors in my area. We went around in a circle and shared where we served and for how long. When it was my turn, I counted on my fingers.
In a couple of weeks, I’m going to be ordained. It’s a big deal because it’s the culmination of four years of study and work. At the same time, it’s the start of something new.
Flashback time. It’s 2009 and I’m in my spring semester at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I was studying, among other subjects, Italian renaissance art. (It was an elective and inexplicably seemed like a good one for a journalism student back in registration.)
During my first year at my seminary in Chicago, the students got together for a celebration on October 31. But we weren’t celebrating Halloween, like the University of Chicago students in our neighborhood.
Doing ministry can be hard. Even preparing to do it is tough. That’s why I’m part of a couple groups on Facebook intended for seminary students and young clergy-people.
I’m an impatient person. When I was in high school, I tried my hardest to earn college credit before I even picked out my university. I already knew what I wanted to study and what I’d like to do when I was done.
When I started seminary, I applied to exactly one school. I’m part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which has eight seminaries (soon to be seven) throughout the United States. I picked the one that happened to be two miles from my house.
The school year is over. For those of us starting a new school in the fall, just a few months stand between now and a new beginning.