July 27th marked the anniversary of my ordination into ordained ministry, accepting a call as the pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter. It’s been a crazy year, to say the least. First of all, my family went from 3 to 4 in that time with Nathaniel’s birth, and he has kept us feeling some level of crazy ever sense with his energy and curiosity, espe-cially now that he is mobile!
A year in ministry and Holy Comforter has been a whirlwind of a year as well. It’s hard to believe we’re now past that marker, as the time as flown by.
It has been a year of education through experience for me. Growing up the child of two pastors, I felt like I was as aware and prepared as most could be about what full-time ordained ministry entailed. While that have been some-what true, there is much that I’ve learned through this year.
I’m not good at everything. Now, I’m not so arrogant to have ever actually thought I was good at everything, but in terms of expectations of myself starting out, I was unrealistic. I’m not good at everything. I’m not even passable at everything. It’s been a year that has frustrated me with this reality, and then slowly made me realize that it’s ok that I’m not good at everything. For one, it’s only been a year. And another, God gifts us differently and then calls us into ministry together with one another who are all gifted differently and wonderfully. I have become more and more thankful for the gifts of this congregation and the ways in which people use their gifts for the glory of God, both through Holy Comforter and in their daily lives.
While I knew the kinds of joys and sorrows that pastors walk through with members of the congregation, I’m not sure I was prepared, or could have been, for the emotional ride that accompanied those times. Through this year, and through being invited into inti-mate and intense times in your lives, I have come to care deeply for you all, and so when I am invited into those times, I feel for you and with you. There are days when I have been so emotionally drained that I wonder whether I can continue this work for my lifetime, while simultaneously thinking that this work is so meaningful there is no way I could do anything else, and I feel my call to ministry affirmed.
A number of folks have begun meeting as committee to discuss the centennial celebration of the church, and it has helped me see that all that has gone on this year in ministry in this church, both that I have been a part of and that I have not, isn’t even a drop in the bucket of what this congregation has been a part of through the years. These meetings have helped me to appreciate the scope of Christ’s work through Holy Comforter and its members a bit more. It has also made me excited that even after a year here, I feel like we’re just getting started together, and I am excited about all the ministry that we will be a part of together, in Christ’s name.
Yours in Christ,