From our good friends over at the RevGals:
When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new.And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward...
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith.
For me, working at Camp Carol Joy Holling was a series of seminal moments in my faith walk. It was a place where I lived out my faith in very real and concrete ways, making my faith for the first time more than an interesting intellectual exercise...it was where it was first suggested that maybe I ought to think of ministry as a vocation (by a female pastor...you go, RevGals!)...it was a place where I experienced God through creative and meaningful worship (thanks Roger Sasse!)...it was where God spoke to me time and again through the voices of friends, campers, supervisors, pastors, and the world around me. I came out of my time at camp a much more mature Christian than when I came in.
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?
Yes. When I started at the new church last month, the pastor told me his vision for the youth program was in five years to have the best church youth program in the city. I think that's a pretty good goal. Concretely, what that's going to look like is going to take some time to develop. But I'm blessed to be in a place with the desire to see God working in and through their kids and the determination to do what it takes to see that happen. They want to do it right. Next year sometime (spring maybe), after I've spent enough time to get a good handle on things, we're going to begin a visioning campaign. We may bring in a consultant to help guide us through the process. We're going to define where we are, why we exist, where we want to be, and how we want to get there. This congregation is really big on serving others--I have a feeling that the shape of the youth ministry will end up being a model of finding your vocation through service. I'm excited to see what God's going to be doing here!
3.Money is no object and so you will.....
Build enough schools around the world so that everyone has the opportunity to have an education. So many of the world's problems and suffering--hunger, homelessness, poverty, war, hatred, bigotry, etc.--in the end boil down to a lack of educational opportunity. Tackle the very foundational issue of education, and you're equipping others to tackle so many of those secondary issues. As long as there are humans, there will always be sin...and therefore there will always be suffering. But there's so much out there that could be ended, if only people were equipped with the right skills and given an opportunity.
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?
In my youth Bible study this past week we talked about when bad things happen to good people (using the example of Ned Flanders' failure when he tried to open The Leftorium, a store for left-handed people). One of the scripture texts we looked at was Romans 5:1-5. You know, the whole "suffering produces endurance produces character produces hope which does not disappoint" passage. What keeps me going is knowing that through the disappointments, God is with me. When I cry, God is with me. When I'm angry at God, God is still with me. God suffers with me, walks alongside me, carries me when I need it. I have hope--not that things will be okay, but that no matter what, God will not leave me.
5. How important are your roots?
Very. Both my personal roots and my faith roots are of utmost importance to me. My parents both grew up in Massachusetts, and though I've never actually lived there, I consider myself a New Englander at heart (only without the accent and rude driving habits). As a military brat, we actually didn't move as often as one might expect--however, every base we were stationed at until I was in 4th grade has now been closed (I like to joke that the government has closed down my childhood). So there's a part of me whose roots don't really start until I was 10 years old, and another part of me who considers himself rooted in a place and people he has visited but has never really been a part of. It's almost a mythological thing, but those roots are actually very real and very sustaining. As a Lutheran who embraces paradox, it just makes sense.
Faith roots...I am a liturgically-minded, confessionally grounded Lutheran Christian who sees himself as part of a continuing reform movement. Old, yet new. Reaching forward but looking back. Looking forward but reaching back. Liturgically contemporary and contemporarily liturgical. Looking for both the law and the gospel, the old death and the new life, in everything I do. Again, as a Lutheran who embraces paradox, it just makes sense.
6. Bonus= what would you like to add ?
I would like to add two plus two. Okay, that's four. =)