Beginning A New Adventure
That’s right...I am coming home to Milwaukee. Not just for a visit, but for at least the next two years. No, I am not dropping out of seminary, but my learning is taking on a new look. Let me explain…
This past fall, when coming to seminary, I was supposed to participate in an innovative cooperative program. I was to go to school full-time Tuesday-Thursday and spend Friday-Monday working part-time in a congregation in New York. Unfortunately, the week I arrived, the church needed to back out of the program, leaving me with no church with which I could “co-op.” The seminary tried to find another church but ultimately was unsuccessful. This has left me in a kind of limbo. I have remained a part of the program; identifying as a co-op student, attending meetings, speaking on behalf of the program, and promoting the program. However, I have not been a part-time intern in a church. I have had the opportunity to connect with a local church, St. Paul’s, as part of my Field-Education requirement, but it is not the same level of commitment. So in my first year of seminary, I have, for all intent and purposes, been a traditional, residential, full-time student.
While disappointing and frustrating in the beginning, it has truly been an unexpected blessing. For all my friends who are teachers or know teachers, we know that teaching is a very demanding job; working far more than 40 hours a week, then for me, directing plays and musicals, running my Saturday morning children’s theatre, volunteering with my church youth group, participating in community theatre, and trying to have some type of social life left me very busy. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my crazy active life, but I was always on the go, doing something. Jumping into seminary, keeping up with all the readings and papers, commuting between Philadelphia and New York, working in a church, and still trying to have some type of social life would have kept me equally as busy. However, that didn’t happen. For this year, I was simply a student. 5 classes, homework, and sometimes with my field-ed site was all that has been required of me. Sure, reading 22 books this semester has been challenging. I am in the midst of writing my third of six 12-15 page papers. I have also had the opportunity to preach multiple times. Yet, I have had the unexpected blessing of time; time to rest, time to breathe, time to think. It has been a nice change of pace.
Now I am not one to sit back and relax for too long, and as this spring semester rolls on, I have a strong desire to put what I am learning into practice. And once again, God provides. Earlier this year, LTSP announced that it is beginning a new Distributed Learning online program. The DL program combined with the Co-op program allows me to work as a part-time intern at a church anywhere in the country while I take my required classes online and in two-week, residential intensives in January and June. This fall, I will be back in Milwaukee as Lake Park Lutheran Church has joined the DL-Co-op Program and has accepted me as their intern. I am so excited to be coming back to Milwaukee! I am excited to be close to family and friends! I am excited to continue my seminary education. And most of all, I am excited to be able to be part of a creative and passionate ministry team, working with a diverse congregation, and seeking innovative ways to do God’s work!
As always, your prayers and support are welcome and appreciated! I will, of course, let my Milwaukee family and friends know when I officially start...but for now, I know I will be back in the fall, and I can’t wait! God is good!