Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just Over a Month

We have now been here in Petersburg, WV for internship just over a month. School began here in August--1 week before it began in Gettysburg--well before it began for my granddaughter in Rochester, NY. First grade began for her this past Thursday after Labor Day. Everything and everyone is gearing up for the school year routine.

What is particularly different about this year is hearing about what's happening on the Gettysburg Seminary campus, but not being involved in it. I still follow the news via the Redactor, the seminary's daily news. There are familiar and not so familiar names. It is a different world there than here. I miss the people and some of the activities, like the Fri. night bonfires in the quad.

But I absolutely love internship here in the Potomac Highlands. Actually doing the work I have been trained for is particularly rewarding, especially when I "get it right." Of course, there are also those times when I am so very aware of my shortcomings and how much more I need to learn--but then again, that's why I'm here. I am grateful for the grace and patience shown me through God's community of faith here in Petersburg.

My most recent activity has been hospital visits. Yesterday, Ray and I went to Hagerstown, MD, to visit a member in the hospital there. We had a wonderful visit and it was a great road trip, which gave us a reason to have lunch out as well :-).

I am amazed over and over again by the depth of faith I am finding among all the people I've visited. One woman the other day was on her way to therapy when I arrived. She explained she didn't have time for a visit, but had to have her prayer before therapy. It warmed my heart so very much. The fact that I wasn't the pastor, but just the vicar didn't matter to her.

Sundays consist of teaching adult Bible study, assisting at worship, and doing the children's time when Pr. Larry preaches. When I preach, he does the children's time. When there was no communion, I presided while Pr. Larry assisted. Oftentimes, by the time we get home, I'm ready for a nap.

Last week I attended my first Ministerial Association meeting. There is a uniquely ecumenical spirit to this group which should be an example for other community ministerial groups. We are of all different theological persuasions, yet recognize our unity in Christ and service to this community.

Last Tuesday night, I attended my first church council meeting here. I have never seen anything like it. All the business was done in 45 minutes! I was in shock when the meeting was adjourned. Now THAT could really be an example of getting down to business for many churches.

I am now in the process of being approved to be a hospice volunteer, which is something I'm really looking forward to. I've been very impressed by the hospice staff I've had contact with. They do wonderful work in comforting and treating those in pain who are in their last days.

Saturdays are a bit slower and give me an opportunity for last minute touches to the Bible study, children's time, or sermon. Today it's the Bible study, which needs more work.

So.......that's what I've been up to in this part of the world. God is at work in all of us in all the various places we may be in--whether urban or rural or suburban. May you be blessed wherever you are.

School bus picture

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