Howdy! This summer I have the privilege and joy of serving as an intern at my home parish - St. Thomas Episcopal Church in San Antonio. My duties include hospital and home visits, assiting with Sunday and other services, helping with VBS, teaching a class called "I Don't Remember That from Sunday School", preaching, and anything else Fr. Chuck thinks will be useful for me to learn how to do. Although I was a bit concerned before I started that everyone involved - the congregation, the staff, and especially me - would be able to see me in a whole new role, everyone has proved that concern unnecessary. The greatest compliment I've received so far happened immediately after the services on my first Sunday. A parishioner told me "you looked so normal up there".
At the beginning of the Summer I had to meet with the Diocesan Standing Committee (a normal part of the process - I wasn't in trouble) and one of the questions they asked was how has my confidence in being called into ministry changed since I started seminary. My answer was simple: for the first time in my life, what I'm doing fits. I don't have to alter anything, it just fits comfortably as I try each new thing "on for size". I'm blessed and humbled and honored to be doing what I'm doing.
In addition to what I'm learning through my internship, I'm continuing my studies of Benedictine spirituality that I began through Lent. I want to write more about this and will do so, but it has needed to "percolate" and begin to settle inside me before I can articulate how exactly it is forming me. One thing I know it is doing is to provide the rhythm in my life that is enabling me to sit in the balance of "I am but dust" and God's freely given, over abundance of love and grace.
The summer of 2011 - a summer in the communion of saints that is the people of St. Thomas and with St. Benedict. It's turning out to be a pretty amazing time ... I'll keep you posted.
God's peace be with you,