Monday, November 4, 2013

vocation and formation

I have been deeply engaged in my internship(s) these last 2 months.  40 hours a week of (underpaid) ministry looks so much more like 60 hours a week, and while I enjoy most every minute of it, I have been reminded of late just how hard it is to be present to people and projects and family 60 hours a week.

At TLC, I get to teach a small cohort of a larger class of Freshman a course called "Vocation and Formation."  It is a class that provides mentorship and training for discernment, naming and telling your stories,  identifying ones call, holy listening, and how to ask self awakening questions of yourself and one another.  Basically, it's the coolest internship ever.  

 Last weekend, all 7 cohorts of the class gathered together for a retreat at Camp Lutherwood.  It was a holy time of formation, laughter, discernment, stories, and fun.  I was gifted the chance to plan and lead the closing ritual worship for the retreat.  We wandered through a 3 part ritual starting with listening/hearing your call, moving to claiming your call, and ending with serving as called.

It was my first time as a Sister guiding a community through a hand washing ritual.  I expected with 2 stations and 40 or so college students, we would buzz through the process rather swiftly - maybe 2 songs.  I was wrong.  It took 8 songs.  These students relished the chance to serve one another in this intimate, gentle, deliberate way.  The experience of looking one another in the eyes, pouring warm water over and through the fingers of another, drying them deliberately with a towel was almost too genuine to watch.  It was a deeply sacramental experience.

And I was challenged at this retreat to remember that I, too, as an intern, am to be experiencing a season of Vocation and Formation.  While I accompany these college students on their journey, they are also accompanying me on mine.  I am blessed by supervisors who get who I am and how I am called, and encourage me to be fully that.  As much as I can and should be using this space to dream and vision what I could do with and in my call, I also need to develop a discipline of presence and calm discernment. So now, 2 months in, I am challenged to be engaged in daily relationships, as well as building on the future, walking my kids to school without my iPhone email inbox in front of my face, and remembering the challenges associated with saying yes and the grace that comes from saying no.  
Many thanks to Sister Krista, Pr. Erik Samuelson, Ryan Marsh, and many others walking alongside me as I define my self, my vocation, my dreams, and God's vision for the kingdom of God.