I was at Spiritual Direction yesterday and she asked me where I perceive God moving in my life at this time of transition and goodbyes. I am so sad that seminary is coming to an end. I will miss my friends and classmates. I will miss living in a community that forces me out of my shell. I will miss classes that challenge and intrigue me. I will miss professors whom I love and respect. I will miss daily worship and the space for stillness. I closed my eyes and breathed in her question: where do I perceive God moving in my life at this time? There were two places I immediately recognized and I would like to share one of those places with you:
I perceive God in the affirmation of my call to ordained ministry that has come in the form of my first vocational call as the new Assistant Rector of the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts!
The week after GOEs was supposed to be a week of respite at home in Maine, instead I was invited to interview with 3 remarkable churches in Massachusetts. (I never made it home during that “vacation.”) Each parish had wonderful positions and opportunities available, but one of those positions spoke to my heart. My interview at the Parish of the Epiphany was both challenging and comfortable, exhausting and energizing. I met with many of the ministry leaders and all of the staff members. The position they described and their desires for their assistant matched so well with my skills and personality that I couldn’t imagine a better first position for myself. I was called back for a final interview the last week of January and learned more about the challenges and opportunities available there. It felt like home.
I am not unrealistic. I know that this job will stretch me in ways I cannot possibly imagine. I know that there will be days of great joy as well as days of great sadness. But I also know that this is the place where God is calling me next.
I appreciate your prayers in this time of transition for my classmates and myself. The luxury available to me in this final semester is that in knowing where I am going I know some of the things I need to learn before starting in June. I am doing an independent study in curriculum to prepare for the Christian Formation work I will be doing. I am working with my field education parish to arrange new learning opportunities. But most of all I am working to hold tight to these short months I have left in this wonderful place. As much fear and sadness as this leaving will have, the affirmation I feel at having secured such a remarkable position this early in the “season” provides me solace and joy. My hands are God’s hands and the opportunity to use them in a new way is just beyond the horizon.
So excited for you and this next part of the adventure!
I’m so happy for you, but man, are we going to miss you at St. Anne’s. You have a gift. I remember first watching you preach in bare feet last spring after I found St. Anne’s. I’ll say now what I thought then. You, my friend, are going to inspire many people to find grace and do great things. I wish I could be around for the whole journey.
Congratulations on this exciting first step!