“Be still, and know that I am God!”
The brief verse from Psalm 46 was our class verse when I graduated with my Master of Diaconal Ministry degree from Wartburg Seminary in May 2015, and his remained a verse I return to again and again, especially during the last several months of discernment towards serving in congregational ministry and towards ordained ministry. It is my joy and honor to journey on this path while serving all of you, the people of God of Salem and St. John Lutheran churches.
In studying Psalm 46, I am reminded that in Hebrew “knowing” God doesn’t just mean to know with our brains intellectually, but to take the truth of God in and embody it and live in that truth. In this sense this particular verse speaks to our being as well as our living and doing as we witness God’s ongoing work in our lives and in the world. This reflects my own journey as settle into the place God has called me to in this time.
This calling for me does mean some additional practical learning and requirements that I must fulfill in order to be ordained to the ELCA Word and Sacrament roster. You may remember that I am enrolled in the TEEM program with Wartburg Seminary in order to meet these requirements. I recently completed my initial CAP (Capacities Assessment Panel) meeting with the seminary, churchwide representative and Western Iowa synod staff, and this means that I now have a timeline for finishing the requirements. I want to share this information so that you are aware of the timeline as well as how being a “learning congregation” may influence all of you. I also covet your prayers throughout my continued learning and ministry.
TEEM program information and update:
The TEEM program uses an action-reflection model with brief on-campus intensives along with both a twelve month internship process and an ongoing mentoring process with a local pastoral mentor. I have already been working with Pastor Barb Spaulding (Trinity Lutheran, Moville) as my mentor and look forward to having an internship supervisor assigned within the next couple of months. I also now know that three on-campus intensive classes will be required prior to my completion of this program. Most likely I will complete these intensives in the summer and fall of 2018 although if class schedules change, that could change.
From the Wartburg TEEM manual: “The purpose of internship is to aid the formation of the candidate for ordained ministry through an intentional process of reflection and evaluation focused on particular learning goals identified in the internship Learning Service Agreement (LSA). While interns provide important leadership for the mission of the congregations in which they serve, the primary focus of internship is learning on the part of the intern. Thus, congregations that serve as internship sites undertake a ministry of teaching, collaborating with synods and seminaries in the formation of a candidate for ordained ministry in the Church.”
An internship committee with (ideally) three members from each candidate will be formed as my official internship begins, and while this committee will be responsible for working most directly giving feedback, the entire congregation(s) will be critical in the formation process.
While both Salem and St. John have been served by TEEM educated pastors in the past, each process is unique and I will attempt to keep you updated along our journey together. My time in the official program will be relatively brief due to my previous chaplain education and service ministry focussed seminary education; however, it is still an important part of my education and formation as pastor. Again, thank you for your accompaniment and engagement in this joyous journey.
Yours in Christ,