Friday, January 27, 2012
I spent Monday-Thursday of this week at a retreat center in PA for a continuing education event that's required for our first three years for all first-call pastors and rostered leaders in the ELCA. Though it's not a totally accurate name, many of us involved affectionately refer to the event as "baby pastor school". It includes worship, large group lectures and small group discussions, and time for informal conversation with other pastors/leaders. As these events are organized by region, and a majority of my seminary graduating class are in the same region I am, it also becomes a sort of seminary reunion. While I really appreciate opportunities for learning, the two things I appreciated most about baby pastor school were the times of worship and reconnecting with seminary friends. Of course, it's always fun to spend time with friends, but discussing our challenges and experiences in ministry was a good way to adjust my perspective. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am not alone in ministry... that others have challenges as well, and that there are people I can go to for support. And I'm not alone especially because God is with me, and has called me and given me gifts for ministry. Yes, even pastors need to be reminded of God's presence!