Friday, July 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle...or something....

I spent Tuesday through Thursday down in the capital of the Confederacy, taking a course in Interim Ministry. It's the first step in a four step process of certification in Intentional Interim Ministry.

  • It feels good to be treated as a colleague by other folks in ministry, rather than as a lowly peon seminarian.
  • I know more than I sometimes give myself credit for.
  • Being good at reading people and analyzing situations must be balanced by a willingness to abandon your first impression when you get more information.
  • Much of the work of entering the "system" of a church is the same whether you're an interim or a pastor who will be there for a goodly chunk of your career in ministry.
  • Much of what was taught in this course should be taught more thoroughly in seminaries. In ours, we get some of it but not all of it. Skills of unpacking the history of the parish, dealing with difficult people, helping heal old wounds, getting people to imagine the future rather than being mired in the's the work of every pastor, every day. We all need to know this. For interims, because one deals with some specific tasks in a compressed time period, it's more evident. Still, we all should be learning the skills. We will all need them at one point or another.

I'm still processing much of what I learned but I'm pretty sure I'll continue with the training toward certification. That's the last "official" stuff I've got until classes start at the end of August, with the exception of some supply preaching gigs.

StrongOpinions is in town for a visit - it's good to have her around the house. She cleaned and organized our ridiculously tiny fridge last night. I never thought the day would come when she'd ask for permission to do that! Her brothers are coming into town next week. Should be fun.

The morning was spent at the funeral of the mother of a friend who died the day after her 91st birthday. A dear, outspoken, incredibly open and friendly person. She will be missed. May she rest in Jesus' loving arms, and may the knowledge of that blessed rest be a comfort to her family, who loved her so deeply.

The afternoon was spent on the couch, watching a DVD of "The Diary of a Mad Black Woman" from Netflix. Ah, stay-cation!

Actually, PH and I are going on an actual vacation, spending a few days at a French style B&B, a few days at a mountain cottage near Shenandoah National Park, and then a couple of days on the Eastern shore, eating crabs and lobsters and such. Bliss.

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