“When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.” —Philemon 1:4-7
It is so strange to think that this is the last Caller article I will write. This year has gone by very quickly, and I find it hard to believe I have only a few weeks left as your intern.
As I sit here and reflect back on last fall and remember who I was then, I realize the ways that I have grown and changed. Through this experience, I have found my strengths and understood my weaknesses. I have learned more about who I am and what kind of pastor I will be.
And so I thought of all of you when I read these verses from Paul’s letter to Philemon. I am so thankful for all of you.
Thank you for welcoming me into this community. It was even more important, considering I had no friends or family around to support me. Thank you for the kind words, for the hugs, and for the encouragement. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for listening to sermons, for visiting me at coffee shops, and for allowing me into your homes and your lives. Thank you for accepting me when I made mistakes, for being gracious as I learned and grew, and for celebrating my victories along with me.
This last year has been challenging and difficult, surprising, wonderful, and helpful. It has been so delightful to get to know all of you and being able to actually work in ministry, rather than only study it.
My last Sunday on August 21st. If you are wondering what is next for me, I will be returning home to Minnesota, where I will spend time with friends and family. In October, I have my final interview with my home synod, and then from there, I will start looking for calls.
I will miss you all and this place so much as I return home to Minnesota, but I can’t help but be excited for the year the next intern will have because I know it will be one filled with grace and kindness, as you all are.
As I leave, I wish you all the best. May you continue to be a great community in which future interns can grow and learn, and may you continue to love and support these new leaders as they begin their ministries.
MUCH THANKS to our 2015-2016 Intern Team: Judy Bengtson (lead), John
Cassens, Bobbi McClain, Susan Pearson, Kelly Thoreson, and John Tomko.
WELCOME to our 2016-2017 Intern Team: Randy Baeth, Amy Bunting, Terry Hill, Bobbi McClain, Carol Powell, Kelly Thoreson, and John Tomko.
WELCOME ALSO to incoming intern Jakob Schumacher. Jakob’s first service with us will be August 28th. He will begin serving in worship on Sunday, September 4th.