Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Vicar mail?

The last time I had a change in my name was my wedding 21 years ago. This time around there is a change to the prefix before my name - that change is "Vicar”.

A "Vicar" according to the ELCA  (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is a seminarian who is assigned to a congregation as an intern for one year. This typically involves the student working with a senior pastor and a committee of the church to support the development of the seminarian.

Last Sunday, a Service of Beginning took place at First Lutheran Church to mark the beginning of my year long internship. It's been a whirlwind since last April, when I was approved by my Candidacy Committee to pursue Seminary and the role of Minister of Word and Sacrament. There is a great deal of learning still ahead, but I'm taking a moment to pause and let this change, this prefix, to soak in. Last year at this time, I was looking forward to the hope that "someday" I'd attend seminary and begin the road towards ordained ministry that I have felt called to for over 20 years. 

All those years ago, I'd never imagine the word "Vicar" connected to my name. This week though, I've received two pieces of mail that have shown me, in black and white, that a change is taking place. 

The card I received has this quote printed on it, 
" To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but dream. Not only plan, but also believe. 
- Anatole France

Last Sunday, I was asked the question if I was ready to serve God and the Church in the role of an intern/vicar and my response was, "I am, and I ask God to help me." Change sometimes feels like it comes so slow, and others are hard to keep up with, but with the help of God our lives can become something we thought we'd never see in black and white.

This is the prayer that was said to me this last Sunday, may it be an encouragement to you as you serve God and others in the place you have been called. 

"May God go before you to show you the way;
Be behind you to encourage and inspire you;
Be beside you as your Faithful Friend;
Be above you to watch over you;
Be within you to give you peace;
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Spirit, Amen"

Go in Peace...

Art, Prayer and Faith Formation with 2013 Shared Confirmation Class

This year in our Shared Confirmation Program, we used Sparkhouse's re:form curriculum and DVDs, enjoyed a Autumn retreat together and integrated Art and Prayer elements to the expereince.The heart image below is a prayer process of weaving hopes and sorrows in a visual manner. This exercise was adapted from my friend Lynne Farrow's resource book: Art Making and Metaphor

Last Sunday, this group of youth, their parents and teaching team had an opportunity to meet at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center to share in a time of games, art making, food and fellowship.

The banner project was begun by our Create Fellowship that meets on a monthly basis at First Lutheran Church. This group designed the banner, transferred this design on a canvas painters drop cloth by using masking tape as a guide, and began painting the banner.

Acrylic paints (found at a Walmart or Michael's) were applied to the canvas to create the Pentecost themed design with wind, fire, a dove, chalice as well as a banner dating the year of Confirmation. 

Confirmation Students wrote reflections of the experience, hi-lights of what they have learned as well as how they intend to use their gifts in their home churches as brand-new adult members. Art projects like this involve many people, allow for reflection, and implement visual skills as a means for expressing ideas.

The paint is almost dry, and the tape is about to be pulled to reveal what was created by our collective community. This banner will be revealed on Sunday May 19th at our service of Confirmation.
Stay tuned for pictures of the finished product.