Archive | March, 2010

Reason #141.

14 Mar
Reason #141 why I love St.Paul, MN : Art Scraps.
My friend, Sara, discovered this gem of a shop on the corner of St.Clair and Pascal in St.Paul.  
It. is. an. art. thrift. store.
As in people can bring in things that they have too many of, things that they don’t use, things that have potential as an art project.  It’s like a Goodwill for art supplies and factory overstock.  It’s non-profit and runs on donations.  And it is the best store.  Ever.
Sara will vouch for me – I got a little excited when I first started exploring the possibilities.  I wanted to buy 20 purple cardboard boxes not because I knew exactly what I would use them for but because they were only ten cents a piece.  (I actually bought 22.)  I wanted to buy a roll of shiny blue metallic foil not because I knew what I would do with it but because it was cool.  Oh my, and the stacks of paper, sold by the inch.  The barrels of old trophies, doll heads, and wine corks.  I could have stayed a lot longer than Sara’s lunch break allowed us to stay.
So I went back the next morning.  I was only in St.Paul for the weekend and I needed more purple boxes.  And a few more yards of that silver twist-tie ribbon.  Maybe just to browse a bit more to see if I could think of a use for a bucket of bottle caps.  (Negative.)  And to think that the inventory fluctuates constantly as people bring in more and more art scraps.  I will definitely become a frequent shopper … and it makes me feel so hippie cool doing it.  

A typical week.

14 Mar
The joke amongst pastors is that many people in the general public are under the impression that we only work one hour per week – leading worship on Sunday mornings.  I’ve had a few people ask me lately what a typical week looks like for me as an intern.  Well, let me tell you —
Sundays: I arrive at church by 7:30 and prepare for my role in the two services we have each Sunday, 8:30 and 10:45.  Between services, either Pastor Kendall or I lead confirmation class.  Typically, the pastor who is not preaching is planning and leading the lesson with the 7th – 9th graders.  Once a month after the second service, I plan mentor meetings, which pair confirmands with an adult other than a parent for guided conversation/activity centered on faith.  Once every so often, I also am in charge of leading an afternoon service at the care center in Dawson.  Monthly SNL (Sunday Night Live) events are reasons to play mini-golf, go to a movie, or hang out with 5 – 12th graders.
Mondays: The first thing I typically do on Monday morning is find my desk.  Due to the previous week and the chaos of Sunday morning, it’s usually in need of much attention.  Every third Monday is Do-Day which translates to Lindsay hanging out with the quilting ladies.  I then plan and prepare for the weekly Monday afternoon women’s Bible study.    

Tuesdays: Staff meetings normally fill this morning.  It’s not unusual for staff meetings to last until 1pm.  I kinda love staff meetings … which feels like a strange thing to say … but laughter and coffee are always present.  The only thing that kind of frustrates me about staff is that I tend to leave with a longer to-do list than when I came!  
Wednesdays: Wednesdays consist of the preparation and then teaching my third grade release time class at 2pm and confirmation at 3:30.  (Again, Kendall and I switch off teaching.)  In the evening, there are meetings, meetings, meetings.  Some Wednesday nights only have one but there have also been nights of four.  Currently during Lent, we also have Lenten dinner and the Holden service at 7pm.
Thursdays:  Two Thursdays a month are partially reserved for either local ministerium meetings (the gathering of local clergy in Dawson – ELCA and other) and conference meetings (the gathering of all ELCA pastors in the conference).  Thursday is also the day that my supervisor and I have scheduled to check-in and catch-up.  (The seminary requires supervisors/interns to meet for one hour a week to discuss non-calendar/programatic items.  We try to make this happen but sometimes the week runs away from us …) 
That is a typical week … but what week is truly typical?  Whenever there isn’t something on the calendar, as listed above, feel free to add any/all of the following: sermon preparation/writing (at least eight hours, please), hospital visits, shut-in visits, additional worship services, the occasional funeral, more Bible studies, worship planning, dreaming about Easter eggs hunts containing 60 dozen eggs, additional event planning, reading, playing baseball in the hallway, etc.

another summary.

7 Mar

Say you were to approach me tomorrow.  Say you asked, “So, Lindsay, how was your weekend?”  

I would say, “Hey!  Thanks for asking!  It was pretty good.”  
If that answer wasn’t long or detailed enough, here’s how I would proceed:

– I saw Avatar.  Finally.  It was wonderful and I may or may not have shed a few tears behind my 3D glasses.
– Buttercrunch almond toffee.  Success.  The first candy I’ve made that required a candy thermometer and fancy things.  Packaged and ready for the mail tomorrow.
– New fabric for one yard wonder constructions.  To begin with grocery totes.  Excited.
– A good part of my weekend was spent wearing these around my apartment, trying to convince myself that they’re not too big for my head and that they weren’t a stupid purchase.  This picture is for you, Emma.
– A Sunday of two baptisms.  Beautiful babies welcomed into the body of Christ.
– I ran two miles.  Like seriously.  Two miles without stopping.  I impressed myself.
– New biscotti recipe.  Epic fail.  Added chocolate on top.  That makes everything better.
– Watched Thursday night’s episode of The Office twice.  Props to the show; it was better than I have come to expect this season.  (“Wrong baby!  Wrong baby!”)
– Saturday night quilting/chatting.  Perfect.

country drives.

7 Mar

Whenever I used to get in my car to go somewhere, I always had my ipod.  It didn’t matter how far I was going, I plugged my ipod into the radio and always had the music on.  Lately, my radio is off.  I don’t take my ipod with me when I drive places.  Instead of searching for radio stations or throwing in a cd, I tend to drive in silence.  

In the silence, on the roads between snow-covered fields, my mind goes in a few different directions.   To-do lists.  Upcoming events.  Lately, it’s been going a lot to my dad.  I’m not sure what it is – if it is the farms and the fields, something else, or remembering that it was first my dad who ever put the idea of ministry in my head.  

Sometimes, when I drive, I think of how proud my dad would be of me.  In high school, I remember going somewhere with him in his truck.  I don’t remember where we were going or what we were doing.  He suggested that I think about ministry as a possible career track.  I’m not sure if he saw in me gifts for ministry or if he simply thought it’d be pretty great to have a daughter who was a pastor.  He told me more than once, in his giddy voice, how proud he would be to tell people that his daughter was a minister. There are many people and reasons that got me to this place but my dad, telling me that, is one of the great reasons why I am here now, whether I recognized it at that point in my teenage life or not.

Here I am, halfway through my internship and one and half years short of becoming an ordained pastor.  It sucks – it simply sucks – that my dad is no longer on this journey with me.  I know that he would have been one of my biggest supporters and fans alongside me in the struggles of seminary and joys of ministry.  I would love to be able to share church stories or hear his feedback on sermons.  I would love to hear him tell me that he is proud of me again.  

Still.  I know he is.

oh my gnome.

6 Mar

I was running errands in Willmar and stumbled upon a section of gnomes.  A mini gnome village.  A community of gnomes, living peacefully together on four metal shelves in between the garden stepping stones and discount valentine decorations.  Gnomes holding shovels, thermometers, and gnomes riding turtles.
I thought this one was pretty cute.  Pretty sure he’s related to the gnome that’s on my lunchbox.
And this guy — his door says “There’s no place like gnome.”  I think I’ve heard that before …

Surprising myself.

3 Mar
I sat at my desk today, preparing to preach at tonight’s lenten service, and found myself pondering at where I am in life.  Pondering not in a bad way, not in a how-did-I-get-myself-in-this-icky-place, but rather in the wow-I-have-come-a-long-way.  I have grown in so many different ways in the last years.  The Lindsay of two years ago, or even six months ago, would be surprised by my current self.  Let me explain –
First, I think of the Lindsay who entered seminary.  The Lindsay of two and a half years ago had no idea what she was doing.  That Lindsay was not certain at all that she belonged in seminary classes.  She questioned her call to ordained ministry and thought about seeking a degree in something other than the ordained ministry track more than once.  Contrast that to today, when I fully and whole-heartedly believe that being a pastor is the vocation to which I have been led and called.   
Let’s visit the Lindsay of middler year.  (In seminary speak, the middler year is the second year of classes.)  The Lindsay who was scared out of her wits for preaching class.  This Lindsay had a few minor breakdowns at the beginning of her middler year, never having the confidence to realize that she would be prepared for internship.  The Lindsay of today currently preaches every week.  I enjoy – yes, enjoy – sermon preparation and preaching.  I still get nervous but this time on internship has boosted the confidence in my preaching immensely.  My internship committee has told me that preaching is one of my great strengths that they observe.  I never would have guessed that would ever be the case!
Then there is the Lindsay prior to cpe.  CPE is a mandatory 400 hour experience for ordination – Clinical Pastoral Education.  I did my time last summer at a care center/low-income senior apartment building in Minneapolis.  Before cpe, I was terrified at the thought of walking into a person’s room at a nursing home and striking up a conversation.  Terrified.  I was scared to think that I would be called into situation of death and dying.  What was I to say?  To do?  CPE didn’t give me all the answers (as it can’t be expected to do) but it helped me gain confidence and familiarity with situations.  Now I have no issue walking into a hospital room or spending time over coffee and bars with the residents at the care center in Dawson.  In fact, spending time at the care center in Dawson has become one of my most favorite things to do.
Today, as I pondered, I realized how much I have grown and how much that surprises me.  It’s a true testament to what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger because, man, there were points when I thought both preaching class and cpe were going to be the death of me when really, those are two of the things that have made me grow the most.  To look back at myself a year or two ago and to see how my confidence, skills, and experiences have shaped me into the intern pastor I am now is a humbling thing.      
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