Or what my colleague Jim says, "Baby Pastor Boot-Camp." Actually, he's not far from the truth! Though we did not keep awake all night praying on hot coals or eat mush by candle light, it was pretty intense - they had us going from 7:30 AM to 9 PM with scheduled activities, with few breaks in between. Most of our days were spent in long plenary sessions and in our small groups. I was so excited to see one of our Luther professors Chris Scharen was one of the speakers. He's always great. It was just.... long with not a lot of time for reflection. Granted, they were trying out something new this year... they called it "the Leadership Guild."
I "won" the award for newliest ordained, having been ordained less than 24 hours before being whisked away to a retreat center in Malvern PA. Since I have only been at St. Paul for about 5 weeks now, it was a challenge for me to make a lot of connections between what we were being taught and figuring out concrete ways to apply it. It was nice to meet so many people in our region, and especially to make connections with other pastors who are part of a "staff" like myself. But really, by the end I had to do some claiming of my introverted self, which my group was wonderfully supportive of.
Our cats were VERY happy to see us when we got back - they had gone from six people in the apartment to NONE!!! Poor things.
This Sunday I presided for the first time... and almost forgot the Lord's Prayer during the first service. :) I did that a couple times on internship too. But I wasn't really that nervous anyway. It makes such a difference to be leading worship in a community that is just SO EXCITED for me to be there, that doing this was more of a WOW and a joy than an "oh no!" I was anxious not to mess up of course, but I think no more than normal. It was pretty cool. I feel pretty darn blessed.