St Andrew Blog

Letters from the Intern

Gratitude and Joy

ThanksgivingDinner Nov2016

Thanksgiving is upon us!

The business of the holiday season has started! This time of year, I am filled with so much... stress. I want everything to be perfect. The carmelized onions atop the green bean casserole have to be evenly placed and a cinnamon candle is burning to make my house smell less like my dog. My mom instilled this "need to clean" in me. When I was little, the cleaning involved us taking everything that we played with and/or that needed to get out of the way, up to our rooms so no one would see it. Maybe some of you have the same practice? We would do this faithfully year after year. Then it dawned on me; all of the people coming were our friends and family.  Which meant that all of the people that came to our house for Thanksgiving saw it every other time of the year when it was less than clean. They knew the shoes that would pile up by the front door, they knew the toys we kept in the living room, and they knew that our dog came in with muddy paws and left a trail throughout the house. These people love us at our best and worst, so why were we trying to impress them?

Now, there is something to be said about feeling the joy of a clean and tidy house. Maybe you love mopping the flours and your house smelling like Pinesol. But there's a difference between the joy of a clean house and the worry of what others are going to think of you. 

Philippians 4:4-6 says, "Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 

With thankful hearts offer your prayers and requests to God... So instead of stressing, lift your worries to God. Instead of worrying, pray and be glad. This is easier to say than to put into practice. So, I have a mindfulness activity for us. 

Let us sit, in a quiet place, or for those who it is hard to find that, play music. Stop thinking about your to-do list for a minute. Sixty seconds of reflecting on the question, "What am I joyful about today?" Maybe your kid's laugh makes you laugh, or maybe your boss told you that you're doing a good job. Maybe you were able to get a passing grade on a difficult test you were taking, or maybe it's as simple as you woke up with another chance to have a good day. What are you joyful about? Take a couple of deep breaths. 

It is often difficult to focus on joy. We are surrounded by negatives and the ways of the world are unfair and unkind to many people. So we do what we can to help and to serve. Nevertheless, if we are empty, we can't help fill others. Or if we are filled with stress and displeasure, how can we bring joy to others? So today, let's try to think about joy. Tomorrow, let's try. The next day let's try. We won't be able to do it all the time and that's okay. We can always try again and God will be there. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with gratitude and joy.

Blessings and Peace,

Intern Pastor Kate

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Letters from the Intern

What's an Intern?

14095921 1115761288515205 513390956155801341 nHello!

I started at St. Andrew almost three months ago. It’s CRAZY to think it’s already been that long. Time has been flying by. I am so thankful to be part of this incredible community where the Holy Spirit is at work. Pastor Lisa and I have been brain-storming how I can share with everyone what I am working and reflecting on. So, this is the start of “Letters from the Intern!” I’m excited to connect with you this way and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Many of you have been asking, “What is an intern?” or “What do you do as an intern?” To hopefully answer these questions, I am a third-year student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH. I will be receiving a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree so that I can become a pastor in the ELCA. This degree takes four years to finish. At Trinity, our program is set up so that we have two years of on-campus class work, and then have two years of internship to complete. During these two years, my classmates and I are required to take a combination of classes either online, or what they call “intensive courses,” which are classes that we prepare for before and then travel to meet in person for a week of classroom work.

Along with Pastor Lisa as my supervisor, there is an “Intern Committee” at St. Andrew to help support me throughout this learning process. On this committee are Charlie Hall, Gail McCarthy, Mary Raymond, Bob Booth, Michele Hooper, and Cherie Harland. I am very grateful for their support and feedback!

Pastor Lisa and the Intern Committee have helped me define my learning goals as I participate at St. Andrew. I wanted to share a couple of these goals with you:

  1. Preaching

This is something that I am constantly working on. I am reading books, exploring different writing practices, and taking time to read and reflect on the scripture.

  1. Teaching

Teaching is something I am passionate about. I love being part of Family Time and Wednesday morning Bible study because they are communities where we get to learn from each other.

  1. Pastoral Care

I have been so blessed to accompany Pastor Jim visiting with some wonderful people and will continue to go with him and learn from him.

  1. Social Ministry

My focus for this goal is to engage sensitive issues of need and justice in the community. It’s important for the church to be a place where we can come and know we are loved, but also a place where we talk about what’s going on in the Kingdom of God. As Micah 6:8 says, “Seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”

To sum it all up, an intern is a student learning the ins and outs of ministry leadership. I will graduate in May of 2020. This means I have about 18 months left at St. Andrew. I am excited for the opportunities our time together will bring for us to grow and learn. Like these first three months, the next 18 will pass in the blink of an eye. So let’s get together and grab some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate because I want to get to know you and hear your story. As it says in Proverbs 18:15, “Wise people are always learning, always listening for fresh insights,” and I look forward to learning from all of you.

Blessings and Peace,

Intern Pastor Kate

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Giving Season at St. Andrew

It's Giving Season...and We're Counting our Blessings!

Give Thanks logo 400That's right, you're invited to write thankgivings each of the Sundays of the season.

There are leaves provided in the lobby and they will make our "Give Thanks" painting more beautiful each week.

We’ll count our blessings and give thanks for some of what God has given us…..people we love, blessings in our lives and the joys of being part of the community of St. Andrew.

Then we’ll make our giving commitments to St. Andrew for 2019 on Sunday, November 4th as we respond to God’s blessings by returning thanks.

Sermon: Who do you think I am?

Sunday's sermon generated  an extraordinary amount of feedback — and input!

Jesus is 400We had such wonderful interaction around the subject of Sunday's sermon that we wanted to share it with everyone.

Pastor Lisa wrote:
"I did a little crowd sourcing for this week’s sermon....through the E News and on Facebook.....and I got a LOT of feedback............from many of you! Thank you!

I guess the question got people thinking...... It’s a question that echoes the one Jesus asks of his disciples in today’s scripture reading from Mark. I asked, “Who is Jesus for you?”

The sermon contained thoughts from a wide range of partners:
"One of you said: 'I like to think Jesus is my divine superhero brother who never leaves my side. Like God, he is amazing and is responsible for all the truly incredible miracles that are our lives... He is always there to guide our decisions and to share our happiness and I feel like God is my all-knowing Father and Jesus is my wonderful understanding brother.'

Someone else said, 'Jesus is kind of like a National Grid solar farm that supplies all the love energy we could ever need. It is free and ever accessible to all.' ”

Click on this link to read the entire sermon. (pdf)

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