Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Summer pondering

Summer is a great time to reflect. I have fond memories of childhood summers. School was out, and I had friends around. There was programmed activity, I’m sure, but what I remember are lazy times playing with friends. There were fields to play in, tiny creatures to discover, weather patterns to watch—a time when I cultivated a curiosity about life. We had way more questions than our parents or older kids could answer, and it was wonderful.

Summertime isn’t quite so lazy anymore.

Saying good-bye

Every year at the Spring Cluster Meetings we have a discussion about saying good-bye to the internship congregation. This is the advice given to interns at that time. Supervisors hear all of this, but lay committees might find this advice helpful.

  1. Talk openly about leaving and your feelings about it.
  2. Accept invitations out, even if they were not offered before.
  3. Pay outstanding debts in the community.
  4. Have a farewell celebration—accept gifts graciously.
  5. Take time to say individual good-byes

When is internship over?

You in the back row…when is internship over?

When you give your last sermon in the internship congregation.

Wrong. Over by the windows, what do you think?

When the congregation has its farewell party.

Sorry. You in the front, sticking your hand up and jumping up and down.

When you move back to campus.

Wrong. Anybody else want to try?

I didn’t think so. Here is the correct answer:

Internship is over when all of your evaluation forms have been returned to the Contextual Leadership

Muppets in Ministry

Journalist Dahlia Lithwick, who usually has better things to do with her time (like covering the Supreme Court for the electronic magazine Slate,) recently wandered a bit away from her home territory (or maybe she didn’t) with an article in Slate proposing that every living being is either a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet. Quoting from Lithwick:

Chaos Muppets are out-of-control, emotional, volatile. They tend toward the blue and fuzzy. They make their way through life in a swirling maelstrom