Thursday, September 10, 2009

LIfe Update

It is now October. Wait . . what? October?!? Really? This year has been an absolute crazy time warp of a year. May 1st, seriously feels like a decade ago, but I can not believe that it has been exactly three months since I started at Avon. It seems so much shorter than that.

This is, I'm not kidding like my fourth time to attempt and write this post. My problem is that I do not know what to say or how to say it. In short, everything is going absolutely wonderful, and every time I tried to write about it . . meh.

So everything is going great,I could use a lot of adjectives to describe how well everything is going. The more interesting thing to know about would be the three biggest adjustments that I have been coming to terms with since coming to Avon. So here are three greatest adjustments I have had since starting at Avon three months ago.

1. Being Clergy

So honestly, I didn't expect this one. I have never been big on titles and formality. I am seeking ordination, because I believe that God has called me to commit my life to serving God through ministry and ordination is the way that the United Methodist Church recognizes that call. I knew that being a deacon technically made me clergy, I just didn't realize how it would affect me. In the two previous churches I was at, I was viewed and treated as a leader in the church. That is still true, but being clergy is also different. It is like going from a leader (lower-case) to a Leader (upper-case). There is just something different and more "weighty" about it. I guess the best way to explain this is an example. I was in a meeting, and I asked a question that brought up an issue that had not been given any consideration. After the meeting, the senior pastor, thanked me for doing that. She said it was a point that a young person needed to bring up, and she said it also needed to be said by a pastor and I was the only person who could do both of those things at once. Also, even though it has only been three months I am still not quite use to hearing people address me as "Pastor Sean" (I technically know they shouldn't do this as pastor is a title traditionally observed for elders and not deacons, but this church does not historically use the title of reverend so from the before I even came I was referred to as Pastor Sean to the church.)

2. Working Full Time
This is technically the first full time job I have ever had. I say technically because at Pizza Hut on a light week I would work 40 hours, usually it was 42-50 hours. As a camp counselor I worked tons and tons of hours. In Corydon there were several weeks, where between three jobs I worked over 60 hours, and at Epworth I worked part time and was a full time student. However, the summer jobs were temporary so even though I was working full time hours there was always a known end point. In Corydon one of my jobs (subbing) was optional and I could decide not to do it on any given day, and at Epworth how much time Seminary stuff occupied varied from week to week. This is the first where I put in 40 hours (or has been the case a little bit more than that) every week and then do it again next week with no fixed ending. I am not complaining about this at all, but it is an adjustment. I think in some ways this was a bigger adjustment for Abigail. There have been multiple times where she has asked me to do something the day of in the middle of the day and I have had to remind her that I have to work. Of all three of these adjustments, I think this one has been the easiest and we have gotten fully adjusted by this point.

3. Split Group
This is one the adjustment I fully knew and expected coming in, and it has probably been the hardest. I have worked in youth ministry for six years thus far, and all six of those years were done with a Jr. High/Sr. High combined group. Avon (thankfully!) has split Jr. High/Sr. High groups. All of my experience has been in planning to shoot for a middle ground, and now my lesson planning has to be more specialized by age. I think by an large this is going well, but there have been a couple of instances with both groups where I felt like I "missed the mark." I aimed to low for the Sr. High and I aimed to high for the Jr. High. I am continuing to work on this, and hopefully with practice I will find the sweet spot.


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