I’m back with a series of ten blogs over the next couple of months recording thoughts, musings and reflections as I make my way through my second year of summer theological field placement activities. This year I am spending time with St. Paul’s Senior Homes and Services. I have company on the journey as most of the sessions that I do will also be with Sister Pam (you can read her blog here) who has been a schoolmate for the last two years and God willing and people consenting will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons in November at the diocesan convention.
Last year, you will recall, my field placement was with Episcopal Community Services (ECS) and specifically with this ACCORD DUI program and also their Downtown Safe Haven transitional housing project. That experience was so rewarding, fulfilling, humbling and formative that I worry that anything that I do this year will fail to live up to what I had experienced before.
And there we have it. Lesson number one slaps me in the face even before really starting this year’s placement.
Let go, let be, and be open to what lays ahead.
What is it about our society that drives us for a need to rank, compare and constantly evaluate? There is of course a time and a place for all of these activities but there is also a skill in learning to balance the need for structure and evaluation with trust in the Holy Spirit and willingness to try experience new things and even the willingness to fail.
If we don’t give ourselves permission to fail or at least to readjust then we are not being brave enough in living out the gospel that Christ himself calls us to live.
So as I start this year’s activities I have my Learning-Serving Covenant in place, I have learning goals set, and weekly activities laid out. A schedule of time with residents, leading worship, group reflections and weekly games of bingo. What will each activity bring? What will I learn? What lays ahead that I cannot see?
I have no answer for these questions, but I’m ready to let go, let be and be open to what lays ahead.