I'm still working on my discernment process. It's hard -- with the summer and everything going on, I'm finding it hard to take time out to work on actively discerning. There has been some progress...I am feeling like I am more called towards diaconal ministry, which is the intersection of the church and the world.
What exactly does that mean? Well, I would go to school for 2 1/2 years full-time or a maximum of 5 years part-time. I have some more freedom and creativity in where and what I do (compared to a pastor, at least at first!), but I have to work at getting the jobs more than a pastor would. Pastors go through a call process, which basically means that the ELCA will help them find a job. Diaconal ministers don't have an equivalent process -- while we are called to a position, it is more up to me as an individual to find or create the position. So I'd end up with another master's degree, probably an MAR (Masters of Arts in Religion). So we'll see! I really need to set up some meetings with people who are already serving and studying to become diaconal ministers. I am pretty interested in three areas: hospital chaplaincy, youth and family ministry, and college ministry. So we'll see what happens, but at this very moment, I am thinking that I might be able to start part-time Fall 2009! Where it will be, I don't know.
Trip and I have some fun plans for this weekend. We're going to a friend's wedding on Saturday night followed by a brunch on Sunday morning. It's the first of five this summer/fall and the only local wedding we will be attending.
Then we're heading to the Delaware beach for three days and two nights of camping! I'm really really excited to try out our tent for the first time. I've got all these giant lists of things to pack and food we're going to eat. And now we've got a new air mattress to make sleeping in the tent extra comfy! I've never gone camping near the beach before, so this will definitely be a first for me. It'll also be nice to just take some time out from life and work and be disconnected -- no computers or Internet! I'm also hoping to work on my tan a little bit.