After the semester ended, we packed our bags and headed south. We had a busy summer ahead of us: a 2 week June-term class, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and a summer internship in Beaufort, SC.
Being back in the salt air of the lowcountry was a comfort I didn’t realize I needed. Wading through 100% humidity felt like a salty hug from home. Cory, in her 3rd trimester, felt much differently about it than I did…
We spent some time in Charleston before getting the family settled in to what Grace dubbed “the Beaufort House.” It was a great little place with everything we needed, just a 2 minute drive from the church and the water. We are so thankful to the generosity of the people of St. Helena’s who took us in, provided for us, and cared for us so well over the summer.
After a quick 2 week trip back in PA for my last Greek class, I drove back to Beaufort and began my internship the next day. My time was mainly split between 2 things: pastoral care and teaching. Well, there was a third thing as well–8 hours a week of video conferencing for CPE, a chaplaincy training program.
CPE was full of challenges. As an inter-faith program made up of a very diverse group of individuals focused on critiquing each other’s pastoral care through case presentations, it probably deserves its own post. I will say, though, that through the challenges God made himself known, and I gained abundant insight into how I function in various pastoral settings.
This particular CPE program allowed me to do this work in a parish setting, as opposed to a clinical setting like a hospital or hospice, which I greatly appreciated. After being in an academic setting for a year, it was a relief to be back in the church doing pastoral care. I spent time in assisted living facilities, bringing communion to the sick and to shut-ins, and in the hospital. It was humbling to step into people’s lives at significant moments, to hear their stories, and to encourage their faith with the hope only Christ can provide.
In a different way, I was richly rewarded in the teaching series I led titled The Gospel According To Exodus. I enjoyed the process from beginning to end of developing a curriculum and presenting it over the course of a month. Since we had 40 chapters to go through in only four 45 minute sessions, I focused on presenting the majors themes of Exodus that connect to Scripture’s overarching redemption narrative, pointing towards the fullest revelation of God in Jesus. (All four classes and notes can be found here.) I also preached on my last Sunday with St. Helena’s. My experience left me excited about future opportunities to continue teaching and preaching. While Anglicanism does historically have some gifted preachers and teachers, it has entered into a dry season in the post-modern age. I’m thankful to have been trained by people seeking to change this reality, and I’ve grown convicted of the need to join their ranks. (Audio and a transcript of my sermon can be found here.)
We are now back in Ambridge, eagerly awaiting baby boy Prescott who is due on August 29th. Classes start back on August 27th, so this semester will look and feel much different from last year. Thank you for your prayers and your continued support of our growing family!