New England School of Lay Ministry
As a recent graduate of the New England Synod School of Lay Ministry, I was asked to write a reflection on my experience. As I was preparing this, at the last minute I came across a reflection and prayer written by Joyce Rupp, a Christian author and retreat director that really resonated with my heart’s prayer, but of course, she put it much more eloquently.
“Source of my life, Home of my spiritual heritage, pick me up from the path of my fruitless wanderings. Carry me back to you, the birthplace of loving kindness.
Be tender with my fears. Draw me out if I tend to pull back. When I get buried in the darkened corridors of uncertainty, help me emerge from my mud-laden shell of confusion.
Reorient me in the right direction that leads toward you. Show me time and again how to arrive where I belong. Encourage me to eagerly seek your presence.
Remind me often that you are my Source and true Home.”
As I read this, it really seemed to express my prayer and my journey through the Lay Ministry program. In a very life-giving way, it helped pick me up and lead me to a deeper and clearer understanding of the direction I was supposed to be going on in my faith journey. I found myself feeling that Rupp’s prayer had been mine for a long time.
About two years ago, I felt like that lost turtle, trying to peak my head out to find which direction to go and hoping the path would be shown to me. Then, I saw the blurb in our Sunday bulletin about the program. I was struck with the theme of that year being on the way Lutherans interpret the Bible. After some prayer and searching for more information on their website, I talked to Pastor Ross and began that September. And WOW, what a journey it was.
This program helped me to become stronger and more confident in my own faith journey. It helped to guide me in God’s call to an ever-growing faith that has not felt this strong in a very long time, if ever. It was not only through the curriculum of the program, but also the sharing, the relationships built and the commitment experienced in so many different ways that my faith deepened. Being able to be with others who were searching and yearning for more in their faith life was so inspirational and such a learning process that I cannot imagine it being done in any other way.
To hear more of my story, and that of Lionel Goulet’s, come to the first Adult Forum in September where we will be sharing more information and insights we gained from the New England School of Lay Ministry.
Registration for this year ends on August 15th, so if you are yearning and searching for new understanding, please feel free to talk with me, Pastor Ross, and/or check out the website to get more information: www.nesynodslm.com.