As I write this, St. Paul is in a transition period with our Vicars. Alissa is off to her first call at Good Shepherd in Quincy, and Alex Clark will join us next week to begin his intern year.  It’s a good time to reflect on St. Paul’s annual commitment to hosting an Intern and what serving on the Vicar Committee has meant to me.
I’ve been fortunate to be part of the committee for the past two years – one as a member during Eric Worringer’s year, and one as chairman with Alissa.  The committee supports the Vicar during their time at St. Paul while offering advice, feedback, and a safe, confidential space to share their joys and struggles during our monthly meetings. We also prepare mid-term and final evaluations of the intern for the seminary and synod. 
Working with Eric and Alissa has been a wonderful experience. As a relatively new (joined in June 2014) member here, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about St. Paul alongside our Vicars. I’ve been impressed by their enthusiasm and desire to move the church forward while still respecting the many traditions here. In their own way, Alissa and Eric each displayed a level of wisdom that far exceeded their age or career experience. With young pastors like them in the pipeline, the future of the Lutheran church is in good hands.
I’ve also come to appreciate the diverse skill set required of a great pastor. Compassion, intellectual curiosity, counseling, biblical scholarship, public speaking, and fundraising are just a few of the important gifts displayed by Ross and the many men and women who lead our churches. 
Recruiting should probably be added to that list – Ross is never afraid to ask St. Paul’s membership to give their time and talents to the church! I’m so grateful for all the members who generously volunteer their time to serve St. Paul. It would not be the same vibrant, energetic place without those who fill so many roles on Sunday and throughout the week on various committees.  
Once Alex arrives, there are several things we can do as a congregation to support him. I apologize if some of them seem obvious:

  • Remember Alex is a newcomer to the Boston area. He’ll be adjusting to a new city, a new home, a new job, and a new group of 500+ church members.
  • Please tell Alex your name (before being asked) each time you meet him for at least the first three months.It will ease any potential anxiety from having to remember so many names.
  • Remember that Alex is a student who is coming to St. Paul to serve and learn.Although he will be performing several pastoral duties, he is not yet a pastor.
  • Allow Alex the freedom to grow, the freedom to try new things, and the freedom to fail.