Thursday, September 29, 2011

Define "Fun" For Me, Please

Hi, Everyone! My name is Chad McKenna, and I'm a newly-appointed contributor to this blog. You may remember me as the benevolent ticket-bearer who invited Alex to front-row seats at a White Sox Game (see past posts for the story!). For the next year, you'll be reading stories about my experience as a pastoral intern from LSTC. I'm a candidate for ordination in the ELCA through the Indiana-Kentucky synod, and the internship year is the third year in the four-year Master of Divinity program at LSTC for those of us seeking ordination in the ELCA.

It's been about six weeks since I started my internship at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Palos Heights, Illinois. On my first Sunday, which seems more like six days ago, I was introduced to the congregation and given gifts of welcome (the church cookbook, keys, a CD produced by the choir, and one of the pastor's freshly-picked tomatoes, among other things). I met a few hundred people all eager to tell me their names and to meet my wife, Andrea. And, after I assured each of them that they'd need to tell me their names again the next week, almost everyone exclaimed with a wink and a smirk, "Oh, you are going to have fun this year!"

After a while, I began to wonder what their definition of "fun" was.

Six weeks, later, I think I have a pretty good idea. With six hospital and home visits in the first week, as well as countless others since then; Three different book and bible studies every Tuesday, one of which I'm leading; Two sermons already preached; Forty-Two seventh graders in confirmation every Monday evening; Two raucous lunchtime events with the Over Fifty-Five Club; Joining the choir, along with Andrea; Deacons' meetings, church council meetings, internship committee meetings; and being immersed by baseball about thirty times in the dunk tank on Rally Day, I believe I'm getting a good grasp on how this congregation would define the word, "fun." And with a little over eleven months to go in my internship here, I can only hope that the fun won't ever stop.

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