Senior regional assignments were last Wednesday. Everyone is more or less back to sleeping normally again, now that the decisions of that day are announced. I am headed to Region Two, which, for those unfamiliar with the ELCA Regions is basically the southwest. I am excited to get back to the sun.
The completion of regional assignments leaves us in this strange liminal period. There are still synodical assignments to be made, a process that happens much more independently. Each time the phone rings my heart jumps a little. It could be a bishop calling to welcome me to her or his synod. Calling to discuss the needs of his congregations, and the types of ministry I feel called to. Soon there will be church profiles to read and interviews to prepare for. Regional assignment day is just one small revealing of the future God is preparing for us in ministry, so much is still in the air.
Sitting in the chapel on Wednesday, knee to knee with classmates whom I had spent the last four years working and playing and laughing and praying with, I felt the magnitude of all of these changes. These envelopes marked our first step away from this place. Soon we will be scattered across the country, called to do ministry in many different places and spaces. But I felt something else also, I felt hope. As we step away from LSTC and each other, step away from being seminarians, we step into being colleagues. I looked around the room that day and thought, wow, the ELCA, you are about to get a whole group of amazing pastors. Watch out world, here comes the LSTC Graduating Class of 2012.