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Diaconal Intern Reflection

By April 25, 2024No Comments

Hard as it is to believe, my time is ending at St John’s. At the beginning, the internship time seemed a long space to be filled. Now, I feel that it passed in a heartbeat. When I try to focus on all that happened, I find I could fill a library with all I experienced. So much happened that contributed to my growth as a person, a deacon, and a child of God – I can’t list it all in one page.

It is well known in the postulant world that when an internship becomes available at St John’s, everyone wants it. When I was granted the chance to come here to learn and grow, I was beyond thrilled. I was hopeful. I was positive. I was terrified.

I came from the only Episcopalian community I had known, and that was my first faith community in 30 years. St John’s welcomed me with open arms and open hearts. Recently I’ve been saying that as it takes a village to raise a child, I now know it takes a faith

community to raise a clergy person.

To this incredible St John’s community – Thank You! You taught me so much living as a community strong in who you are and not afraid face a demanding world. Whether it was different ways to execute the Liturgy, or how to serve another community, your faith is at the forefront. You live the Word inside this building in prayerful discernment and joyous gatherings and then take all within you to the outside world and respond to the need you see. Rarely was it ‘oh should we?’. It was usually ‘how can we?’ I’ve experienced how all of you have taken your faith into your being and shown it to the world each day. You live your faith by emulating the work of Jesus! I will follow your example in years to come.

The clergy of St John’s revealed themselves to be as varied in their practices and beliefs as they are strong in their faith. I heard the most amazing discussions between the clergy as they asked each other “why did that come about?” I was shown the importance in

building a homily looking to those hearing, not the one speaking. One regret is that I never set up a “Between the Ferns” conversation with Rex and Heidi.

Lisa and Rex are a great living example of a priest and deacon working together in the care of their community while staying true to the teachings of Christ. Each Order has its role and they continually live how those roles are meant to be lived here and beyond.

On a personal note: Thank you, Rex! No one can know the time he spent quietly nudging me out of my BCP nest. He never dictated how I am to be as a deacon, but Rex stressed why this time was important to my growth as a deacon in our faith. Rex encouraged my exploration into the different ways to worship and view our faith. He said do not be afraid to question and challenge, him or anyone else. I was given the strength to put on my Big Girl alb and be the deacon I was called to be and remain flexible to be the deacon needed as we all go forward.

I reported to Bishop Loya that I felt like the Gumby (a toy from the 70’s you would stretch its limbs and it would snap back) during this time. I may look the same, but I’ve been stretched in so many new ways to live into the Word.

I am grateful to you all now and forever!

Peace!

Colleen