This past week has been Reading Week, dedicated to writing papers. Most of the campus is quiet, save for the few one finds in the library. This past Wednesday, I went out into my garden to search for new life emerging from the perennial bed planted last spring. To my delight all of the perennials and many of the bulbs are pushing forth! After a couple of hours of weeding it looked beautiful in its fresh, spring palate. It reflects the way I am beginning to feel. I, too, will soon shed my seminarian persona and begin to bloom in whatever ministry to which God calls.
The past two years I’ve worked on establishing a solid Biblical foundation. That along with my summer internship in Maine have given me two vigorous academic years. I’ve learned, studied with others, and preached and participated in healing ministry. I’ve also assisted at Christ Episcopal Church North Hills, and there helped plan and implement the 146th Convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. It’s also been a joy serving as a leader in Christ Church’s Stephen Ministry, and participating in a Women’s Retreat where over twenty women from three parishes shared in fellowship, prayer, and reflection.
It’s hard to believe, but true: by early May I will have completed all the requirements to complete a Master of Arts degree in Mission and will graduate on May 12th. How quickly it all seems to be ending. I confess a part of me wants to plan the next step and all the transition logistics that go with it. But I know the Lord will provide my sure direction. I’m looking forward to being in Charleston for Easter. With me will be two female, ordained African pastors – dear friends Mary and Lydia. I’ve learned so much from them about other cultures and their perspectives on Christianity. It has been a special privilege to be taught about mission from my advisor, Grant LeMarquand. He is soon-to-be consecrated as a bishop for the Horn of Africa. He and his wife, Wendy, will soon move to Ethopia.
I have been busy sending out letters of interest for positions in Christian Formation in churches and in school settings. God willing, I will be placed soon, and dig into the ministry that awaits. My time at Trinity has been an amazing blessing dedicated to personal spiritual growth though study, prayer, and reflection. One of the things I will miss most is my daily walk to Morning Prayer and Holy Communion in the Chapel. How hard it will be to leave behind so many friends and such memorable shared times of spiritual encouragement.
In addition to thanking the Lord, I especially want to thank all those who have devoted prayers and gifts of support to my seminary education. This has truly been an unforgettable time in my life. For now, I send you the “holy kiss” which was, historically, exchanged by saints.
~ Holly Craighead