three years

I can’t believe I forgot my third anniversary with my church.   But it’s ok, because the church didn’t remember either.  On August 1, 2006 I came to work for the first time at my first real job.  Back then, I was the Director of Ministries and Education and no one, including me, could ever remember my title – so I was usually introduced as the DCE or youth director – neither of which were accurate, but it worked. 

I was so naive, so unprepared for what was to come.  I knew that they had been without anyone in my position for about nine months and that the person had been fired.  But I was lead to believe that it was a good thing and everyone was in agreement.  I guess I didn’t ask the right questions. 

What I discovered in my first few weeks was that many families left the church because of what happened.  I remember making my pro/con list before accepting the postion.  On my pro list was that there were several pretty awesome youth advisors (none of whom I knew personally, but some I knew through others), so I thought it would be great to have people on board that already knew the youth and could help lead programs.  NOTSOMUCH…all of those people were among the families who left.  So here I was cleaning up nine months worth of the job not really getting done and without many of the volunteers that the church had relied on in the past.   Not to mention all of the people who stayed in the church but were still very hurt and angry over the situation.  Oh, brother.  I was in way over my head.  But I made it, and I am stronger for it.

THEN, about a year later – in August of 2007, the church graciously called me as their very first ever Associate Pastor, and I was ordained and installed as such (while being nine months pregnant).  So I took on some more roles, and my title actually fit what I was doing – broad and general and all over the place, but not in charge of anything.     Even though I had been here for a year and was getting the hang of things, there were now new things on my list, new ways to grow into my calling.   I still felt a bit over my head.  But I made it, and I am stronger for it.

THEN, about six months after that, the pastor decided to up and retire in June 2008.   We (session) decided that since he had been here for 33 years and was the founding pastor, that it would make some sense to wait a couple of months before hiring an interim, so for 2.5 months, we filled in with supply preachers – it was a good summer, a great learning experience for me.  BUT THEN, the search committe found the person they wanted who couldn’t start until November…another two months of no interim/me flying solo.  great.  I was 27, solo pastor, what were they thinking?!  Really, I look back and I wonder how we ever made it through – I had no idea what I was doing, but I relied on God and our amazing session, and we made it and we’re stronger for it.

THEN, two weeks ago, things weren’t working out with our interim, so we parted ways.  So here I sit once again flying solo.  It’s really been an incredible three years.  If you had asked me on August 1, 2006 if I would/could have done the things I’ve done, I would have laughed in your face and then maybe cried a little from shear fear and anxiety.

But I’ve made it.  Then church has made it.  And we’re stronger for it. 


3 Responses

  1. Dorothy, you’re awesome. That is all.

  2. I am so proud of you!

  3. Not sure how you have managed to do it all- but I know that the church os so blessed to have you there. You are my minister/mom role model!

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