|Albert and Pastor Joel Dykstra|
(Albert's supervising Pastor)
They say that the older you get, the faster that time goes. There is much truth to that.
I am sitting at my desk back in Illinois, and thinking where has time gone? It seems like only yesterday that we made the trip over the ocean to begin my first year of studies. Now I am about to begin my final year. Someone asked me yesterday if I felt I knew two thirds of what I needed to know. It certainly doesn't feel like it! Of course, my learning isn't going to stop at the end of three years of study here at Mid America. Learning never ends!
But Seminary does. I am about to begin year number three, the last one. As always, it will be a busy semester, completing 16 hours.
This semester I will be doing the following subjects: Applied Apologetics, Ecclesiology, Christian Ethics, Preaching from Revelation in the Exilic/ Post Exilic periods, Interpretation of Revelation in the Exilic/ Post Exilic periods, and Missions and Evangelism. I am looking forward to it!
In this final year we are expected to preach 12 times, with eight of these being original sermons (not repeats). It is always enjoyable to go out and visit new congregations, and get to talk with people from many different backgrounds. It is one of the real strengths of the Ministerial Apprenticeship Programme that we complete as part of our studies.
Another part of this programme is the two summer internships that are required to be completed. If you have been following the blog you will have seen plenty of photos of what we have been up to as a family on my day off during our time in Ontario.
But other than one day a week off I have been busy over the Summer. Wellandport URC is a big church (600+), with plenty to do. Over the 11 weeks I managed to preached 21 times, which basically works out to twice a Sunday. One Sunday I preached three times, and that was pretty hard work, it still surprises me how tired I am after preaching.
Other than preaching I would meet with my supervising pastor once a week, making various visits, as well as leading a Bible Study on Wednesday evenings. There were also Council and Consistory Meetings to attend, which were very helpful in terms of a learning experience.
We very much enjoyed our Summer in Wellandport, we were made to feel very welcome, and made many new friends, some who we hope to see here in Chicago before we head back to New Zealand. (We will hold you to your promises to come and visit!)
In terms of my sense of call, it continues to strengthen, both internally, and also through the encouragement of others. That is both encouraging and humbling. The future is becoming more real for us in terms of pastoral ministry.
In the meantime we are enjoying time with my parents, who are here from New Zealand till the beginning of next month. It is awesome to be able to see them in the flesh after having not seen them for the past two years. Skype is excellent, but it isn't the same.
We are enjoying showing them the sights, and we are looking forward to heading into Chicago on Saturday to experience the Chicago Air and Water Show.
Thank you very much for your support and prayers. We do not feel that we make this journey alone. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Till Next Time,