Where Did April Go?

As I sit here writing today, I realize that I had no blog posts at all during the month of April. It seems that every time I thought to myself “I really need to update my blog,” some other more urgent task took precedence. The month of April seems like a blur – Holy Week and Easter services now long gone, a visit with my parents in Indiana, and paper writing; a brief visit from my dear friend Alice Ann, church stuff and sermons, and more paper writing; senior class committee stuff, clergy meetings and workshops, and even more paper writing. Yes, paper writing … or perhaps I should say paper contemplation has occupied much of my time of late. The actual writing of the papers this semester has been a challenge for me. I enjoy writing, am generally a pretty decent writer, and usually once I set my mind to writing, I get it done within the timeframe specified, without too many ill effects. Not so this semester. Perhaps it has to do with the subject matter in my classes: Race, Gender and Power in the Hebrew Bible in which we have looked at really difficult texts, trying to make sense (if that is possible) of some pretty horrific acts toward women and other marginalized persons in our Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament); The Problem of Evil in which we have contemplated what classical theism, protest theology, process theology, and Trinitarian theology all have to say about suffering and evil as it exists in this world; Christian Social Ethics in which we have looked at issues of racism, classism and sexism in our contemporary society; and Spiritual Autobiography in the Wesleyan Tradition in which we have read the autobiographical works of many men and women in our rich heritage, elicited memories from our own lives, and shared some of our own personal stories in preparation to write our own spiritual autobiography.

As I write this and actually see it in print, I realize that the subject matter has indeed been difficult stuff! Yet I recognize, too, that some of my difficulty in writing this semester has been related to my own anxiety over the future. I will receive my MDiv from MTSO exactly three weeks from today (actually right around this time of the morning, too – 11am). And I know that I will be pastoring a new church somewhere effective July 1, but I don’t know where that is yet. The appointment process in The United Methodist Church can be tedious, and often those in the process do not know where they are going to be until late May or early June. I keep reminding myself to trust that it will all work out. Indeed I know that God has called me to this place and I firmly place my trust in that. Placing my trust in systems and structures, however, is a bit more challenging. Yet I know that God is in the midst of those systems and structures, creating, re-creating, and transforming those structures (and the people in them!) toward the best possible good. I appreciate the prayers of my faithful blog readers over the next few weeks as it all comes together. Indeed all will be well.

Until next time, peace …

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2 Responses to Where Did April Go?

  1. Jean Gab; says:

    I can’t imagine not being able to have time to mentally and logistically prepare for pastoring a new place. We still don’t know who’s coming to pastor our church, or with which church we will be sharing a pastor. My dad doesn’t know yet who will be replacing him — so there are a lot of people out there who are maybe even unaware they’re going to be asked to move before July. This may not have been such an issue when every church had a parsonage, but these days, moving can be much more complicated, with a lot of packing involved and looking for new housing and all So anyway, I am praying you find yourself in the best possible situation, and that you are given the physical stamina and emotional strength to do what He needs you to do.

    • Robin Dillon says:

      Thanks, Jean. I appreciate the support. I continue to hold Holmesburg in my prayers, too, as I know you are all anxious to hear what will happen next. It’s interesting … I am having many conversations with my seminary colleagues these days about the various denominational systems and their processes for calling/appointment pastors. No system is perfect, of course, but I am grateful for our connectional UM system. Peace to you …

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