Ok, so I've finally found a moment to blog. I'm all moved in to my room at the place others have lovingly referred to as, "The Mothership." Man, this has been SOME week, though. This is probably going to be a long post, so you might want to pop a bag of popcorn or something...
First off, I lied. I unplugged my computer Saturday afternoon. Thus, no new posts since then. So, I'm sorry; it was an unintentional lie. My bad. My sibs wanted to go as soon after worship as possible. So, I unplugged my computer and had it all ready to go with all of my other stuff. Sunday morning came around I went to worship. I talked with a few people before church started, and Pastor came up to me with the alb he told me he was going to give me. He had it cleaned, and an alb bag made for it. He also included the cincture (sp?) and a wooden cross, so I went and hung it up on the coat rack so it wouldn't get all wrinkle worn in the pew with me. Pastor is an awesome guy. He has been a tremendous influence on me and I don't know where I'd be without him. So, even though he doesn't read this, I'd like to say a big fat, "Thank YOU, Pastor!"
Ma and I were then waiting and waiting and waiting in the fellowship hall for my sisters who said they would be there. But, they weren't coming, so we went in and sat down when it was almost time for the service to begin. The ushers seated us and a minute later, Sis, BiL, Howard, and YS came in and sat down with us. Then, not 10 seconds later, my older brother (the one who didn't come to my graduation party) came in and sat with us, too! Which is awesome because he NEVER comes to church. He's baptized and confirmed, but he hasn't been to worship in years. I had told him about it being my last Sunday, but he didn't seem too enthusiastic. Boy was I surprised when he came in! Pleasantly surprised.
Anyway, worship started and Pastor started leading the service. After one of the hymns, he said, "You may be seated, but I'd like to invite Trish up here for a minute." So, I walked up there and he had a little book up front with him. He mentioned to the congregation that I was leaving for Seminary soon after worship. That made the church clap. I was touched. And then he did the brief order of service for "Farewell and Godspeed." It basically said, "Trish, you were baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit here, you were confirmed here, and you have been encouraged here. The Holy Spirit has empowered you to go forth to further discern your call to public ministry. We wish you farewell and Godspeed." And that's not at all a direct quote because it was just sort of overwhelming (in a good way) and so I didn't get a chance to really memorize what was said. But then, after that was over, Pastor said, "Don't go anywhere yet." And he went behind the pulpit and brought some stuff out. He told me that the quilting group had been very busy and that they made me two quilts. Since they knew my favorite color is orange, (Did I ever mention I wear bright orange shoelaces?) and because the colors of my seminary are orange and black, they made one quilt orange and black squares, and one is orange with some patterns in the other squares. They are both very nice. One is now on my futon and the other is on my bed. I look at them and think of home.
But, that wasn't the end. Pastor also presented me with the new ELCA worship book, "Evangelical Lutheran Worship." They had purchased 25 of them to give to the seminary, and I guess they probably bought one for me to take. And finally, I was given "The Lutheran Handbook for Pastors." I was so humbled I can't even begin to tell you. The people at my home congregation are just wonderful. They've all been so supportive and loving that I am just in awe. I love 'em!
So, after that, I sat down, put my quilts and books in the empty pew ahead of me, and worship ended soon thereafter. The ushers got up and were dismissing us. Since we sit toward the front, only one pew got out before us. When I got to the back, Pastor said, "Put that stuff right there young lady. These people are going to want to wish you off!" And so I put my stuff in the last (empty) pew and stood behind him. Almost everyone gave me a hug and well wishes. I shared some words with the people, and especially with the people who have been more vocal and intentional about their support of me. But, I'm truly appreciative of EVERYONE in that congregation.
After everyone greeted us, I talked for a little while with some more of the people, and then I had to go home. When I got there, Sis, BiL, Howard, YS, and YSB had pretty much crammed everything into the vehicles. So, I just had to get a few things squared away and we left. On the way out of town, I rolled down my window and yelled, "BYE MYTOWN!"
We stopped for lunch at a good place we've eaten before,and an hour after that we were at Seminary. The Sibs and their guys helped me move in and get me settled, for the most part. The guys went with me to a local retailer and I bought a refrigerator. BiL also told me to have it delivered and he'd put the money in my account. It's nice having a fridge, but there isn't much in it right now. I'm too chicken to find my way around town. Soon after that, it was time for them to go because it was starting to snow and stuff outside. I was sad when they left, though. I have never lived away from home before because I commuted to college all four years. It's weird thinking that my family is three hours away and in another state. I have to admit that I was really homesick for the first few days, but today I'm feeling better about it.
On Monday, Pastor was here doing some continuing education. I had called Ma on Sunday night and Pastor and his wife were at my house with my oldest brother whom we shall call Mark, (the one who didn't come to my graduation thing) and his wife. I gave Ma my room telephone number and she probably gave it to Pastor because he called me Monday and we went to lunch. It was good. I felt better with him here because I hate being a complete hermit, but was not feeling well enough to go socialize. So, we went to lunch and he went to his continuing ed thing, and he called again before he left. I think he's coming again this coming Monday. I don't know for sure though.
My Internet wasn't working until yesterday, but we got that figured out. I was bummed when I got here because I didn't see many people. But, Monday, I was going into my room and I saw someone at the end of the hall. She said hi, so I said hi back. I'm REALLY glad that I didn't run straight into my room because she came down and talked to me for a good long while. It turns out, she's a student who works here. She answered a bunch of my questions, and she offered to help get me squared away with some stuff. She also helped me get the Internet going! It took some extra effort on her part, but I AM SO GRATEFUL!! She deserves a medal.
Tuesday also started CPE orientation. That has been really intense. I'm slightly afraid, but I'm confident that while it will be challenging, and at times frustrating, I plan on learning and growing a lot. So, I'm nervous and excited. Tomorrow is the last day of orientation and I offered to do the first "on call" Saturday. I don't really know what I was thinking when I volunteered for that! Pray for me!
And now, I need to log off, get my stuff set out for tomorrow, do a little reading, and head to bed. I haven't slept well this week, being in a new place and all. Later I will tell you a funny (I think) story about one night's quest for the beloved 8 hours... Have a good one, and sorry this was so long. I needed to get it out here so I could think about it. Have a good one.