Below is a copy of the Temple Talk given at the outdoor service of worship on January 17th, as there was updated information after the filming of the online worship service.
I’m so excited to be here with you this morning to share a word about what is happening in my own journey to fulfill God’s call in my life to ordained ministry.
Some of you have been following along on my candidacy journey to become a Deacon over the past few years, and for some of you this will be brand new information! In our denomination, Ministers of Word and Sacrament (Pastors), and Ministers of Word and Service (Deacons) go through a similar 3 step candidacy process. The first step is entrance, then endorsement, and finally approval. I have completed my 2nd step, endorsement, and the last leg of my journey includes completing a 6 month internship.
What many of you might not know is that I have taken a bit of a strange journey through the candidacy process. The process is built for people to enter candidacy as they enter seminary, and their seminary would walk with them through the various steps. I didn’t discern my call to the word and service ministry until I was finishing my seminary studies, so my candidacy journey has been a bit of a challenge for myself and our synod to navigate, and I am grateful for the all the people, including our messiah family, who have worked hard to figure out answers and alternatives to help me navigate the process.
Part of a “normal” internship process would be to place a candidate in a congregation, where they didn’t know anyone. That is not the case for me, and for that I am very grateful, also when candidates are placed in these new places they are given a title, one to distinguish that they are called to ordained ministry, and are working towards fulfillment of that call. For both pastor and deacon candidates, that title is Vicar. The term vicar comes from the Latin word vicarius, and where we get our English word, vicarious. It means a substitute, or representative, and has historically been a term used in the Anglican and Episcopal traditions, and in our denomination is being used to refer to candidates for ministry on their internship. So I guess that makes me Vicar Sara!
An internship for a Deacon candidate normally includes a portion in a congregational setting, and a portion outside the walls of the church, as a Deacon’s role in the church is to help bridge the gap between the church and the world. My internship will involve me continuing in my role as Director of Faith Formation and will also continue to include things that have begun since the pandemic, like zoom fellowship and worship, and I’ll add a few new things along the way, which will help me with my development as a rosterd minister in the ELCA.
The other half of my internship will be working with the Latinx Ministry Initiative of the Southeastern Synod. This brand new initiative seeks to accompany Latinx communities throughout our synod, and help congregations utilize the tools they have to journey with their neighbors. My background in Spanish and resource creation are what drew the synod to suggest this as the other half of my internship.
A few of our messiah members are serving on my internship committee which will help with my growth as a deacon and will help the synod evaluate my time here on my internship. So if anyone seems like they are asking a lot of questions about me, its ok, its their job!
I’m excited for this new part of our journey together, and if you have any questions for me please reach out! Send me an email and I’ll set up a time to answer any of your questions. God bless!