My time as Vicar here at Ascension Lutheran Church has been good. I have learned many things through the activities of preaching, teaching, bible study, committee meetings, one on one conversation, the intern support group, and prayer. My wife Halima and I were happy to be assigned to this congregation. We felt the opportunity for growth is present in this space. Pastor Tim has a solid reputation as an internship supervisor. The changing dynamics of this community from a suburban space to an urban space is intriguing and has allowed for unique pastoral responses, such as our collective focus on “Living In the Tension.” Two weekly services, one traditional and another contemporary allowed our family to experience different worship styles. We like the variety. I have always had significant relationships with people older than me and the average age of this community has been a joy filled discovery. I find my elders to be full of insight and wisdom, consistently observing behaviors, while identifying needs and providing a spirit of stability that is only found in Christ centered praying folks.
The Word of God is full of guidance and direction. Our bible studies have explored the breadth and depth of our Lord’s promises. The challenges, pain, memories rooted in lament, joy secured through faith, forgiveness which leads to hope, and grace filled affirmation, combined together, have provided good Christian fellowship with many memorable laugh out loud moments. Upon arrival, our family was welcomed and now we share a sense of intimacy with the community. When a family receives the gift of sharing a spiritually comfortable space where dreams, worries, conflicts, and a deeper understanding of love both within the family and between the family and those outside of our nuclear group not only lives but thrives, the Holy Spirit is experienced. Our time at Ascension includes the presence of the Advocate.
My last day as vicar is Sunday July 17th, 2016. The work that I have been involved with here has been formative. I feel prepared for pastoral ministry in a way that was missing for me prior to my time in this community. Preaching has been a wonderful gift. Theological correctness, practical application, and generational connections have been primary in my biblical interpretation. Learning how to go forward after skipping a word, a sentence, or a thought has found a home in my spiritual tool box. I feel confidence. Exposure to the technical aspects of congregational life have opened my eyes to things like mortgages, contracts, insurance, and legal concerns. Emotional health is important to me and I spend time thinking about it and consciously working toward it. The team at Ascension is a wonderful companion in the many healthy triangles we share. Our family feels prayed for and that has made all the difference.
- Vicar Dale
JULY SCRIPTURE READINGS