Effective June 2nd following our unified worship and picnic, Vicar Nathan Huffman[i] will have completed his first year seminary field work at Messiah. During his year, he spent 7-10 hours per week assisting at worship, visiting members, and receiving required vocational counseling. He also preached three Sundays and completed requirements to be accepted into the Navy’s chaplaincy program. (He was sworn into the Navy Individual Ready Reserves in May as an Ensign, and he will begin his military training this summer.) This is only the beginning of his journey toward ordained ministry. He has three more years of seminary training which will include a year assignment as a full-time intern, along with military chaplaincy training throughout.
It will be sad to say goodbye to Vicar Nate, but it is also a joy to know we have helped him on his way. He has learned more about himself, his call, and Christ’s church by sharing in our ministry and our lives, and we, too, have been blessed. Wherever he goes, we will be part of the blessing he brings, and he will remain part of the love our community shares. He’ll travel the world, but we will remain in communion through the love of Jesus Christ and our on-going shared mission.
As we move forward, council, the mutual ministry team and I intend to explore options for another field education or full-time intern placement. It has been a great experience for us, for Nate and the church. Why not let the good times roll?
Bon voyage, Nate. We hope our paths will cross again many times in the future. Until then, “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19), Christ is with us always and loves us. Our journey together will never end.
[i] In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the title “vicar” indicates a pastoral intern. Vicar Huffman is a first year student at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA.
The above pastoral letter was originally published in Messiah Lutheran Church and School’s newsletter, The Messenger (June 2013 edition). To view the entire issue of The Messenger or to see the full calendar of events, visit: http://www.mlcas.org
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
© 2013 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.