This summer 14 Candler students are serving in ministry through Candler Advantage, a paid summer internship in conjunction with Candler’s Contextual Education Program. Over the course of the summer many of these students will be sharing their experiences here on the blog.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” Psalm 32:8
This summer I have had the opportunity through the Office of Contextual Education to serve at Loganville First United Methodist Church. When I tell Candler students about my position, their first response is… “Where is Loganville?” If you are from Atlanta and in the market for a new or used car, you might know where Loganville is. For everyone who doesn’t know, Loganville is located roughly halfway between Atlanta and Athens.
Loganville is a historically small country town that has been absorbed by the growth of metro Atlanta. Loganville First UMC was my Contextual Education site last year, and now I am serving the church full time for the summer. There is something that happens when you begin to work in a church full time. Those stories that pastors tell about their congregants that seem ridiculous all of a sudden seem to make sense. I seem to be in the middle of issues I once distanced myself from. Even when conflict arises and nothing seems to be going right, God reveals God’s self in the people of the church every single day. Most importantly, for me, the church that was a small part of my life has become a challenging and sustaining part.
One of the many great things about this congregation is that they have accepted a call to help support and train young people in ministry. This congregation has welcomed me with open arms and has allowed me to be a part of every area of ministry. They have been very supportive of me in my successes and in my failures. This summer at Loganville First has helped me further define my call. Now, I see more clearly my gifts with youth and young adults as well as areas in which more growth is needed.
This experience this summer has been challenge, rewarding, and life changing. I hope and pray that Loganville First will continue to support young ministry, and any Candler student wishing to pursue full time ministry will seriously consider the Candler Advantage program.