Student pastoral interns prepare for their first Christmas

Dec 6

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 9:52 AM  RssIcon

The season of Advent is the season of preparation, a time to prepare ourselves for Christ’s coming at Christmas. As individuals we think of preparing our hearts and minds to receive this gift of Christ, but what kind of preparation do pastors and other servant-leaders in the church undertake to guide our churches in anticipation and hope through the season? We asked a couple of Wesley students serving as student pastors to reflect on their preparation during this Advent season from their new, ‘behind-the-pulpit’ perspective. 
 
Melisaa Allison“Preparing for Christmas this year has been very different than before. Growing up I was always doing something for the Christmas Eve service – participating in drama performances, reading Scripture, or playing/singing music. I used to think memorizing my lines or practicing my music was the hardest preparation I would have to do for a Christmas Eve service. But this year the preparation started long before we got into Advent. We had to prepare for the season of preparation you might say. My pastor and I started talking in late October/early November about details for the Advent sermon series, for the ‘hanging of the greens,’ for Sunday School and youth group activities that would reflect upon the season, for worship Sunday morning, etc. The other big change for me this year is that I won't be spending Christmas with my family. Christmas falling on a Sunday this year has complicated my ability to get home for the holidays so I won't be going home until New Years Day. It will probably be the biggest change to deal with, but I know that celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior with my [Practice in Ministry and Mission] site will be very special and wonderful way to spend Christmas as well.
 
--Melissa Allison, Youth Pastor/Pastoral Intern at Oak Chapel United Methodist Church
 
“Being on the other side of the pulpit has profoundly changed the paradigm for my advent 'preparation,' especially as I engage the earlier lectionary texts of advent that have more to do with the second coming and apocalyptic aspect of Advent. It's one thing to prepare, even in a materialistic sense, for the liturgical celebration of Christmas. But as I was asked to preach on the first week of advent, I found myself addressing the second coming of Christ, and trying to bring balance to not only the annual advent season but the advent season of this world as we hammer out how we wait and prepare for our savior’s return. Advent for me has become more than the Christmas season but a time to re-evaluate how prepared I am for Christ's second and ultimate coming.”
 
--Dave Santiago, Pastoral Intern at Christ Crossman United Methodist Church

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