It is hard to believe that this time last year, I was writing my first Quartlery Business Report! Man, how time has flown! Since we last met in April, I have completed my master’s degree, moved houses, adopted a dog, finished an internship, begun a residency, and continued to live into this wildly wonderful calling.

As my internship came to an end in the end of April, I had the opportunity to lead my first funeral. My best friend’s grandfather passed away, and I was honored to be asked to officiate. Not only was this my first funeral, but the funeral was held at the church I grew up in in North Carolina. Many of the people sitting in the pews watched me grow up, but they had not seen me in a decade, let alone in a clergy robe. It was a surreal but extremely humbling experience. There have been a handful of times when I have felt completely confident in my calling while at the same time stepping completely out on faith and trusting the God will lead and be present in the moment; this funeral is one of those times. I am confident that I would have been much more nervous leading this funeral had I not been given the opportunity to participate in the funeral process while interning at Tabernacle.

The first three months of my residency have been extremely filled and fulfilling. I’ve been preparing for the flexibility that summer demands. I co-directed Vacation Bible School alongside Megan Strollo, and it was a wonderful week! I will also have the opportunity to return to UniDiversity with a group of youth this month, and am looking forward to spending time with this great group of youth we are taking. My summer travels will wrap up as I head to CLUE Camp at Metro Baptist Church. In the moments I have left this summer, I will spend it gearing up for the fall with some teacher trainings and looking at our children and family ministries and how we can continue to provide stellar care for the youngest among us.

If I had to come up with one word to describe the last quarter, it would be “preparation.” Personally, I prepared for some pretty big transitions in my own life as chapters ended and new ones began. I said goodbye to the comforts and routine of education and prepared for a different routine that comes with full-time work. I said goodbye to being okay with staying in my comfort zone and prepared to be stretched and changed in this line of work.

I also feel as if our church is in a season of preparation. Over the last twelve months, the air has changed in the hallways; the energy is different in the building. And it’s exciting! Big things are happening in this little church that could. As we continue to live into what it means to be Tabernacle, but more importantly, what it means to be Church, I am praying that the Spirit moves through each of us as individuals and as the Church. I am praying that we are all open to the ways that we can be a part of the holy work God has intended for this family on the corner of Grove and Meadow.

Grace and peace,

Kristen Koger, Pastoral Resident

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