Kristen Koger, Pastoral Intern/Resident Report 2015
January 29th marks the 4th anniversary of my walking through the doors of Tabernacle Baptist Church. It was by total accident that I ended up in worship on that day, but I sure am glad I did. It was the Epiphany season; walking into the church was a little intimidating with the big building, and not knowing where to go. I knew handful of BTSR students who attended at Tabernacle, but wasn’t sure where to find them once I arrived; they didn’t know I was coming. I walked into the sanctuary and had the same response many folks have as they arrive during Epiphany- “Wow. What is this place?” Stars were careful hung above the pews, blue and white fabric was spread around the room, twinkling lights glowed on the communion table- it was magical.
For me, the Epiphany season has taken on new meaning in the last four years. For me, it is a time to slow down and be still after a busy holiday season. I will often find myself picking up books- both ones that are new friends and ones that are old favorites- and spending time reflecting on the words that have been written much more eloquently than I could ever hope to write. It’s a time of re-centering, reflecting on the past and dreaming about the future.
This past year was packed full with more milestone events than I ever thought possible- ordination, moving to “grown-up” housing, graduation, finishing one job, transitioning from intern to resident. It felt like the entire year was spent moving forward. To be honest, I never really felt settled because I was always getting ready for the next milestone. There were wonderful moments of ministry that happened in the midst of the moving. Moments I won’t soon forget.
When the winter/spring season arrived, I spent my Wednesday nights leading the marriage enrichment group discussion as we looked at our family systems. This fall, I led a discussion group on Sunday mornings focused on the sexuality dialogue that was happening on Wednesday evenings for adults. Both of these opportunities gave me the chance to interact with adults in a different way than I have before. This summer, I had the opportunity to travel with the youth to UniDiversity Youth Camp and then travel to Metro Baptist Church for CLUE Camp. Both of these trips brought new levels of conversation and connection with our students. I also continued to work with our Children’s Leadership Team as the size and demographic of our children’s ministry continues to grow and change. We are seeing more children in the building each week than we have in many years. It’s a wonderful thing to have new faces and new life joining us on a regular basis.
I continue to be grateful for the love of support shown to me from each of you. I am growing more and more comfortable in my own skin each passing week. You offer a wonderful space to live in challenge, learning, growth, and love. Never have I felt as safe in a place as this one- a place where mistakes can be made and grace flows abundantly; a place where challenges are not seen as a threat, but something we work through together; a place where all are welcome, laughs carry through the hallway, and love exudes from the very fiber of our being. Well done, Tabernacle Baptist Church. You continue to show me what it means to be Church. Keep up the good work.
In Christ’s service,
Pastoral Intern/Resident 2015