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Newletter

May 2018

 

“Don’t be afraid to believe in the visions God gives you and don’t be afraid to pursue them on behalf of God and God’s people.”    - Brian K. Blount

 

The quote above came from a sermon presented by Brian K. Blount, on the occasion of the ordination of one of his students.  Ordination was not on my “List of Things to Do Before I Die”.  Being a pastor was not what I dreamed of being, when I was a little girl.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t think much about God until I became an adult, with children of my own.  And then, a funny thing happened - I found that I really enjoyed attending worship services and participating in church activities.  I became close with my pastor, who encouraged me to think outside of the box when it came to worship planning and participation in the church.  I am forever grateful to Pastor Carlton Howells for planting seeds that would grow - very slowly - but they would, indeed, grow.

 

It was about twenty years ago that I first dared to say the words, “I think I want to be a pastor”.  But, like most people who have heard a call, I found many excuses to ignore that call:  I had three children to raise, I had a spouse whose career came first, I am a woman, I am too old.  Throughout the past twenty years, the vision of serving God in the role of pastor kept teasing me.  I kept using those excuses and, to be honest, I was afraid - afraid that I wasn’t smart enough, good enough, Christian enough.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted by the Candidacy committee; that I wouldn’t be accepted into seminary.  I was afraid to believe that God was truly calling me.

 

Fast forward to two and a half years ago.  I finally couldn’t deny that voice any more.  I again said those words; “I think I want to be a pastor.”  Thanks to the encouragement of Keith and all of the pastors, I began a five-year journey toward ordination.  It was scary to be interviewed by the entire candidacy committee of the synod.  It was very scary to start school again, after so many years.  Honestly, it was scary to stand before all of you, in your congregations, and lead worship for the first time.  You are all very kind, and I am blessed to have you on this journey with me.  I am learning so much from all of you.  God is good.

 

I find that I am becoming more confident on this journey, and I can see an ordination service in my future.  While, at the beginning, it seemed like such a long time, the past two and a half years have flown by.  In October, I received my Entrance decision from our synod.  One step closer!  At the end of this summer, I will have completed 20 of the 30 credits that I need to receive my master’s degree in Divinity.  I have officially announced my intention to retire from Dollar Bank in January, 2019, when I will begin my internship.  I am not afraid, anymore.  I believe in this vision and I am pursuing it on behalf of God and His people.

 

What is your vision - for yourself, your congregation and for PLUM?  Believe and Pursue!

 

Yours in Christ,

 

Sue Devine, Seminarian

 

         

   
 

Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773