This summer has certainly been a long one. My last post (back in the beginning of June) was as I was finishing a week long residency for the Second 3 Years program. So much has happened in my life since then, but I will attempt to give you all a glimpse of what has been going on for me these past three months.
After the Second 3 Years residency in Virginia, I got back to Cincinnati just in time to go to the priesthood ordinations for two friends in my diocese and pack for another week long trip. This time, it was to a small town in Tennessee with a group of youth for St. Timothy's annual trip for the Appalachian Service Project. If you've never heard of ASP, the best way to describe it is as a relationship ministry that does home repair on the side. While we did a lot of physical labor down there, the bigger labor was that of love. We all grew close to the families we worked with and found that leaving them behind at the end of the week was a difficult task. We also grew closer to each other. During that week, new friendships were made, and old ones were strengthened.
We returned from that trip with just enough time for me to prepare for a week of Vacation Bible School with over 200 kids. Along with three helpers, I led a group of 23 fifth graders on what was, essentially, a Christian themed field day that lasted for five. I don't need to tell you how intense this week was (especially to all you teachers out there who deal with groups like this without additional help). As hectic and draining as this week was, it was still a wonderful week, ending in time for me to gather myself and prepare for my last Sunday at St. Timothy's.
Many of you already know that my two-year residency at St. Timothy's ended on June 30, with June 26 being my last Sunday. Leaving a place that feels like home is always paired with at least a little sadness, but I was able to also leave with a great sense of happiness at time well spent with people who loved me and helped me grow into my ministry. To all of you from St. Timothy's who are reading this, thank you so much for helping to prepare me for wherever I was to be called after leaving you. To those of you not yet aware, I left St. Timothy's without knowing where my next step would be.
At the end of June, I packed up my apartment and moved almost everything into storage. The next five weeks were spent as the "Super Sub" chaplain at Procter for our diocesan summer camps. Again, while my time spent there was physically draining, I have nothing but fond memories of my summer spent at camp. Three weeks in, I received a call to be the Priest-In-Charge of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Dayton, OH. The hours following that were filled with rejoicing and celebrating with the staff and youth who were at camp that week.
After camp ended, I finally gave myself a chance to take a break. With a couple weeks until I was to start at St. Andrew's, I took the opportunity go on an actual vacation: a four-day cruise to the Bahamas with my girlfriend! Neither of us had been on a cruise before, but we'd both readily go again. We got back from the cruise with enough time to catch our breath and relax before moving day arrived.
After a long and wonderful summer, moving day finally arrived a week and a half ago. Today was day one at St. Andrew's. I'm eagerly looking forward to many more days to come.