An Update on Our Pastoral Interns
Who knew two years ago when we first started the pastoral internship program that we would soon be facing one of the largest pastoral crises in a generation? The Lord, that’s who. As our confession reminds us, “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass” (Westminster Confession of Faith 3.1) and, to be honest, I couldn’t imagine weathering this particular pastoral storm without our interns.
From the moment we found ourselves in this situation, all of our interns jumped on board to eagerly serve in whatever capacity they could. This has meant a wholesale re-writing of many of their responsibilities or giving them responsibilities for which they never signed up. It is not uncommon these days to see a small gaggle of them (never more than two or three, social distancing rules and all!) carrying armloads of audio and video equipment around the church grounds preparing for our next round of content creation. They have learned how to record, edit, and publish content on a variety of platforms over these past seven weeks, all the while still trying to serve their various ministry areas in reaching out to members,
leading prayer groups and Bible studies. Not to mention continuing in their school responsibilities!
Early mornings? No problem. Long days? No complaints. Late nights? Not an issue. Again and again, they have risen to whatever challenge has been placed before them. And, believe me, each week we place some new challenge before them! Much of their effort is behind the scenes (literally!), but I have had the enormous privilege of watching them work, and their selfless response has been a visible demonstration to me of God’s love for you, his people of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC. So, I thought you should know in order that you may be encouraged as well. God knew this was coming, and He has been preparing us for it for years.
The next time you see one of the interns (Josh Adair, Devin Coleman, Ronny Hull, Beck Otersen, and Billy Pierce), even if only on a Zoom call, give them a pat on the back. They deserve it. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21).
Minister of Counseling