Today marks my three week mark of being here. I am really falling in love with living in Pennsylvania. Over the last few days, I've begun to get a sense of trusting that God called me here for a reason. Despite all that happened with my exam on the floor of Presbytery, I feel very empowered as a young, progressive female pastor. I had coffee last week with several area female clergy. It was great to meet others in the Presbytery and feel supported in this new ministry. Then, I was blessed to have lunch with a seminary friend who happens to work in a church about 20 minutes away. There's something very comforting about having a Columbia person not too far away - I suppose in Presbyterian circles we would refer to that as being a connectional church.
Last week, I had the opportunity to lend a hand at the Mobile Food Pantry here in Parkesburg. It happens on the fourth Wednesday of the month & people can come to receive assistance. It certainly opened my eyes to the extent of poverty in this area of Chester County. Chester is one of the wealthy counties in PA, but there are significant pockets of deep poverty and struggle. I am thankful the area churches & the Chester Co. Food Bank are able to help as many as we can in this area.
It has certainly been a crazy, exciting three weeks! I know there are lots of challenges ahead, but I am committed to remaining thankful for it all. I'm now setting my sights on this weekend - I am headed back to TN for my ordination service on Sunday afternoon. It's been such a long journey to get to this point. I'm not sure the full extent of it has sunk in yet. This whole thing feels surreal, but I plan to enjoy every moment of the weekend.