Questions for the Seminarian
1. How have your learning goals been helpful/not helpful to your learning? What progress have you made toward the fulfillment of your learning goals? (Please include a copy of learning goals)
I’ve learned how to approach people who need help or care. People need different kinds of support for the issues that they may be facing in their life. Pastoral care is the concept used to refer to the social, spiritual, and emotional support that one gets from other people.
I focused on two people. At first, it was hard to reach out to them since they are elderly, and they have a hearing problem. I’ve sent them an email, mailed a card, and called every week.
I learned from an empathy approach and searched for appropriate resources which I was hoping to share with them. My resource list is limited beyond classroom learning and was glad my pastor/mentor recommended a few to me. I will look into more pastoral care resources in the next semester.
I’ve learned the most rewarding experience during my internship was the relationships that I developed. Even though I came into this internship wanting to share God’s love and serve. At first, it was awkward, and I didn’t know what to do. To get close to the children, I tried to know their names and approached them with their homework help and inclination to love music. To find a way to communicate with their non-English speaking skills. I utilized the power of technology using the translation feature from my smartphone to communicate with those who can’t speak English.
I still have the challenge in terms of ongoing communication. I struggled to bridge the gap in understanding Spanish and expressed in the English language the best way I could. I realize doing missions across cultures could be challenging and yet rewarding. I look forward to the second semester of building bridges and sharing my experience in my next preaching opportunity.
I haven’t had many opportunities to involve in women’s ministry this semester. Women’s ministry is something that is gaining popularity and there is a need to engage in it especially for women of color and the cultural dynamic where I came from. To strive for unity in the church, I yearn for people of all gender to gather in Godliness to encourage Christians and discipleship so that the lost are reached, and God is honored. I believe the whole church gains when the women’s ministry is appraised.
I was over-committed with family, work, and study and I had limited time to ask for a support group especially from a few women in my church or other women peers who are serving in churches. I would like to work on this and manage my time better for this needed support in the next semester.
2. What has been helpful/not helpful in your time together with your Pastor/Mentor? What was missing?
There are multiple conversations that I have which were very helpful in my time together with Rev. Florence Li. I am learning what ministry could be like. I have become more self-aware, socially aware, displaying emotion strength, and gaining confidence how to lead others, and work as a team. I learned how to communicate effectively, how to build and maintain professional relationships, value diversity of the community, identify and use strategies to effect change. Also, I learned my Christian calling as a woman, not only growing spiritually but knowing there are other women like me out there who are on the same path and called by God. I built more intimate relationship with Christ because Rev. Florence Li has encouraged me to invest in this relationship. As a result, I enjoyed my internship and have become mature in my faith. Additionally, I have gained a role model and a spiritual mentor during our time together. I have someone to guide, counsel, mentor, and encourage me to live in an honorable way to God.
There’s not much missing in this mentorship.
3. How have you incorporated the discipline of theological reflection in your experience? Describe how and why this has been useful or challenging.
Looking at the basic structure of a church, what I realize is that the church is a community of believers. The church is shepherded by a pastor who leads, and care for the church members in their day-to-day life. I learned the commitment and discipline needed to be called a shepherd. I come to understand faith is always being challenged in ministry and thus, learning how to heed my call and live my faith.
The discipline of theology enabled me to apply Christian calling and living faith in real-world situations. I learned to recognize my calling by engaging with my mentor who guided me along with the way and value relations with God as a woman leader and other Christians. The experience gained is important as I am still struggling to heed the call, accepting my weaknesses and strengths.
4. What, if anything, do you want to be different in the second semester? Are there any other comments you would like to share at this time?
What I would like to be different in the second semester is to add more practical lessons. Through theology practical lessons and assessment, I can utilize theoretical knowledge in real-world situations.
5. Any additional comments?
Parts of me didn’t think I was cut out to be an intern. I questioned whether I was intelligent, tough, or spiritual enough. It didn’t take long for me to learn that it wasn’t about me or my ability, but rather about God and my calling into Christian ministry.
Being an intern is difficult and demanding work, but I was constantly supported by my mentor, Site Team Chair, and church members. During my internship, they encouraged me to be myself, even mistakes were deemed acceptable and forgivable. I was never pressured to be someone I wasn’t or to be an expert in a field I didn’t know anything about. I was pushed to try things I did not have experienced and yet, I came out uplifted because of all the supports and God’s amazing grace.
Questions for the Seminarian