Onto the Next Year

Pictures With A Thousand (ish) Words

As this year is ending, and a new one is about to begin, it seems like a good idea to write about it. It was either this or one of those mandatory New Year’s Eve Facebook post. What can I say; I’m a words person. Sue me. In this post, you’ll find some of my favorite things, experiences, and people who I’ve crossed paths with in 2014. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Harvest Summer Intern

Between June and August 2014, I was an intern at Harvest United Methodist Church. I lived and worked in Sarasota (Lakewood Ranch), Florida, learning about how to better do effective ministry, especially in the areas of children and youth ministry.

Some highlights…
• Being able to preach on a week when the pastors were out of town
• Learning how to work in a variety of settings at the same time, and discovering which “hats” I wear the best
• Spending many evenings a week hanging out with the awesome Hy5 youth group kids, which included fun activities like Tuesday Brewsday and Hump Day Funday
• Working in an office with Connie and Catherine, and being surrounded by awesome staff in the office always popping in to chat
• Serving under Catherine and Steve, two of the best pastors/people I’ve been blessed to work with
• Building relationships with my co-youth-interns, JE and Sydney, truly fun people with big hearts for ministry
• Playing around with kids during Sunday School, water nights, and VBS
• Beach days!
• Hearing Alaska jokes day in and day out
• Crazy amazing people like Sid, Nikki (I hope you read this and are really thankful I chose this picture), Colin, Caty, Ava, Gabby, Kayla, Michael, Christine, Sam, Anna, Vivi, Lexi, Adrienne, Cade, Hailey, Lauren, Maddi, Olivia, just to name a few
• Hash-tagging with the youth all summer long without sounding crazy

Residence Life

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve most definitely had the opportunity to see my posts about #reslifeproblems or general whining about being an RA. That’s a fact Jack. However, I’ll just go ahead and confess that being a part of UMW Residence Life was the greatest experience of my life so far. Not only did I learn a ton about dealing with people and being a leader, I also had more fun that I’d imagine.
Some Highlights…
• Hall-o-ween, also known as hell week for us RA’s
• When residents visited me on duty, a rare but welcome occurrence
• Being an orientation leader with the goal of making my group members have a smooth transition into college
• Learning to drop my judgement in order to befriend persons whom I never would have considered hanging out with (cough, cough, Shelby Newman…)
• Always having my “family” around, and knowing that they are always available to help me and each other out
• Deny it if you want co-res lifers, but I loved that look residents give you when they get caught
• Knowing that every day was going to be different, full of new and often times unbelievable situations for me to work through

Boston/New York City
My dad and I went on a trip to the East Coast, first being to Boston. While there, we got to watch Jeter’s last two games at Fenway, which was awesome. We also visited Boston School of Theology, one of the seminaries I hope to be accepted to.

Following this, we met up with students and faculty from Western to tour around NYC. While here, I got to visit the MOMA and Metropolitan museums, see and tour the NYC Ballet, and see Phantom of the Opera and Wicked on Broadway. Also, there was lots of shopping involved. I spent a lot of time with Nicole, Zach, Katie, Kyle, and Shawn, and loved every minute of it.

University of Montana Western
This past year has been really incredible in terms of school. It’s been the first full year that I’ve known for sure that I want to head to seminary to be a pastor. I’ve been able to let my education professors know about this plan, and they have all been extremely supportive. Because of this, I really was working through a “pastor lens”, allowing myself to imagine my career just a bit more. I made the deans list each semester I was at Western, and am excited to see my hard work pay off soon.
I accepted an internship in Seattle beginning in January at the Bishop’s office. When this is done, I’ll be fully done with my undergrad, then will graduate in May 2015. After this, I’m planning to head to grad school in the Fall of 2015 to get my Mdiv, then be ordained.
Western was 100% a great choice for me. Because of caring professors and faculty, I was able to get my Elementary Education major and Literacy Education minor in four years, thank goodness.

Las Vegas
On Christmas Day, our family headed to Vegas for a little vacay while both us “kids” were home. We stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel, keeping us plenty busy with things to do.

Some Highlights…
• Cirque De Soleil’s Michael Jackson One show
• David Copperfield
• Trampoline World
• Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings
• Watching Nick play poker like a champ
• CSI
• MGM Entertainment Focus Group and TV Screening

Some of the people I may or may not have mentioned,
but have especially meant a lot to me this year…

Adam, Alyssa, Brandon, Bryson, Charlie, Cody, Dakota, Dalton, David, Dilan, Emily, Erik, Erin, Erin, Gates, Harold, Helen, JE, Jenny, Jess, Jordan, Joyce, Kaitlyn, Lacie, Lexi, Maddie, Michelle, Nikki, Niquelle, Noah, Shaelyn, Shelby, Shelby, Sid, Taylor, Tyler, Valerie

To everyone else who was a part of my 2014, thank you too.
It’s been a year to remember, and I can’t even wait to see what God has planned for 2015!

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