Over the past few years, our congregation has enjoyed having various pastoral interns work among us. When we are approached by people seeking to intern with us, it is often with the expressed hope that our congregation has something to teach them as they test out their gifts in ministry. It takes a lot of grace to be a teaching congregation, and I am grateful for the ways that Columbus Mennonite gracefully and patiently seeks to nurture not just interns but all people stepping into new leadership roles. Indeed, my first year as pastor at CMC was my first time in a pastoral role, and I am eternally grateful for the love and support (and patience!) that has been shown to me.
But we do not just teach interns and other new leaders, we also strive to learn from them and welcome the ways their unique gifts can breathe new life among us. The best leaders find a way to lead from a place of authenticity, and we have been blessed by the many different personalities and gifts that have been shared with us.
I am thinking about our role as both a teaching and learning congregation for a number of reasons. For one, the congregation will vote on next year’s leadership slate at the congregational meeting this coming Sunday (May 5), and there are a lot of incoming leaders that are ready to breathe new life among us. May we be ready to learn from and follow their leadership and gifts.
Secondly, our current intern, Rachael Miller, will be ending her time with us in the next month. It has been an honor to walk with her as she has (re)tested her pastoral gifts, and I have greatly appreciated her calm, thoughtful approach to her work. We will be sending her with a blessing during worship on May 19th.
Lastly, we are anticipating the arrival of a new pastoral intern who will be with us through the summer. His name is Scott Litwiller and he is an AMBS student. I’ve included a short bio of him below. His first Sunday with us will be June 2 at the annual outdoor service, where he will be officially introduced to the congregation.
As we welcome new leaders and bless those who have ended their time with us, may we do so with gratitude and grace for the ways we are all called to be both teachers and learners.
Scott Litwiller grew up in rural, central Illinois. He is an Enneagram 7 and an ENFP on the Myers Briggs scale. While he is so much more than numbers and letters, he does find them helpful. Scott is an enthusiastic and cautiously optimistic extrovert who loves people and meaningful adventures. Prior to obtaining his MDiv in Christian Faith Formation from AMBS, Scott graduated from Canadian Mennonite University, spent 2 years in Barranquilla, Colombia with Mennonite Mission Network working with youth in the regional youth groups, and 2 years as a camp Program Director in Illinois. Scott is bringing enthusiasm, eagerness to learn and meet new people, and an elevated appreciation for the oxford comma and things that come in threes.