Back to school! The children in our congregation have gone back to school, along with their classmates, along with most of the children in the Chicago area. New classrooms, new teachers, new school books, and new classmates. New relationships and interactions, too. Just think of all the other new things: new folders, paper, pens and pencils, brand new crayons and markers, with shiny new points to write with. Ready to start the new school year.
But, it’s not only children and teens who are starting school at this time of the year. Our own wonderful church pianist Jieun Kwon is entering her doctoral program in microbiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My third daughter Rachel is starting her third year in her doctoral program in musicology at Washington University in St. Louis. I know there are other young people, relatives of our congregation beginning school and training programs—including me, your pastor. And, we would all appreciate your prayers.
Yes, I am in the midst of orientation for a third unit of chaplain internship in the extended format, lasting until just before Christmas. Or, as the training is formally named, Clinical Pastoral Education, at Rush University Medical Center. I am excited to get back into chaplaincy, and learn more about pastoral care. I have felt for some time that my pastoral care skills were certainly adequate, but in this unit of internship my skills will be further honed and improved. This time of extended study will make me a better pastoral-care-giver, and thus a better pastor and care-giver for you all, my congregation at St. Luke’s Church.
I have always had a renewed burst of energy and excitement as the school year begins. Summer is over, and the fall schedule picks up again. The school year has started at our friends’ preschool, Kids Academy, the school that shares space with us at St. Luke’s Church. I love seeing the small children bringing life into our church building during the week. God bless the beginning of their school year, too.
We will also begin our adult bible study each Wednesday at 11 am on September 11th. As Christians, we are all encouraged to study the Bible, the Word of God. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy to study the Bible so that we might show ourselves approved before God, willing workers in God’s Kingdom.
There are many ways to study the Bible. Here at St. Luke’s Church, we use an inductive approach to bible study, and I strive to get the study members excited and engaged with our primary text—the Bible. We are so blessed to have the opportunity and the time to study God’s Word. And, coming together to study and discuss these important truths is an opportunity not to be missed. I would like to also offer an opportunity for people to come together in the evening for bible study, perhaps twice a month. If anyone has any ideas on how that could happen, people to invite to an evening bible study, and what we might study together, please let me know.
God’s richest blessings to one and all, and earnest prayers to everyone starting school at this busy time of the year.
Studying for God’s glory,
Pastor Elizabeth Jones