Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rural Ministry

Sshhh...don't tell anyone...

But I kind of miss rural America and rural ministry.

North Dakota was a good year, and I think I'm realizing more and more how much I liked it, and what I liked about it, as I have more time to reflect.  While I was there I was incredibly isolated, and I definitely didn't like that part.  There wasn't really anyone there that wasn't a parishioner, anyone that I would call "friend."  By the time I left, I had started to bond with some of the ladies - outsiders themselves who had married into the community.  But nobody just to meet for coffee and talk about my day, or say, "Hey, I found this new recipe I'm going to try tonight - want to come over and have dinner with me?" 

But there were lots of good things, too.  I really stretched myself, learned a lot, tried new things (failed at some, but learned how I would do them better), found things that are important and not important to me, realized lots about myself, met some incredible people, had some pretty nifty experiences (combining corn and planting beans), saw so much "God-stuff", and just generally had an all-around good time.  I could maybe get used to that.

I'm thinking about this tonight because I'm on my mandated "cross-cultural experience" that I have successfully put off until now.  We're in southwestern MN and western IA learning about rural culture, doing lots of cool things with cool people, and just generally having a "gay old time".*

*(And I mean that in a strictly "old version of V&E" way.  :)