May 18th marks the last day of my internship with you all. I wanted to pause a moment and say thank you for your generosity, support, and encouragement over the last nine months.
As some of you know, I chose a church internship for the very fact that I wanted to avoid it. That probably sounded strange to hear from a burgeoning minister, but it’s true. I viewed my ministry as one that was formed around hospital chaplaincy and figured that this understanding of myself gave me some justification to circumvent church life. But gratefully, I had a sense that, at least for me, any form of ministry supported by and conceived from the church wouldn’t work if I couldn’t find a find an identity within it. That’s been the single most significant and joyous realization for me during my internship at St. John’s, and Old First Presbyterian Church, too. I discovered elements of a parish minister within me. Now I’m not clear if I will continue to prepare for hospital chaplaincy, or redirect my efforts and prepare for parish ministry instead. But if my past experiences inform my future experiences, I might discover opportunities to do both. Regardless, it does appear that I’m right where I’m supposed to be thanks to my experiences with you.
My immediate future will entail getting through my summer expenses, meeting ordination requirements, serving as a Student Assistant at the General Assembly in June, and hopefully having a little fun before I begin my last year of academics at San Francisco Theological Seminary in the fall.
Again, thank you to all of you, and I wish you all the best in the coming years.
With much gratitude, David Altshuler (Seminary Intern)