Many of you may remember Alex and Julia Amiot, who were members here at St. Paul’s while they attended college. Last week, I stayed with Alex and Julia while I was preaching in Thief River Falls. Alex is now the pastor in that congregation. The Amiots have been serving there for a few months now, after Alex completed his Seminary internship last spring in Bethel Park, PA, and graduated from our Seminary. Because their internship is still so fresh on their minds, I thought it might be helpful to ask them a few questions about their time as an intern family, in order to further help us prepare for our intern, and help us to understand a little better what the life of an intern is like.
Micah: How did life change for you when you went on your internship?
Julia: We had more family time because there was less homework, and it was nice to have a more regular schedule with somewhat regular hours.
Alex: I went from missing seminary classmates and the fellowship I had with them to quickly becoming immersed in congregational life and ministry. It was like a new love.
Micah: What was one unexpected blessing you received on your internship?
Julia: We were blessed by the relationships we had with the people, even though there was a short time to grow them. It was very humbling that a group of people was willing to love you deeply even though they knew you would be leaving in a matter of months.
Alex: Visitation was such a rich blessing. I had zero experience in and zero confidence in that part of ministry to begin with, but it became one of my favorite parts of ministry. Through visitation I was really encouraged by the fellowship of the body.
Alex: It is so humbling to consider what is happening. I took a class in college on the history of terrorism from a former CIA guy. He said that when examining a situation, it is always important to ask, “of what is this an instance? For example, is this an instance of terrorism or not?” A seminary internship is a unique situation, and as I examined what was happening during the internship, I realized that this is an instance of the generosity of a congregation, this is an instance of a congregation sacrificially giving of themselves for the education of a future pastor, this is an instance of Ephesians 4:16, “…into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Through the internship program, the congregation is putting the meat on the bones of an education. They are devoting their lives and the pastor’s time to the education of the intern.
Micah: How can the congregation encourage or help the intern?
Alex: Constantly introduce yourself, and don’t be offended if the intern keeps asking for your name. If you see or hear something that the intern does or says well, tell them as much, and be specific.
Micah: How can the congregation encourage the intern’s wife?
Julia: Be inviting and encouraging and understanding and empathetic. Remember that their family is going through another life change in a new community and a new congregation. Also, the intern’s wife is probably “single-momming” it in the pew for the first time. Feel free to be a friend. Don’t let the fact that they are only going to be here for only a year hinder your relationship-building with them.
It’s only two months until we welcome the Patenaudes into our congregation! They are tentatively planning to join us in the first week of January. Keep praying for Ryan, Stephanie, Thor, Solomon, Iris, Louisa, and Felicity. Pray for Ryan as he finishes his course study over the next several weeks, and pray for our church council as they finalize housing and salary details for the Patenaudes.
Serving Christ Alongside You,