Kyle Luck is discerning a possible call to ministry through volunteering at a church in Winnipeg.
Hometown: Sturgis, Michigan
Major(s): Religion and Philosophy
Where are you?
I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Why are you there?
I'm volunteering for St. Margaret's Anglican Church through the Jubilee Fellows program to further discern a possible calling to ordained ministry.
What's your typical day look like?
Most days start with morning prayer, a meeting and some reading. After that, I break for lunch and then work on a project for the afternoon (e.g. urban gardening, pastoral care training, preparing service propers, etc.). Once my work is finished, I usually make supper and spend a little time with my housemates. Evenings are filled by exploring the city with pals, playing music, writing letters and reading theology/philosophy.
What are you doing?
My responsibilities at the church are quite varied (which is how I like it). So far, I've done some urban gardening, visitations, lay reading, pastoral care training, cooking classes and lots of meetings. In the coming weeks I'll take on more responsibilities as a lay reader and begin preparations for a few sermons that I'm scheduled to give in July.
How has Calvin prepared you for this?
At Calvin I've learned a lot about time management and hard work—two disciplines that have certainly helped make my transition to Winnipeg much smoother. Also, at St. Margaret's the sermons can be very theologically dense (including references to Augustine, Barth, Foucault, Nietzsche and more). It's been truly amazing to discover how much the congregation enjoys the intellectual challenge and how well they can follow along. Their passion has inspired me and reminds me to value all of the brilliant professors at Calvin who have continually pushed me to think harder.
What has surprised you so far?
Full-time pastors do a lot more than lead Sunday services! And while I definitely knew that before this summer, I don't think I really understood it. There are meetings, visitations, meetings, evening services, meetings, sermons to prepare, meetings, funerals, meetings, weddings, meetings, books to read and more meetings. In other words: full-time ordained ministry is hard work!
How do you see this experience shaping your future?
I'm hoping that it will give me a better sense of what the "day-in and day-out" life of ordained ministry is actually like. In that sense, I suspect it will deeply influence my vocational decisions in the coming years, and further prepare me for life "in the real world" after undergraduate education–both professionally and socially. I'm also hoping that my experience in an Anglican church (in a Mennonite area) will help me to decide on a more permanent denominational home.
Best food you've eaten?
Whenever I travel somewhere new, one of the first things I do is hunt for tasty local restaurants. It may sound funny, but I think food is one of the best ways to get to know a new place. So far, I'd suggest the Rainbow Poutine at Smoke's Poutinerie, the samosas at Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company (w/ date chutney) and the veggie burger at The Grove.
Met anybody memorable?
Lots of folks! During my first week here, I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Mangina (a Barth scholar at the University of Toronto), Andy Crouch (the executive editor of Christianity Today) and a group of theology professors at Canadian Mennonite University—all of whom were very kind. More notably, however, I've enjoyed getting to know the members of St. Margaret's and the many wonderful people on staff here. They are a faithful and intelligent bunch of disciples; I don't deserve to work and worship alongside such good people!
What's gone wrong?
Nothing major, fortunately. However, in Winnipeg (unlike Grand Rapids) human beings always have the right-of-way at stop signs. So on my walk(s) to work during my first week here, I spent several minutes each day in awkward stand-offs with automobiles!