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A Day in the Life of a LEAD Intern: Stephanie Gossett

by Stephanie Gossett

I am a classic born and raised Lutheran girl. Growing up, I attended church and Sunday school regularly, and sang in the choir. In high school and college, I was active with my youth group and campus ministry, and loved every minute of the fellowship, worship, and service. I have felt called to ministry since LYLE (Lutheran Youth Leadership Experience) training in high school, but kept making excuses for why I did not pursue my call.

After graduating from A&M, and for the past seven years, my biggest excuse has been that I went through five years of college to be a teacher, so I need to focus on being an effective educator. That’s exactly what I did, but overall, my experience with public education was not positive. Whenever my life as a public educator got me down, I turned to the church. I went on mission trips to Honduras and Peru, spent a summer working at Lutherhill, sang with the church choir or praise team, and became more involved with church life. Ultimately, I quit my teaching job this spring; I needed to refocus my life. I have decided I want to work for me, myself, and I Am.

With this decision made, I needed an opportunity to learn more about ministerial work and shadow a pastor. I approached the LEAD staff at a Lutherhill retreat, and everything fell into place from there. Ask, seek, knock, right?? It turned out, that New Life Lutheran in Pearland was short a youth director, so this summer, Pastor Gigee agreed to supervise my intern experience. My big project for the summer was VBX , or Vacation Bible Experience. New Life has not had VBS in over a decade, so I had freedom to make it whatever I wanted. The theme was Jesus Greatest Hits, so we focused on Christmas, baptism, healing, Holy Week, and Easter. My teacher and YARP (young adult resource person) training, and years at scout camp definitely came in handy with planning. I had so much fun working with the fabulous parent volunteers to map out everything and then make it come to life! In the end, we averaged about twenty campers a day, and all involved had a great experience!

This time as a LEAD intern will likely change the course of the rest of my life. Before leaving to volunteer as a Servant Companion at the National Youth Gathering in Detroit, I contacted the head of the candidacy committee for our synod. That day my Facebook post read: “Candidacy Process Status: Activated.” I am actively working on all the official requirements and have a tour of Luther Seminary lined up in September. My hope is that by this time next year, I will be preparing to begin my first semester in the Luther Distance Learning program. This internship has been incredible so far, and I hope for an excellent end of the summer as well!