A year ago I answered a call to be an interim pastor at a small Presbyterian church on Western Avenue. Our time there was short, and in many ways trying… we were newlyweds, I had just graduated and was working full-time in addition to leading a youth ministry at another church. Needless to say, Ashley and I were stretched thin beyond belief. And yet, I look back at those days as some of the best in my life. I can’t imagine a higher privilege than to preach the word week in and week out, shepherding folk as they deal with loss and brokenness in all its forms, praying with and for each member of the community, leading liturgy, song, and sacrament. I miss it with all my heart, especially the quiet moments with my bride before the service… putting the finishing touches on the liturgy, praying together… her praying over me and asking God to speak. In many ways this experience would change our lives, and for the better; We forged a beautiful friendship with a seasoned minister (and his family) who took us under his wing and still prays for us daily (we now have the joy of calling him our pastor), we saw God strengthen our marriage, deepen our faith, and refine our doctrine, setting a foundation for the days to come… Even if I never take the pulpit again, I will always cherish those days, difficult as they were.