Tuesday, June 14, 2005

First Week of New Staff Training

Well, here I am at New Staff Training for the CCO. Everything feels differently to me. I am around a bunch of people I don't know, and to be honest, the most difficult thing about it is walking into a room and not hearing everyone shout my name. (Not that that always happened in Canton, but people were generally excited when I walked into a room, and here, no one cares because no one knows me.)

Things have been going incredibly well. I am learning a TON. I have already learned a lot about sacrificial leadership, and I am developing skills of a leader that carry me beyond the "Do everything because I'm better at it than everyone else" approach. I didn't realize how much I do that, but I really do. Watching this community of leaders has shown me how crippling that attitude can be and it has been a real struggle for me to step back and say "I'm sure these guys can take care of it." I guess my pride is getting a bit of a check out here, but hey, it's about time.

I've been very active, and this whole community really sponsors an attitude of stewardship in everything. No one litters, we all recycle, we turn lights off when we leave a room in order to conserve energy, we carpool everywhere we go, we don't use any styrofoam or disposable plates. We only buy no-name sodas and everyone is very, very sensative and kind to the feelings of others. On the whole, this is a wonderful experience for me.

I think the most difficult thing for me is going to be the cook groups. We have been placed into groups of 6-8 people. In order to make sure that summer training does not come out of the new staff's pockets, a lot of money has been raised for each of us here. However, not enough has been raised to let us go out to eat every night or anything. Instead, each cook group is given $4 per day per person. We then take that money and buy what food we can at the grocery store. I'm sure you know that $4 per day is not a whole lot of money, but we've been doing pretty well so far. We went shopping last night, and I actually asked if I could stay back because I was worried that if I went, I would get all fussy and start making people mad at me. I figured I really don't care what they come back with, but if I went, I could totally see myself saying "What the HELL are you buying ANOTHER stick of BUTTER for!!" So I stayed back and everything went well.

Tonight, I get to see Chris and Jessika White. They are leading our Bible study. And, I start my first graduate level class in about fifteen minutes. We are taking two courses on how to effectively minister and both courses are at the graduate level. Because I will be doing my Master's of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary while I am here, I am officially beginning my master's this morning. I can't tell you how exciting this all is.

Well, everyone else is waking up and beginning to congregate in the hall, I should go. Till next time.

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