Shalom family and friends!
I know, I know...it has been too long, but my life these days is filled with homework, congregation preparations, and FAMILY! I can honestly say that I have never worked as hard as I am working this year, and yet I still feel a sense of incompletion almost every day. There never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything I want to accomplish - but this is the life of a 3rd year rabbinical student. And, truth be told, I am getting a lot of things accomplished. One of the messages I gave to my congregation this year was to dwell on our successes, while remembering our failures. I seem, sometimes, to dwell on what I haven't accomplished. This is a personal goal for this year - to think more about what I am able to accomplish, rather than dwell on what I have not accomplished!
Speaking about my congregation in Ft. Walton Beach - what an amazing congregation! They are warm, welcoming, loving, and just an awesome congregation. Many of the congregants have told me I look comfortable and happy on the Bima. Truth is, this congregation makes it easy. They are incredibly supportive, and have responded very well to my sermons, adult education classes, and teachable moments. While they compliment me, I often tell them they make my job easier as they make it so comfortable.
What I love the most about this congregation is the incredible opportunities I have here to learn. I am currently working with 2 conversion families (parents and children), and a couple of other conversion students. These students are so eager and anxious to learn, and I appreciate their feedback and questions. I am also working with a Bar Mitzvah student, and I am sure more are coming. While I thoroughly enjoyed my congregations last year, the experience I am gaining this year is valuable beyond words. I truly feel as if I am the "Rabbi," and this congregation treats me as such.
I admit this semester is going to be a very difficult one, with many demands on me. But, I have my visits to Temple Beth Shalom to look forward to as the chance to enact what I am learning in school - and for this I am incredibly thankful!
I hope everyone had an amazing and joyful new year!