Sunday, May 17, 2009

CHAPTER 6 Bridging the Sunday Morning Race Divide. First steps into ministry.

When I moved to Myrtle Beach, Conway actually I had no car and no driver’s license. I never needed one until then. So my Critical Needs Professor at Coastal, a Christian elementary school teacher, put me up until I could drive. Naturally I attended church with her and even sang in choir with her at Trinity United Methodist Church. When I moved into my own apartment I tried to attend 2 churches at first.

See Trinity dismissed promptly at Noon every Sunday. I was used to the worship music lasting longer than their whole service so I would sprint to Mason Temple Church of God in Christ every week in time for the sermon. Eventually I got tired of walking in late and decided that I had to choose one. So I asked myself where I would grow (growth means change) the most and where my attendance itself could have the most impact. Both churches were home to many of the students I taught but the decision was really easy. I couldn’t believe how segregated Sunday morning was. So I chose to break the color line.

I sang my first solo at Trinity. And when I joined the church to my surprise the entire choir came down to stand in as my family. I began to volunteer with the youth. I was a bossy and immature teacher. So my reputation needed work. My intentions were twofold: help my students see me less as a jerk and more as a human being, and help them find faith in Jesus. Unfortunately my relationship with God became stagnant. I neglected my faith. I went through the motions but I was drinking at the bar every Saturday night and singing in the Choir on Sunday with a hangover. I even broke my vow to wait until marriage.  I knew I was falling away and that I needed to change.

My only hope lay in a secret goal. Returning to France! I had already learned that with 3 years teaching experience I could return to France on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. In preparation I had to convince my school district to employ me but allow another to teach in my place for a year. I even convinced them to let me prepare by teaching French II. 

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