Furnace Brook is blessed with many things, one of which is our Pastoral Intern Abigail Elliott. Abbey has been focusing her efforts at the Brandon Campus this summer, but will be transitioning to a more to the Pittsford Campus as the Brandon service winds down this fall.
Below is an update on Abbey as it pertains to her Ministry and our Church.
Your Pastoral Intern is still alive. Life is crazy but I wanted to take some time to update you with some things going on in my life. I finished my undergrad at Castleton in December. Since then, I’ve started my second construction season with the Agency of Transportation and started working at Head Start preschool. I’m loving both jobs. The fall sports season is underway; I’m coaching cross country at Otter Valley and cheer on the Rutland Raiders because Cody [Abigail's boyfriend] coaches football.
On top of that I started my Masters of Divinity program at Wesley Seminary in June and started my second semester a week ago. It’s a crazy, exciting, and stressful journey. I’m excited for what God has in store for us.
This past summer, Furnace Brook held a service in the Brandon Town Hall. It was an amazing growing experience. I loved the less formal environment, the interactive teaching, and taking communion every week. Unfortunately, we were a smaller group than I intended it to be, but I believe God planted seeds for better things to come.
Here are some things you might want to know about what is happening in my life:
1. I am currently attending Weslyean seminary at Indiana Wesleyan.
I'm passionate about sharing the Gospel, and I'm excited to see how God is going to seminary experience to bless my community. It’s exciting to be excited about something. My undergrad classes were interesting but I wasn’t eager to learn. My seminary material is thought provoking, applicable to my current ministry content, and it’s encouraging. My classes so far have focused on spiritual health and changing the culture of evangelism in the church. These things are essential for a healthy church so I’m looking forward to sharing my findings with you all.
2. I'm staying in the Word and feeding myself spiritually with blogs, devotional, and podcasts.
Here are some of my favorites:
My time reading is consumed by seminary material and construction specification manuals. Work work work. If I have free time, I enjoy reading DCF books, Jane Austen, and running/health books. I like short and sweet because I’m rather impatient.
3. God is teaching me through leadership experience, and growing me in ways I didn't expect.
I can’t do everything and not everything is going to work. It has been extremely difficult to let things die so that better things can be born. It seems to be a season of praying and waiting. As I mentioned before, the Brandon Campus did not go as well as I hoped it would. As a result, we have decided to take a break from meeting at the Brandon Town Hall to enter into a season of prayer and evaluation. It’s hard to stomach but I’m confident God will carry us through. And honestly, perhaps less stress will be good for me ;) . Zechariah 4:6 says, ‘“Not by strength or by my might, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Armies.’ God has ample strength and I’m grateful for the strength He gives me.
4. I am praising God for his work, and seeing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my ministry.
I started discipling two women who are young and eager in their faith. I’ve been praying for discipleship opportunities for about 6 months as the initial people that I wanted to disciple fell through. Discipling these women happened organically and is totally providential. I’m thrilled and humbled to be able to disciple these women. Both women see spiritual formation as an essential ingredient in their spiritual lives.
Discipleship is so important to me because I care deeply for the spiritual health of the people around me. Spiritual maturity isn’t something we can do ourselves. During discipleship we implement spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, scripture memorization and time alone with God. This process of spiritual formation creates a life lived with intentionality. As we work through the tough stuff, the Holy Spirit reveals to us our purpose and calling. As a result of this maturing process we become rooted and grounded in love which leads to a desire to share and invest in other people. It is an internal process with an external reaction.
I can’t wait for the time in the life of Furnace Brook where every person is either discipling or being discipled. Please be praying for us!
Please Pray for me.
Please be praying for time management: having the proper priorities,and patience. During my busy days I can lose sight of what is important or sometimes I take on more than I can handle. Please be praying that I prioritize the things God wants me to be dealing with rather than what I deem as important.
Abbey Elliott, Pastoral intern
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog