As I’ve stated before, for me, “fall” officially begins when the new school year commences. Since our university is now in the third week of classes and it’s September, it’s fall, no matter which way you slice it. To heighten my fall awareness, this weekend I anticipate setting out some my fall decor, mainly pumpkins and scarecrows. My pilgrims and cornucopias will have to wait a bit longer, however.
Fall also finds me embarking on two new teaching opportunities; one academic, one spiritual.
1.) More and more research shows the importance of college freshmen having a well-rounded experience to connect them with their chosen institution. This should promote retention and result in subsequent successful college graduates. Teaching one section of the required University Strategies course is my bit of service to this worthy goal. Over the past few years this course has received several well-needed curricular makeovers resulting in an aptly chosen and understandable textbook, thorough plans for assignments, and in-depth training for the faculty and staff instructors. While I taught a similar class many years ago at a former institution, this time around I am more confident in my teaching skills, more empathetic to their frustrations, and more hopeful that each of them will reach graduation with a full arsenal of academic knowledge and life experience waiting to be applied.
2.) Over the later part of the summer I felt an impression from the Lord on my heart to be in His Word and teach. A couple of years ago I had the joy of leading a Sunday School class of young, single ladies and have missed the interaction of learning and fellowshipping with like-minded sisters in Christ. I knew our church would be deciding on Fall discipleship courses and needing teachers, so I reached out to our associate pastor mid-summer. My suggestion was a Margaret Feinberg study, but a different study had already been chosen by our pastoral leadership: the new Beth Moore study, Children of the Day, over 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
Last night was the kick-off for our study and although I had prepared the lesson, watched the introductory video, and prayed for the Holy Spirit to move, I was still unsure about the details – which classroom would be ours, how many ladies would attend, if I would be able to manage a full hour-long video plus announcements, prayer requests, and a little bit of socialization. What a blessing it was to see our small classroom almost filled to capacity! Counting myself we had 23 ladies in attendance!!! To God be the glory! I have a feeling we’ll have a few more join us next week; ladies who signed up but weren’t able to come to last night’s session. With all these gals, I think we’re going to need a bigger room!
As we watched the first video, I heard chuckles, murmurs, and saw heads nod in agreement. As we wrapped up, I looked around the room making eye contact with many and saw eagerness and receptivity, openness and vulnerability to how God will speak through his Word directly to their hearts over the next 8 weeks. This includes me as I lead and learn.
May it be so, Lord Jesus, may it be so.