My name is Adam Fairchild, and I am a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park. My home congregation is Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster, Maryland. During the school year, I am active in the Lutheran Campus Ministry, based at Hope Lutheran Church in College Park. In my lifetime, my faith formation has been shaped by the pastors at my home congregation, my campus pastor, and by many mentors in our synod. Over the past two summers, I have had the opportunity to spend some time interning in the Delaware-Maryland Synod office. I was asked to write this blog post as a reflection on my sense of call to pastoral ministry and how it has been influenced by the experiences I have had as an intern.

When I was in high school, I began to feel a sense of call to pastoral ministry. As a part of discerning that call, I have talked with many pastors and influential people in my life. My discernment of call has also been strengthened in multiple ways through my experiences as an intern at the synod office. As an intern, I greatly enjoyed getting to witness faithful leadership in action through Bible study, chapel, and the routine work of the synod. I learned more about the collaborative ministries that are facilitated at the synodical level and about the importance of local congregations and their ministry to the larger work of the church.

This year, I interned for Julie Stecker, Assistant to the Bishop for Communications Youth + Family Ministry. In working with Julie, I had the opportunity to witness our synod’s commitment to Youth + Family Ministry and the faith formation of our synod’s youth. I see a direct connection between our synod’s commitment and support for Youth + Family ministry and the development of my own sense of call. I also saw firsthand the commitment to clear communication and transparency in our synod. Watching Julie produce the weekly E-Letter for the synod provided an interesting view of how the ministries and projects of many congregations are highlighted on a synodical level.

My experience as an intern over the past two summers has highlighted the amazing ministries within our synod. I am grateful for the many opportunities to learn more about these ministries and witness the faithful leaders of our synod in action. As I continue the discernment process, I remain thankful for the experiences I have had within our synod to explore my sense of call.