Monday, October 25, 2010

G is for Geek (or Gleek?)

Okay, just trying to stick to the alphabet theme I have rolling on the blog for the moment. I love GLEE! But I don't feel called to blog about that at the moment.

So I shall opt to write about being a geek for this post. I had to look up the difference between geek and nerd as my research for tonight. When I consulted Wikipedia on both terms, not only do they refer to one another at some point, they both refer to "intellectual" pursuits. Let's just suffice it to say that not only do I come from a long line of intellectuals (my dad even looked like  a nerd for so many years with his horn-rimmed glasses and 501 peg leg, button-fly Levis long before either was fashionable), I married into a geek/nerd family. My brother-in-law the artist ALWAYS has a pen in his pocket. My husband's school friends call my husband "Doc," because he was always smarter than them. All of us Clarks and Skovs are amazing spellers. I am only slightly embarrassed to confess that in my household the unabridged dictionary gets more use than The Good Book. I suspect my children both have larger vocabularies than mine. The eldest likes to "Geek Out" with his friends. My youngest didn't think the 31 on his ACT was sufficient. (See my eyeballs rolling! I was satisfied with my 24 on the ACT!)

As a lesser Geek/Nerd than my parental units and my rocket-scientist sister, I had to strive for my own expression of geekyness. My little sister is two and a half years younger than me, yet I only managed to beat her to college graduation by two weeks. (I was not a salutatorian in high school, nor did I achieve my BA with honors as she did.) I found my own world of living out my nerdiness in the Episcopal Church. My immediate family wasn't religious so I asked my Episcopal Priest uncle to baptize me when I was 13. (There is a longer story here, but I use that one at work, so I'll spare you the details.)

I began my Church Geek career as one of the first four female acolytes at Grace Church in Galena, Illinois, with Beth McDermott, Tisa Johnson, and Jennifer Clayton. From there I became a lector at St. Paul's Church on-the-Hill across the street from my Macalester College dorm. At St. Luke's Hastings I signed on as a lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Altar Guild helper.

In the early 90s I was recruited to be a Youth Minister and also worked on my Worship Leader and Preaching licenses. Currently I hold licenses for lay ministry leadership in many areas. I take great pride in serving as an Acolyte and perhaps enjoy teaching new acolytes (servers) more than anything else I have done in relationship to our liturgy.

So here's the funny part. (Well, perhaps ironic would be the better word.)

Tonight I took a Spiritual Gifts Discernment survey. My lowest ranking gift was "SERVING."  It ranks in the classification of "I would have to work hard to do this gracefully." Cracked me up. It is one of the hardest things I get to do now and then. I just didn't ever before realize that there was a reason I had to work so hard at it. I guess it's not in my nature!

The good news in the survey is that all the things I do attempt to do within the context of church (mission and ministry) do seem to be in my high range of strengths. I ranked a perfect 20 in "Administration." (No surprise there - one interim rector rightly accused me of being officious - I had to look that one up before I felt both insulted and proud, so you can look it up, too.)

My second place spiritual gift was "Teacher" with one point shy of perfect = 19. I love teaching, even hard subjects like SERVING!

My next highest rankings were "Apostle" and "Discernment," closely followed by "Caregiver, Exhortation, Missionary, Pastor, Deeds of Power, and Wisdom." All of those Spiritual Gifts ranked as 17 or above out of 20. Many of their descriptions identify with Youth Ministry and Spiritual Mentor.

The survey also taught me that I "could easily do" all kinds of things, even the ones ranked at the lowest end of my scale including "Healing, Knowledge & Tongues." I know, weird church words. Sorry. I find it all fascinating. It's somewhat like a Personality Inventory tool for church geeks. I guess my new letters would be ATAD!

The blessing in all of this is that I truly do feel affirmed as well as honored to be called into ministry where I can offer my best gifts for the greater good. Then again there were budget and staff cuts in my office again this month. You'll notice tongues wasn't one of my greatest gifts. So is anyone out there willing to help me translate my Church Geek letters into a Myers-Briggs for another profession if it becomes necessary?

No comments: