Today, I've decided to visit First UMC in Trenton, NJ in order to help my discernment process over where I want to do my supervised ministry next year. I visited Westwood a couple of weeks ago, and so now it's Trenton's turn. To be completely honest, I'm leaning more towards Trenton right now: about 85-90%.
Right now, I think a lot of my resistance is because I'm a bit frightened of stepping out of my comfort zone. Trenton is an urban area of about 70,000 people, which is actually only 6,000 more than the city of Portland, ME (not including the Greater Portland Area, which has about 230,000 people). There are five United Methodist Churches within the city itself, and all are on the decline. First UMC is actually part of a two-point charge with St. Paul's UMC which is just a short walk away. Both are near the State house, from what Rev. Johnson told me. It'll be a cross-cultural experience; the two populations are largely African-American, which is pretty cool. However, the pastor said that he feels like the two congregations are going to be better served in the future by a person of color as a pastor, and they'd also prefer a person of color to join the team. Ebenezer, another student from Drew, is going to be there as well for his supervised ministry -- he's from Africa (I think -- at least, he's originally from there) -- but I don't know how it's going to be working with another student from Drew. I don't think it'll be too bad though, because we'd be doing different things, and only coming together as a team for support during weekly meetings.
We'll see how this morning's worship service goes!