KEUKA PARK, N.Y. â€”For Tyler Moran, spending his first Field Period close to home was a good choice.
The freshman adolescent English/special education major from Sandy Creek spent his January Field Period with his pastor, the Rev. Brian Homan, from Park United Methodist Church in Pulaski.
â€œI learned a lot about who I was, what I wanted to do in life, and where I think I am finally headed,â€ said Moran. â€œI would like to follow my desire to become a religious leader of some degree or denomination.â€
The Field Period also helped Moran earn the Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award. The award recognizes learning from Field Period, co-curricular involvement, and community service.
Homan believes the experience Moran gained in his home church â€œclarified his giftedness and vocational direction.
â€œI also believe that Tylerâ€™s experience would prove valuable for any church,â€ said Homan.
One of the highlights of Moranâ€™s Field Period was the opportunity to organize a 30-Hour Famine for the churchâ€™s youth group. The 30-Hour Famine is a worldwide movement of students who are serious about serving God and fighting hunger on an empty stomach. For 30 hours, participants get a taste of hunger by not eating, something more than a billion people around the world experience every day.
â€œI also taught the youth about the daily lives of people in Third World countries, travel to a mission center, and have fun activities like swimming, playing recreational games, and watching a movie,â€ said Moran. â€œI also read some Bible verses.â€
Moran was also charged with conducting a service, including preparing a sermon.
â€œMy sermon was recorded so I could watch it and see what I needed to improve on, from posture to nervous habits,â€ said Moran. â€œPastor Brian gave me several evaluation sheets that I could use for future sermons to assess my improvement and keep track of patterns I might fall into. I was asked by Pastor Brian to lead another service in the summer and see how I do.â€
While shadowing Homan, Moran visited the elderly, said devotions in nursing homes, and attended church council meetings.
â€œI used to attend the meetings as a representative of the youth
group council,â€ Moran said. â€œThese were familiar activities to me, but this time I was looking at it from the perspective and responsibilities of the pastor. As I watched Pastor Brian, I asked as many questions as I could because the more I learn about the ministry, the more I am intrigued in becoming a pastor.â€
Other activities Moran planned included promoting youth programs, planning a community service or mission trip, and having a weekly youth group to discuss the word of God.
â€œWe also collected non-perishable food items for the community cupboard, ran a service on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.â€™s birthday, and put on a community-wide dinner, which we were able to eat at because it was at the end of the fasting,â€ said Moran.
â€œTyler took initiative and accomplished the goals we negotiated,â€ said Homan. â€œHe gained greater confidence in his own capabilities for leadership, exhibits exceptional character, and ability to relate across generations and diverse backgrounds.â€
Said Moran: â€œI found this to be a successful Field Period in which I was able to help my community, discover more about myself, and the career that I wish to pursue. I hope the next Field Period is just as thrilling as this one was. I know that I will take the information that I learned over January with me for the rest of my life.â€