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Source: (consider it) Thread: Whom shall we send? The Vocations Thread
Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

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For those who are in the official "discernment process", and for those who hope (or fear) the calling of God to some form of ministry (whether or not it may lead to ordination).

Campbellite,
your most unworthy servant

[ 14. May 2011, 02:20: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
# 16100

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Sorry Campbellite, quick query from a newbie:
this is probably not the thread... so, is there a thread for those of us who've gone through that process and are now in training?
Thanks

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Jesus saves, Allah protects, Buddha enlightens, Cthulhu thinks you'll make a nice sandwich

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Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

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This is it. Trainees are allowed.
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Adam.

Like as the
# 4991

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The way I see it, all of life is discernment and all of life is potentially formation. Training is something we move in and out of as we undergo transitions. Now, of course, the discernment questions change as we go through life, as does the intentionality of formation, but I would resist any too stark a division of our lives like that.

For me (in temporary vows and studying for my MDiv) the discernment questions are "Now that I'm living the vowed life, do I still feel called to live it for life?" and "As I experience and reflect more on ministry, do I still feel called to priestly ministry?" These are different questions than when I was in the informal stage, the applicant stage, during candidacy, during novitiate. The questions will be very different upon taking final vows ("Given that I'm in vows, how do I approach X in my life") and being ordained ("Given that I'm a priest, how do I approach Y in my life.")

Similarly, I'm currently in what we deliberately call "initial formation" to stress that formation is life-long. The obedience I am assigned to is "studies" and that's a particular way of concentrating on being formed. Some of that looks like training, much doesn't. Through spiritual autobiographies, etc., we're encouraged to look at how our life pre-seminary was formative.

[ 01. January 2011, 16:40: Message edited by: Hart ]

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
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steady
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Found you! Happy New Year everyone. Had a bit of a setback in the training. Suddenly needed two emergency operations but on the mend now I hope. I'm not exactly behind with the work but not as far ahead as I hoped to be. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up.
Hope everyone else is OK (well as OK as you can be in the anxious time of discernment etc). This time last year I was nervously awaiting the outcome of my diocesan interviews. Hang in there everyone!

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O that the world might taste and see the wonders of His grace,
The arms of love that compass me would all mankind embrace.

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
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quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
This is it. Trainees are allowed.

Oops, silly me. [Hot and Hormonal]
Think it's the way we use language in the various processes in the Church of Scotland and I was in 'default' mode. Thanks for putting me right!

Something that continually plagues me as I wander and wonder through the training is feeling the irony of a very heavy emphasis on 'reflective practice' but being piled high with so much stuff on top of doing my academic work and placements - so no time to actually do reflecting of any depth or substance. There's a sense of 'we want you to learn how to be reflective practitioners, but we're not actually going to demonstrate a model in which you can do this.'

How do other folks find time to both do and be? Or am I just ridiculously disorganised...?!

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Jesus saves, Allah protects, Buddha enlightens, Cthulhu thinks you'll make a nice sandwich

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rexory
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# 4708

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quote:
Originally posted by joan knox:
How do other folks find time to both do and be? Or am I just ridiculously disorganised...?!

27 years after ordination,I'm still struggling with the same question. Studies are replaced with administration and paperwork. It's a life-long battle to keep spiritual balance.

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Our first words on getting to heaven will be "Ohhh!", with an air of "Now I understand!" - CS Lewis, via Philip Yancey, "What Good is God", 2010

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Ceannaideach
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I'm just starting out in the discernment process. Well I say just starting, God'd been nudging at me for over half a year now and having been on a CPAS ministry and you weekend last month, I'm feeling more drawn to it. Terrified but more accepting of what God might be wanting me to do.

Next step is to talk to the vicar again.

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"I dream of the day when I will learn to stop asking questions for which I will regret learning the answers." - Roy Greenhilt OOTS

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:
God'd been nudging at me for over half a year now and having been on a CPAS ministry and you weekend last month, I'm feeling more drawn to it.

Ceannaideach - I ran for 20 years ... responding to half a year's nudging is pretty darned good in my book. Go well [Smile]

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Jesus saves, Allah protects, Buddha enlightens, Cthulhu thinks you'll make a nice sandwich

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Ceannaideach
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Thanks Joan [Smile]

(But half a year can feel like 20 years when you're my age [Two face] )

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"I dream of the day when I will learn to stop asking questions for which I will regret learning the answers." - Roy Greenhilt OOTS

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Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

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quote:
Originally posted by rexory:
quote:
Originally posted by joan knox:
How do other folks find time to both do and be? Or am I just ridiculously disorganised...?!

27 years after ordination,I'm still struggling with the same question. Studies are replaced with administration and paperwork. It's a life-long battle to keep spiritual balance.
I was ordained in 1982. Rexory speaks the truth.

All of formal ministry is a continuing process of formation. I have found that God is always working on us, shaping us, moulding us. This side of the Parousia, we will never be complete. But God continues to use us, cracked and broken vessels that we are, to accomplish His purposes.

One of God's little jokes on us (or at least on me) is that the older I get, the less I "know" but the more I think I understand. (Seeing that in print looks terribly cryptic, doesn't it?) My certainty has gradually given way to understanding that we don't have all the answers, and that is OK. As it says in the Book, the just shall live by faith.

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I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
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This is entirely true, of course. And I have managed to take on board the useful lesson of knowing that nobody is indispensible. I'm just wondering, time-wise, if I could just clone myself so that one of us sleeps: that'd be really rather grand [Smile]

[ 03. January 2011, 17:21: Message edited by: joan knox ]

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Jesus saves, Allah protects, Buddha enlightens, Cthulhu thinks you'll make a nice sandwich

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Bagpuss

Magical saggy cloth cat
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Speaking of reflecting - this must be at least the 3rd of these threads I've posted on now. Good job I don't post often or I could have been saying that of the last 13 years!

Joan - I am one of those annoying mega organised people who fits 5 times more into a day than is humanly possible and I still feel the same as you do re my training and time for reflection.

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steady
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# 15334

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quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:
I'm just starting out in the discernment process. Well I say just starting, God'd been nudging at me for over half a year now and having been on a CPAS ministry and you weekend last month, I'm feeling more drawn to it. Terrified but more accepting of what God might be wanting me to do.

Next step is to talk to the vicar again.



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O that the world might taste and see the wonders of His grace,
The arms of love that compass me would all mankind embrace.

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steady
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# 15334

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quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:
I'm just starting out in the discernment process. Well I say just starting, God'd been nudging at me for over half a year now and having been on a CPAS ministry and you weekend last month, I'm feeling more drawn to it. Terrified but more accepting of what God might be wanting me to do.

Next step is to talk to the vicar again.

Yes, it is very scary. I ran away from it for three years. But one I put my foot on the road it was as if God led me at a pace I could cope with, step by step. The important thing is to be obedient and make that first step, God's grace will be with you.

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O that the world might taste and see the wonders of His grace,
The arms of love that compass me would all mankind embrace.

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aig
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quote:
originally posted by Joan Knox
Something that continually plagues me as I wander and wonder through the training is feeling the irony of a very heavy emphasis on 'reflective practice' but being piled high with so much stuff on top of doing my academic work and placements

This is something I need to know more about. I am waiting to go to theological college (September) and for the past couple of years, as part of my discernment process, have been doing a part time theology BA (1/2 time) while working 32 hrs a week in a moderately stressful job. This has been busy but do-able.
So what is it about the actual going to college bit that ratchets up the pressure and stress? I know there must be something because I have followed a couple of ordinands blogs where they post loads in the run up period to college and then become ominously quiet for weeks.

I like to think that knowing what 'it' is will help me....

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That's not how we do it here.......

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
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quote:
Originally posted by aig:
This is something I need to know more about. I am waiting to go to theological college (September) and for the past couple of years, as part of my discernment process, have been doing a part time theology BA (1/2 time) while working 32 hrs a week in a moderately stressful job. This has been busy but do-able.
So what is it about the actual going to college bit that ratchets up the pressure and stress? I know there must be something because I have followed a couple of ordinands blogs where they post loads in the run up period to college and then become ominously quiet for weeks.

I like to think that knowing what 'it' is will help me....

Well aig, academically I think you will have a little bit of a head-start having done some p/t studies already, so it might not come as quite a shock when you start with the f/t stuff. [Smile]
Before I had been accepted by the CofS, I was already in my 4th year of the degree [4yr degrees in Scotland], so the requirement from the church was for 2 further years of study at postgrad level, which was so that conferences and placements could fit into that time-frame too. [Except the uni. decided to pay me to stay and do a PhD and so I will defer for 18 months before I go on probation - 15 month f/t final placement... I was told that I am on the slow boat to China route to ordination!]
So, prior to candidacy, I was happily thriving doing a f/t degree. It's when the placements [Oct through to end May 10-ish hrs/week], the conferences, the church essays and the group meetings were put on top of the academic that piled the pressure on. And that's all okay - I think that the tricky thing is having the two very different kinds of hats, although they do connect the focus and pressures can be quite different.
While I know that being a f/t minister is piled high to bursting with all sorts of demands, at least the focus is on the one area...broad though it may be.
My tradition is probably not the same as yours, so I don't know if this is of any use to you in your own process. Enjoy the move to f/t study/training and I think physically time-table space for yourself to 'be' and try to stick to that. Now, if only I could follow my own advice!! [Smile]

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Jesus saves, Allah protects, Buddha enlightens, Cthulhu thinks you'll make a nice sandwich

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Laxton's Superba
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Ok so I have done the form. At least, I have an answer for each of the questions. I have done a little background reading - Ramsey et al - but I have tried to answer the questions honestly and with what I think, not to make up some synthesis of what I have read. What is the protocol on this? Do I go through them all with my PP and others, do I send them off to the DDO as they are? I don't want to treat it like an UCCA form and polish it to the nth degree, but I don't want to look like a shmuck either.
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Rosa Gallica officinalis
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I don't think the forms need to be particularly polished. They are more of a discussion starter, so the BAP panel have a bit of info to start talking to you. I think they go direct from your DDO to the min div (at least they do in this diocese) so they don't form part of the decision in whether you get a BAP or not, unlike most application form & interview situations.

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Come for tea, come for tea, my people.

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aig
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Laxton's Superba - are you describing the 'BAP Registration Form' or something specific to your DDO/Diocese?
If it is for your DDO: we were advised to write as much as we wanted and it was a useful basis for the BAP form when that came round. If it is the actual BAP form: your DDO will let you know if it is in the style they think OK.
There seems to be a fine line between being yourself and not scaring the horses - that is the great value of a good DDO.....

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That's not how we do it here.......

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Laxton's Superba
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It's the DDO's form. Think I will go with gut instinct and leave it with my first thoughts. Thanks folks.
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South Coast Kevin
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I'm coming towards the end of a part-time theology course and wondering what to do next. I'm also about to start looking for a new job as government funding cuts mean I may well be facing redundancy in a few months' time.

I feel like there are plenty of directions I could go in - look for a new job (perhaps in a new part of the country), look for part-time work and carry on with the part time studies (I'll get a Masters in 2.5 years' time if all goes well) or apply for a full-time course. In a way this is the problem. I don't yet feel a definite call to any one of these paths, and I'm kinda thinking I won't get a definite call. Maybe God wants me to follow what I think is his will, so he's not going to completely spell it out for me.

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My blog - wondering about Christianity in the 21st century, chess, music, politics and other bits and bobs.

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Evensong
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quote:
Originally posted by South Coast Kevin:
I'm coming towards the end of a part-time theology course and wondering what to do next. I'm also about to start looking for a new job as government funding cuts mean I may well be facing redundancy in a few months' time.

I feel like there are plenty of directions I could go in - look for a new job (perhaps in a new part of the country), look for part-time work and carry on with the part time studies (I'll get a Masters in 2.5 years' time if all goes well) or apply for a full-time course. In a way this is the problem. I don't yet feel a definite call to any one of these paths, and I'm kinda thinking I won't get a definite call. Maybe God wants me to follow what I think is his will, so he's not going to completely spell it out for me.

Sounds to me like you're on the right track SCKevin.

Some people get it spelled out for them in a rather dramatic way and in no uncertain terms. To some I think it's a process of time, discovery, and threading many different things together to say "oh yeah, this is where I think it's at."

Either path may offer themselves for this particular ministry and then it's really up to the church to decide.


Good luck to you. [Votive] [Smile]

And hello to Ceannaideach and joan knox. Welcome to the thread.

I'm stuck in no mans land at the moment. Supposed to hear from the director of training and the academic chair to start the academic year on 15th Feb. No news yet!

Sorry to hear you've been unwell steady. [Frown]

[ 09. January 2011, 11:44: Message edited by: Evensong ]

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a theological scrapbook

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South Coast Kevin
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Thanks Evensong, and may you hear about your training soon. The guy speaking at our church meeting this morning said something that tied in with your time and discovery thing - he was saying about a man who met Mother Theresa and asked her to pray that he would have clarity about what God wanted him to do. She replied that she wouldn't pray for that, as clarity was the final thing that the man had to let go of. He should exercise faith instead of waiting for clarity, she told him. I'm keeping hold of that message for myself!

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My blog - wondering about Christianity in the 21st century, chess, music, politics and other bits and bobs.

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Evensong
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I like that. Nice mix of being and doing. [Smile]
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Barnabas62
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Pleased to hear your plans, Evensong, and very best wishes.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Evensong
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Thank you Barnabas. [Smile]

Let's see how long I last before they kick me out. [Snigger]

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a theological scrapbook

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Sir Pellinore
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quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
...
Let's see how long I last before they kick me out. [Snigger]

Just steer straight. [Big Grin]

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Well...

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Ceannaideach
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Well my vicar has recommended me to the diocese and I'm now in the system. Just waiting for an advisor to become available.

It feels a little (I want to say odd but it doesn't quite fit, weird wouldn't do it either,) strange to have taken this step in faith, sort like waiting in the calm before the storm.

That quote from mother Teresa about going forward in faith instead of waiting for absolute clarity fits me so well.

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"I dream of the day when I will learn to stop asking questions for which I will regret learning the answers." - Roy Greenhilt OOTS

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Laxton's Superba
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Congrats Ceannaideach.
It is a funny kind of limbo, isn't it, wondering what will happen next - if anything.
I am going to see my parish priest next week with my DDO form, DDO has been back in touch and was very kind about my form anxiety.

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
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'reflective practice' is the big buzz phrase up here in the frozen wastes of the northern Calvinists. If I do much more reflection I think I'll be able to qualify as a disco mirror ball.
We've been told to write an essay on Ann Morisy's Journeying Out: a new approach to mission, which I've done... but the only thing that was in any way cheering about it was the fact that it was so full of inconsistencies and contradictions and macrame theology that it made me think that perhaps none of us really have it sussed when it comes to mission.

What books are others prescribed to read for training/ discernment, and what are/ were your thoughts...just out of curiousity?

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Poppy

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John Pritchard's 'The Life and Work of a Priest' was very useful at the discernment stage because he uses visual metaphors and that works with my visual brain. Since being accepted I've found 'If You See George Herbert on the Road Kill Him' a good book for a bit of realism about what lies ahead in the parish. The time management and rule of life stuff was good as well.

For reflective practice, which we all have to do these days, I liked the SCM Study Guide on Theological Reflection as it had a quickie run through most of the major schools of TR which meant I got to try lots and find the ones that work for me.

All basic stuff but if you are a bear with little brain, or an ordinand who is juggling work, family and study then basic is good.

[ 14. January 2011, 20:57: Message edited by: Poppy ]

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At the still point of the turning world - there the dance is...

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Latchkey Kid
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I had an abortive start at chaplaincy training last year. I am now thinking about having another go this year.

I will have to become more disciplined. I also have to sort out how much I am doing this because it is a way to serve, and how much because it may help me.

But the new academic year is approaching and I have to make some decisions soon.

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'You must never give way for an answer. An answer is always the stretch of road that's behind you. Only a question can point the way forward.'
Mika; in Hello? Is Anybody There?, Jostein Gaardner

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St Everild
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If You See George Herbert...is a brilliant book. I've been in ministry for almost 9 years, and it is the first book I have read which made it all make sense, if you know what I mean.

I'm (almost) tempted to add the letters KGH after my name...

(I love Herbert's poetry, by the way, just not the way in which his memory has been venerated by some sections of the church...)

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joan knox

Knoxy is my homeboy
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As a vocational book I love, love, love 'Under the Unpredictable Plant' by Peterson. There does seem to be a dearth of stuff out there by Reformed folk: Piskies and Catholics are way ahead of us on this. And while I'm happy to read that stuff as well, it is a quite different understanding of ministry. Ah well, vive la différence! [Smile]

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Jesus saves, Allah protects, Buddha enlightens, Cthulhu thinks you'll make a nice sandwich

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aig
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# 429

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I bought a copy of the 'If you meet George Herbert....' book last week. It is excellent and has good references and bibliography as well (which no one has mentioned - great for future essays on ministry - I hope...). I'm not quite sure what it leaves me feeling in terms of my vocation - but I would agree that it could be essential reading for wannabees like me.

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That's not how we do it here.......

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Laxton's Superba
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# 228

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I've bought that book too. A very good and accessible read with lots of practical pointers too.

Well, I have filled in The Form and sent it to the DDO, who has emaield to say he's got it. Yikes.

Bumping this thread too as it had dropped off the first page.

Thinking of everyone else on the discernment road.

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Codepoet

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# 5964

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quote:
Originally posted by joan knox:
As a vocational book I love, love, love 'Under the Unpredictable Plant' by Peterson. There does seem to be a dearth of stuff out there by Reformed folk: Piskies and Catholics are way ahead of us on this. And while I'm happy to read that stuff as well, it is a quite different understanding of ministry. Ah well, vive la différence! [Smile]


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urbanbumpkin
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# 13505

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Right at the beginning of the process, I have "The Talk" with the vicar today. Not that I'm nervous - oh no!

Question I was asked the other day, and which I'm trying to find the words to articulate at the moment, so wondered what you guys felt. What is it that is specific about ordained ministry that you feel called to?

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joan knox

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# 16100

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Ultimate power of people's souls... bwah hahahhaha... oh, no, wait... [Devil]

It depends what type of ordained ministry, and also, what your denomination's theological understanding of ministry is.

[ 07. March 2011, 13:18: Message edited by: joan knox ]

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Jenn.
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# 5239

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Urbanbumkin - welcome! For me it's something about walking alongside people at whatever their stage of life or faith or circumstance, and making them aware of God's presence. It's about seeing people develop. It's about the beauty of persons. It's about being in a position to feed them, through the training I'll have and through the sacraments. But that sounds presumptious. SO I don't know!

I am still in time-out mode because of baby arriving last october. I was meant to be getting back in touch "in the new year" but it hasn't happened yet because baby is still not sleeping well enough for me to have "deep" conversations without wanting to cry. I'm so so so tired. I'll have a good few days and be thinking about getting in touch and then I'll have a weekend like this one and feel like I'm back to square one. I'm hoping for easter now...

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Panda
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# 2951

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Good luck, Jenn. Here I am hoping my baby'll hurry up and be born, so that I can be less tired. I must be mad...

One more sermon to preach in my placement church; hooray. But it is the one that a half-dozen members of the congregation have to assess for me, so I've got to get it right.

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Latchkey Kid
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# 12444

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I led the service (assessable as part of my chaplaincy course) yesterday. I practised it with my non-liturgical house church and they liked it. The academy was happy with my free adaptation to their liturgical form.

I provide the (minority of one) non-liturgical non-sacramental student perspective. The more I continue with this course the more I am feeling it is the right thing for me to do.

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'You must never give way for an answer. An answer is always the stretch of road that's behind you. Only a question can point the way forward.'
Mika; in Hello? Is Anybody There?, Jostein Gaardner

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sabine
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# 3861

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quote:
Originally posted by Hart:

The way I see it, all of life is discernment and all of life is potentially formation. Training is something we move in and out of as we undergo transitions. Now, of course, the discernment questions change as we go through life, as does the intentionality of formation, but I would resist any too stark a division of our lives like that.

For me (in temporary vows and studying for my MDiv) the discernment questions are "Now that I'm living the vowed life, do I still feel called to live it for life?" and "As I experience and reflect more on ministry, do I still feel called to priestly ministry?" These are different questions than when I was in the informal stage, the applicant stage, during candidacy, during novitiate. The questions will be very different upon taking final vows ("Given that I'm in vows, how do I approach X in my life") and being ordained ("Given that I'm a priest, how do I approach Y in my life.")

Similarly, I'm currently in what we deliberately call "initial formation" to stress that formation is life-long. The obedience I am assigned to is "studies" and that's a particular way of concentrating on being formed. Some of that looks like training, much doesn't. Through spiritual autobiographies, etc., we're encouraged to look at how our life pre-seminary was formative.

In some ways this is similar to the Quaker process of discernment (without vows and ordination at the end). In other words, the discernment continues in stages.

If a person feels a leading, s/he will call a "clearness committee" whose only role is to help that person find clearness to go ahead and explore the leading. It may not be a leading to a "ministry" but to a concern about a particular social issue or something else. [Here I would argue that this latter point is a ministry of sorts....]

One format is for the members of the clearness committee to give no advice, but simply ask questions. And the clearness committee does not have the authority to say yes or no, although at times the committee and the person arrive at the understanding that the time is not right to go ahead....for now..

If circumstances change or the leading is seasoned to the point that new variable arise, the clearness committee may come together again.

But sometimes that isn't needed, and the person engages in his/her own prayerful discernment.

And one of the things a clearness process will help to highlight are the kinds of training or preparation one might need to follow the leading.

All issues can be revisited, IMO, and many Friends agree with this sentiment. We take the steps we are led to take at the time in the trust that God will guide further movement.

I know many Friends who have basically changed ministries gradually through discernment, and I don't feel that they have gone back on any passion for or agreement to follow the leadings that came before. God takes us to where God wants us to be.

We simply need to be able to listen.

I had 30 years of professional work (including some which might be called "concerns/ministries") under my belt before I was led to refugee work. And in those years, I changed course more than once. Once or twice I did so impetuously, and I regretted those changes. When I prayferfully asked for guidance, I found that the change was easier and the new concern/ministry* was just as important as the previous one.

*concern/ministry does necessarily = specific job among Friends.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Evensong
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# 14696

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quote:
Originally posted by Latchkey Kid:
The more I continue with this course the more I am feeling it is the right thing for me to do.

[Yipee] [Yipee]
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Evensong
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# 14696

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quote:
Originally posted by urbanbumpkin:
Right at the beginning of the process, I have "The Talk" with the vicar today. Not that I'm nervous - oh no!

How did it go?

quote:
Originally posted by urbanbumpkin:

Question I was asked the other day, and which I'm trying to find the words to articulate at the moment, so wondered what you guys felt. What is it that is specific about ordained ministry that you feel called to?

I always knew I would look good in black

And that sacramental stuff is kind of important (you know, waving arms and bread, wine, water and stuff) to me. In my tradition you have to wear a funny collar to do that stuff.

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a theological scrapbook

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Darllenwr
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# 14520

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quote:
Originally posted by urbanbumpkin:
Question I was asked the other day, and which I'm trying to find the words to articulate at the moment, so wondered what you guys felt. What is it that is specific about ordained ministry that you feel called to?

I'm currently finding this one difficult to articulate - there is a feeling of "something missing" from my current ministry (I'm an anglican lay preacher) which appears to be the permission to preside at the Eucharist. As you will probably know, within the Church in Wales, the only route to presiding is Ordination, either to full-time or to non-stipendiary (we don't have OLM's and there appears little possibility that we ever will). Currently, my thinking points to the NSM option, which is probably as well given that my age (nearly 50) very nearly precludes the stipendiary route,

I'm at the stage of seeing the Diocesan Vocations Officer though this may not last much longer. At the conclusion of our meeting on Thursday, he said that he could see no particular reason why I shouldn't be referred on to the Director of Ordinands, but there are a couple of things he wants me to do first ...

Back into Limbo, I suspect!

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If I've told you once, I've told you a million times: I do not exaggerate!

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Jenn.:
Urbanbumkin - welcome! For me it's something about walking alongside people at whatever their stage of life or faith or circumstance, and making them aware of God's presence. It's about seeing people develop. It's about the beauty of persons. It's about being in a position to feed them, through the training I'll have and through the sacraments. But that sounds presumptious. SO I don't know!


Really, it's not presumptious. After all the sacramental ministry is the only thing that really defines ordination against other possible lay ministries. And it's good for candidates to be very aware of how central to their pastoral ministry the sacramental is. Otherwise, why be ordained?

For me, it was the draw to be part of the community in as involved a way as possible, just as you've said; which included sharing the holy communion. The priest who baptizes, marries and buries you and your family members, is the natural person to preside over the 'family' meal at church. If you like, it's the authority that's 'won' through servanthood, rather than through a license.

It's important that candidates for ordained ministry should clarify (for themselves and their selectors) the place of the sacramental ministry within their own potential ministry; that they feel they have something to give to a congregation, through their participation in it.

Your service as a priest/presbyter will have its focus on, and take its drive from, the Holy Communion. But you come to the table as the people's servant and pastor; and it is your servant-ministry which truly gives you the real authority to preside.

Incredible privilege; but a very important duty within a Church which is organized this way, too.

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Lothlorien
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# 4927

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quote:
The more I continue with this course the more I am feeling it is the right thing for me to do.

LK, I passed this message to my chaplain friend at the weekend. he was very happy to hear it and asked me to tell you he still prayed for you.

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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Ceannaideach
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# 12007

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quote:
Originally posted by urbanbumpkin:
Question I was asked the other day, and which I'm trying to find the words to articulate at the moment, so wondered what you guys felt. What is it that is specific about ordained ministry that you feel called to?

It's hard to pin down. First came a feeling that all was not well in my current place of work. That I ought to be doing something else. The vicar (who has the dubious and unfortunate honour of being my dad) said that he'd noted my memory, love of scripture and tried me out on an unsuspecting congregation for a sermon. I remained unconvinced but he suggested that I went away on a CPAS ministry and you weekend. In which I came to realise that the uncomfort I'd felt at work was God's way of prodding me into action. Since then I've been playing the roles of various OT prophets trying to wriggle out of it. Most especially Moses and his rallying cry of Here I am Lord, send someone else! After another official chat with dad and with others I've started to come to terms with it a bit more.

Writing all this out, (and its the tip of the iceberg of prayers/arguements/discussions) has helped. Especially as on Saturday I have my first interview with an advisor.

Typically of God the news came while I was in one of my "I don't know what I'm thinking, believing God wants me to do something so big" moods.

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"I dream of the day when I will learn to stop asking questions for which I will regret learning the answers." - Roy Greenhilt OOTS

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