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Source: (consider it) Thread: Whom shall we send? The Vocations Thread
Evensong
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# 14696

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Looks like I will be ordained to the diaconate shortly.

I blame this thread. This thread made me get up off my ass over four years ago and finally put my hand up. It's all your fault!

Lord have mercy, what have I done? [Help] [Eek!]

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a theological scrapbook

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Drifting Star

Drifting against the wind
# 12799

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I hope the diaconate has been well-prepared!

Well done and every blessing on you and your ministry. [Big Grin]

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The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Heraclitus

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Evensong
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# 14696

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Thanks Drifting Star. [Smile]

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a theological scrapbook

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Poppy

Ship's dancing cat
# 2000

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Brilliant news!

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Raptor Eye
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# 16649

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[Yipee] Well done Evensong!

God certainly knows what he's doing.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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Congratulations, Evensong (what a cool name for a deacon!) and all the best for your future vocation.

[Smile]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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God Bless, Evensong.

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Well after holding your own against us lot over these few years, Evensong, you'll have no problem herding a church full of cats. Erm, people. Yes, of course, I mean people.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
Well after holding your own against us lot over these few years, Evensong, you'll have no problem herding a church full of cats. Erm, people. Yes, of course, I mean people.

Unfortunately calling the PCC to hell is not generally an option. Though I wonder whether general synod could be persuaded...
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Evensong
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# 14696

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[Big Grin]

Thanks all.

No parish ministry for me. Chaplaincy all the way down. Will probably aim to stay Deacon for that very reason!

Chorister . Believe it or not I'm a softie at heart. The Ship has been instrumental in toughening up my hide. [Biased]

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harmony hope
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# 4070

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Delighted for you Evensong [Smile]
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Niminypiminy
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# 15489

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Fantastic news Evensong! [Votive]

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Lives of the Saints: songs by The Unequal Struggle
http://www.theunequalstruggle.com/

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leo
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# 1458

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Agreed.

Many say that sector ministry is far harder and much more lonely that parish ministry because it is at the cutting edge.

As for remaining in the diaconate, many in secular institutions turn top a chaplain to marry them or baptise their babies. Of course, deacons can do that but there is something about priesthood that seems to 'work'.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
Many say that sector ministry is far harder and much more lonely that parish ministry because it is at the cutting edge.
Hey Leo, good to have you back on board.

As for the above, not sure I agree with the whole premis of ministries being "far harder." Like it was some competition. If it's "far harder" you are doing (any) ministry wrong.

Fly safe Pyx_e

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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leo
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# 1458

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Not a competition - but those whom I know in sector ministries, and that is more than in parish ministry as far as friendship not based on roles, do not feel supported by the church but are dealing with many more fringe people and outsiders and who don't have the language by which to articulate their spirituality.

As for levels of difficulty and not 'doing it right' - that's OK if priesthood is about being and not doing - as a catholic I claim to believe in ontological status - both parishes and institutions judge ministers by what they see being done and it is easy to want to be seen to be busy. Secular managers, however, seem to have more tick boxes and targets than bishops and archdeacons. (With the emphasis on 'seem'.)

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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It's nearly Christmas, you are fresh-born again so why don't you, just for once and just for me say "Hey good point you may be right." Through gritted teeth of course. Think of it as a present.

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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leo
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# 1458

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Of course you are partly right. So am I!

But the churches need to face up to the issue of sector ministry, especially those dioceses who are cutting it to save money.

That's probably a Purg. issue for some time.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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It certainly isn't an All Saints issue!

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I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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Adam.

Like as the
# 4991

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I think there is an issue this raises that is relevant to this thread (or maybe a more general clergy support thread). This conversation seems to reflect a phenomenon I've observed pretty broadly where people who have given up material possessiveness and the quest for secular status become fixated on other forms of competitiveness. "I do more ascesis and pray longer than you" is a common one (how else would we have gotten stylites?). "My ministry is harder than yours" is another, as is its more outward-looking form "being clergy is harder than being lay."

Like all forms of competition, it's poison. Not only is the saying of it generally toxic to the person hearing it, the person speaking it starts to have to live up to what they're saying and becomes more and more frantic.

For people who are meant to be beckoning people into relationship with the God who *rested,* and who longs to lead us into His rest, we do a pretty lousy job of valuing rest, especially when we try to outwork each other.

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

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aig
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# 429

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Happy New Year to all considering vocation.
For those in a formal discernment process [Votive] [Votive] [Votive]

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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# 15483

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Happy New Year! Also belated congratulations to Evensong! Great news. This thread seems to have been a wonderful place of support for many at all stages along the path to ordination.

Have things progressed for me? Maybe a tiny bit... Chatting to our new vicar just before Christmas he steered our conversation around to what I really wanted to do with my life. When I mentioned that something I'd been thinking about was ministry in the Church of England his response was "Ah, I did wonder". Is that good? I hope it is. We had a very brief chat there and then, and he said that whenever I want to talk about it further he'll be there.

Am I ready to take it further? Dunno yet. Our little son is only eight months old and I don't feel I have time to think about anything at the moment, let alone something as important as official discernment/training/ordination/etc. But something inside me definitely says not to put the brakes on for too long. My feeling is that there will always be personal circumstances which will cry, sometimes literally, for your undivided attention, and I will always be able to find excuses to put things off...

One question I have for others who have done this before is how you balanced sense of calling/discernment/ordination training/etc with partner and/or children? My wife is supportive of me in this but I think probably hopes that everything goes a bit more slowly than perhaps I would want (which is still quite slowly I think!). At the moment I am also the sole provider for our family, and any thought of my packing in my job at some point is worrying I suppose...

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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*Leon*
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# 3377

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Iamachristianhearmeroar:

In terms of the discernment process, the diocese has lots of opportunities for slowing things down if they don't think you're finding enough time to think about it, and they will certainly use them. So I'd say get a move on and trust the diocese to slow things down if needed.

I'd suggest you might want to think about part time training, as it means you don't have to suddenly move to somewhere else in order to then survive on a student budget for a couple of years. I can confirm that training as a reader alongside ordinands can be combined with a job and being a moderately hands-on dad to a baby, as I'm currently doing it. The ordinands' course is slightly more work, but should be possible. On the course there are some mums who complain that juggling work, children and the ordination course is very difficult. But 'very difficult' isn't impossible. You may well find it convenient to go slightly part time in your job. Is that possible?

Having got through all that, bringing up a family on a single stipend is something fairly few people attempt to do. You'll have to do some budgeting and see how you think that'd work for you (or will your wife be back at work by then?)

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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# 15483

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Thanks for your advice *leon*. After talking to my wife about it this evening, I'm going to take the vicar up on his offer of a "chat" and see where we go with it. My wife, like me, feels now is the right time for me to take this on to a more official level and let the church test my calling. Email to the vicar here we come...

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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Raptor Eye
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[Votive] iamchristianhearmeroar

It's a daunting prospect, but God knows what he's doing, and will be opening the way before you if it's His will, in His time. That doesn't mean it won't be tough. My prayers are with you.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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# 15483

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Thanks raptor eye. Daunting is definitely the word!

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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Arrietty

Ship's borrower
# 45

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Looking at it practically, it's unlikely you would start training before September 2015 at the very earliest. DDOs are used to people needing time to think things through and should encourage it. Most people are asked to do a variety of things to help them in that thinking.

And of course once you've been to a selection conference, you can defer training if family circumstances or anything else suggests that would be a good idea.

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i-church

Online Mission and Ministry

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Clarence
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# 9491

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To those of you still thinking, wondering, pondering:

On Sunday, FD, from the pulpit of Terrors Creek Reformed Tabernacle, talked about obedience, and the fact that he had ignored the call, and but for the perseverance of the UCA, would still be working on the idea that he was probably some how misguided, wasn't meant for it, was not as good as others, was somehow lacking, had a sore foot....

He acknowledges now, at an age that would entitle him to retire, that in fact he should have done this years ago.

Please take this as encouragement. FD ignored the open doors he didn't like for a long time, and now realises that he is where he should be. I know I'm his wife, but I don't think I'm biased (I'm his sternest sermon/service critic after all): he is where he should have been probably at least 20 years ago.

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I scraped my knees while I was praying - Paramore

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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# 15483

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Interesting. I was reading something only this week about not falling into a "discernment trap", where you spend your whole life discerning/thinking/pondering but not actually trying/doing.

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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Pomona
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# 17175

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Congrats, Evensong.

I am not currently well enough for serious exploration of it, but I am now considering more seriously a vocation to the religious life. Not sure how to go about it though (or more accurately, it's so much less 'normal' than joining the clergy that I am rather too scared to start). Can religious post in this thread too?

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
...Can religious post in this thread too?

As far as I am concerned - Yes.

--------------------
I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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Sacristan&Verger
Apprentice
# 17968

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Hi, I'm part way through the discernment process and expecting to BAP this summer if the Bishop says yes. As I'm over 50 and working I expect to study on the local training course - 3 years of part time study, placements, week-end schools etc. Has anybody here done this and just how hard - honestly - is it to work, study etc and give it all your best?
It's becoming very real as I'm about to go on a 'How this is going to change your life' day.

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Did I do something wrong today or has the world always been like this and I've been to wrapped up in myself to notice?

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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# 15483

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I'd be interested in hearing about that too. For people who weighed up either training in college or on a course, how did you eventually reach your decision?

Sacristan&Verger welcome to the ship and good luck with the BAP preparation for the Summer! [Votive]

I'm now booked in for a "chat" at the vicarage in two weeks' time. Eek! First chance to discuss my vocation with our new vicar barring a very brief talk in a really crowded church hall after our carol service last year.

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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Poppy

Ship's dancing cat
# 2000

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I did three years study, worked part time (20 hours per week) and was mum to teenagers and wife as well. I spent alot of time in the car running between home and college. It was hard but I learnt time management at the sharp and pointy end. My biggest problem with the academic work was pride as I wanted a first but had to settle for a second.

I'm now in my second year of a full time stipendary curacy. It can be done and my children all stayed at the same school which was good for them.

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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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# 12444

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quote:
Originally posted by Clarence:
To those of you still thinking, wondering, pondering:

On Sunday, FD, from the pulpit of Terrors Creek Reformed Tabernacle, talked about obedience, and the fact that he had ignored the call, and but for the perseverance of the UCA, would still be working on the idea that he was probably some how misguided, wasn't meant for it, was not as good as others, was somehow lacking, had a sore foot....

He acknowledges now, at an age that would entitle him to retire, that in fact he should have done this years ago.

Please take this as encouragement. FD ignored the open doors he didn't like for a long time, and now realises that he is where he should be. I know I'm his wife, but I don't think I'm biased (I'm his sternest sermon/service critic after all): he is where he should have been probably at least 20 years ago.

FD played the most crucial instrumental role in starting me on the path to chaplaincy, and finding for me a compatible multi-faith college. Perhaps you could tell him that the MadBadAndDangerousToKnow sister hospital to the one in The Wizardist Town has contacted me and asked me to be the spiritual part of their holistic approach.

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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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Evensong
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# 14696

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The English system sounds quite different from the Australian one in terms of training for ordained ministry in the C of E (Anglican Church of Australia here)

We have to do four years of full-time university study (Bachelor of Theology), 12 hours of placement in a cathedral, agency, parish per week and 8 hours of College per week. You get absolutely no time off during term time (not even weekends) and you're lucky if you're not burnt out/dead/dropped out at the end of the year.

I haven't the faintest idea how breadwinners of the family do it because our diocese does not subsidize training besides a meager student allowance for books and a few other things.

I've only been able to do it because my husband is the main breadwinner and I had already completed a lot of my bachelor degree before starting training.

I was told English ordinands were supported financially. Is that not true? Or is it just not enough?

Loved your comments Clarence. So true.

[Votive] and courage to all beginning this daunting path!

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a theological scrapbook

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Zacchaeus
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# 14454

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The English system varies, there are full time courses, part time and mixed mode - blocks full time and blocks in parish. Total time a course takes can depend on age and any previous qualifications and training. All require placements, and some ordinands may be financially supported but none that I no have been..
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aig
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# 429

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I agree that the English system varies hugely depending on which kind of training pathway is taken.
I trained full time at a residential college, doing the weekly boarding option: I was at college Sunday night to Friday afternoon and did my Sunday church placement at home. The ministry division pay for college fees, course fees and give some money for other living costs (books and gin). My diocese gave me a grant for holidays which was good to have and quite realistic.
I did a semester in the USA and had to fund travel and the higher cost of living myself but because it was an exchange my accommodation and course fees were paid.
I felt quite well supported .

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

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by aig:
The ministry division ... give some money for other living costs (books and gin) ...

[Killing me] [Killing me]

Quite right too. [Big Grin]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Congrats, Evensong.

I am not currently well enough for serious exploration of it, but I am now considering more seriously a vocation to the religious life. Not sure how to go about it though (or more accurately, it's so much less 'normal' than joining the clergy that I am rather too scared to start). Can religious post in this thread too?

Visiting religious houses and getting to know them is probably a good place to start, especially if your health isn't up to anything more. Consider what branch of religious life, active or enclosed, Franciscan, Benedictine something else. Unfortunately the yearbook website seems to be down at the moment, but there is a link on this umbrella site for it . When it's up it provides links to all the different communities in CofE which can help give an idea of what the options are.

Prayers as you consider this path

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

Posts: 6896 | From: Bryste mwy na thebyg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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I am not sure I am impressed* with the webmaster at that site Carys. He seems to have linked to a generic webpage that hosts webpages for some Anglican Communities. This might just be because it has moved but there is a listing on the Anglican Communion Website.

Now the current webpage for the book is this page. I'd get a copy if I was looking for a community as the webpages all seem more out of date than the book.

Jengie

*He managed to enter the link wrong as well and also has not noticed that the SCM link has changed.

[ 19. January 2014, 10:58: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Niminypiminy
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# 15489

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quote:
Originally posted by Sacristan&Verger:
Hi, I'm part way through the discernment process and expecting to BAP this summer if the Bishop says yes. As I'm over 50 and working I expect to study on the local training course - 3 years of part time study, placements, week-end schools etc. Has anybody here done this and just how hard - honestly - is it to work, study etc and give it all your best?
It's becoming very real as I'm about to go on a 'How this is going to change your life' day.

I'm currently training on a regional course. The residential weekends and summer schools are fantastic -- very tiring and intensive, but it is astonishing what a supportive community is built in them, one that holds you through the bits in between. We have weekly online classes, which isn't ideal, but it works well enough. You have to be extremely disciplined about planning your time, and you may find you have to cut down on your commitments.

There are lots of advantages to training part time. Keeping going your regular prayer life while working, studying part time, doing things at your church (although you should actually be doing less at church rather than more while you are training) and having a family/life is a very good preparation for life in ministry. Also regional courses tend to have a mix of people from the whole spectrum of CofE traditions, and worship at residentials will encompass those, which is good for all concerned -- while you may not feel you get immersed in your own tradition, you do get to have more encounters with and understanding of, other traditions. It's a great builder of understanding and generosity.

I haven't done a placement yet, but I know that students are often creative about fitting their placements around their paid work. It's also possible to change to a different training church if you need to. You will have a clergy supervisor at your church who you should be meeting with fairly regularly and s/he is also a big part of your training.

I can't say that it's easy -- but then, studying full time isn't easy either, though it might have different difficulties. I can say though that all the ordinands on my course are tremendously positive about it.

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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*Bump*

Just a quick post to say that my first proper chat with our vicar last night seemed to go really well. We chatted for hours - mainly me telling my "life story" and him probing with questions - over (very pleasantly) beer then tea! He didn't seem to think I was completely deluded, and thinks I should go on to the next stage of exploring my vocation in the diocese. He's also leant me a few more books to read as well - has anyone else read Ray Tomkinson's "Called to Love"? For the first time in really forever I feel quite peaceful about the whole thing.

Would really appreciate prayers for continued patience though. In our diocese you need to attend a "Vocations Forum" before you see a Vocations Advisor, who you need to meet with over several months before you even meet the DDO for the first time. Unfortunately due to prior dates in our diary the next Vocations Forum I could attend won't be until July. Feels like quite a long way away...

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Cenobite
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Good news, iamchristianhearmeroar!

I love Raymond's book (although I am probably biased, seeing as how he was Chaplain at Cuddesdon while I trained there). A genuinely lovely man and full of wisdom.

[Votive] for you for patience. I remember my own journey took a long time from first conversation with vicar to selection panel. The system was slightly different then in that I met the DDO fairly early on, but the process itself took ages, or at least it seemed! God be with you in these initial steps.

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Cenobite: means "Common Life"; cenobites lived in community, serving one another and the rest of humanity.

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St Everild
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Cenobite - the process can seem very long while you are actually within it (at least, I found it so). But with hindsight, I was glad I had several meetings with a Vocations Adviser before I saw the DDO, and several more meetings with the DDO before I saw the Bishop, before I went off to a BAP (or whatever it was called in those days).

Those conversations were very useful in clarifying my sense of calling, and in allowing the church to explore what exactly I was being called to.

My prayers for you and for all who are engaged in this process.

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Evensong
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Glad the meeting went well iamchristianhearmeroar [Smile]

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Piglet
Islander
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What Evensong said. At least if the next stage isn't until July, you've got plenty of time to prepare for it. [Smile]

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3rdFooter
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# 9751

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quote:
Originally posted by Sacristan&Verger:
Hi, I'm part way through the discernment process and expecting to BAP this summer if the Bishop says yes. As I'm over 50 and working I expect to study on the local training course - 3 years of part time study, placements, week-end schools etc. Has anybody here done this and just how hard - honestly - is it to work, study etc and give it all your best?
It's becoming very real as I'm about to go on a 'How this is going to change your life' day.

+1 for the survivability of full time work and part time study. I won't pretend its not hard. Without the support of wife, family and parish, I think it would have been impossible. The college chaplains are also there for a purpose.

Remember the positive side of the path you are on. Without decrying residential study, regional part time courses have a fundamental merit of their own. You stay connected to the world you are called to be a pastor to. You are also likely to see a broader sweep of church tradition among the other students.

You say 'give it all your' best and of course that is right. However, be gentle with yourself. be prepared to recognise that an essay is the best that is available in the circumstances rather than a work of brilliance in its own right.

Prayer and worship will also be your strong staff. I am guessing from 'Sacristan&Verger' that you take these pretty seriously. I was college sacristan in my second year and that was a blessing as well.

God called you. He will be with you.

[Votive]

3F

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3F - Shunter in the sidings of God's Kingdom

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Laxton's Superba
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# 228

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Going to BAP on 24th Feb. Anyone else?
Posts: 187 | From: I wish I knew | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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Wishing you every blessing, LS.

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Posts: 48139 | From: 1st on the right, straight on 'til morning | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
iamchristianhearmeroar
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[Votive] for you LS.

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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