Thread: Whom shall we send? The Vocations Thread Board: All Saints / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Campbellite (# 1202) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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
 
Posted by PeteC (# 10422) on :
 
This is it. Trainees are allowed.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by steady (# 15334) on :
 
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!
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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...?!
 
Posted by rexory (# 4708) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
Thanks Joan [Smile]

(But half a year can feel like 20 years when you're my age [Two face] )
 
Posted by Campbellite (# 1202) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by steady (# 15334) on :
 
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.


 
Posted by steady (# 15334) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
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....
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
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.....
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
It's the DDO's form. Think I will go with gut instinct and leave it with my first thoughts. Thanks folks.
 
Posted by South Coast Kevin (# 16130) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by South Coast Kevin (# 16130) on :
 
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!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
I like that. Nice mix of being and doing. [Smile]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Pleased to hear your plans, Evensong, and very best wishes.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thank you Barnabas. [Smile]

Let's see how long I last before they kick me out. [Snigger]
 
Posted by Sir Pellinore (ret'd) (# 12163) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
...
Let's see how long I last before they kick me out. [Snigger]

Just steer straight. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
'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?
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
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...)
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Codepoet (# 5964) on :
 
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]


 
Posted by urbanbumpkin (# 13505) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
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...
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by sabine (# 3861) on :
 
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
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
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!
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:

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.

So true. I decided to bite the bullet and booked an appointment with the ddo to get back into stuff after maternity leave. Appointment gets made and the next day I go into major glum mood about how rubbish I am at all of "this sort of thing".

Anselmina - thank you for the encouragement that I'm not being presumptuous. It is something I am finding it very difficult to express at the moment, so it means a lot to have someone respond positively to what I wrote.
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jenn.:
quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:

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.

So true. I decided to bite the bullet and booked an appointment with the ddo to get back into stuff after maternity leave. Appointment gets made and the next day I go into major glum mood about how rubbish I am at all of "this sort of thing".

I'd love to say that when the bishop puts hands on one's head all those sorts of thoughts and feelings disappear - but they don't.

I reencounter them regularly. Every.Single.Saturday.Night...

[Ultra confused]

So I guess the thing is that those thoughts and feelings are par for the course, and one has got to learn to ignore/work through/realise them for what they are...
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
For some reason a line from a Bob Dylan song has wandered into my head - You Gotta Serve Somebody.
This in response to my own inner ponderings everytime I conduct worship - who am I really doing this for? Is it about me, so self-serving... or about God and the people of God? Always a sobering thought. I figure the day I stop asking the question might be the day I should quit this gig.
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
I swear it would be easier to do a degree in "Defence Against The Dark Arts" at Hogwarts School than to get through selection here in Llandaff. Looks like I'll soon be onto my fourth different DDO! It's not THAT bad a job being DDO is it?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Ha ha Matthew. I am sorry you are having such a long job of it. I am in the middle of writing an essay for my DDO - what kind of priest does God, the church, and the world need in the twenty-first century and could it be me? So of course I am on the Ship procrastinating........
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by matthew_dixon:
I swear it would be easier to do a degree in "Defence Against The Dark Arts" at Hogwarts School than to get through selection here in Llandaff. Looks like I'll soon be onto my fourth different DDO! It's not THAT bad a job being DDO is it?

I couldn't say, but Llandaff does seem to go through them. Maybe because the job is often combined with some other, less congenial, post? I'm next door in S&B, though. We have a new one too.
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
It's not taking too much of a "long time" - it's barely over four years since I saw my first DDO - it's just that we're going through them at a rate of knots!
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by matthew_dixon:
It's not taking too much of a "long time" - it's barely over four years since I saw my first DDO - it's just that we're going through them at a rate of knots!

Indeed. To be fair, the first one you saw (whom I never saw as at that point I was still talking to one from my previous diocese) had done the job for a reasonable length of time, it's the two intervening ones who have not lasted long. Has this one even made a year?

I think the job combination is part of the problem. The first one Matthew saw managed the combination with Archbishop's chaplain, I think because he'd spent all his ministry in the diocese and had things very much under control. The next one (my first) was catapulted into that and never really got on top of either role. Current one (who I've never actually seen qua DDO as he sent me back to the vocations advisor) who was appointed after quite a gap and after the job and been advertised with two different parishes from the one that it ended up with, has it combined with a single church. It is not clear why he has gone. I happened to see him at a diocesan event on Thursday and he didn't mention anything DDO related to me but I wasn't feeling like it being brought up anyway. Another friend spoke to him on Sunday and nothing seemed amiss. Matthew phoned me yesterday to say he'd just spoken to him and he wasn't DDO anymore!

I'm not sure where I am vocationally myself. It doesn't feel like the right time to pursue at the moment. It's partly I'm convinced they'll hold the fact I'm currently unemployed against me and partly because I'm not disciplined enough in my prayer life.

The irony of all this is that the Church in Wales is supposedly actively encouraging young vocations!

Carys
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
Thanks for the mention of George Herbert's "The Country Parson." I have downloaded a copy and will read it. I gather from some comments that I should be reading "If You Meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him!" -- but I'd have to know George Herbert better first. [Smile]

[ 01. April 2011, 09:28: Message edited by: Ship's Stowaway ]
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Just to add a small (and somewhat wickedly amused) "thank you" to Matthew Dixon and Carys for the news about our DDO. The amusement stems from the confusion I caused in our music group last night when I made some comment about the DDO's departure. Our Vicar's wife (who plays keyboard) said, "Yes, but how did you know? We've only just heard from the Area Dean!" I just replied with something enigmatic like, "I have my sources!", then confessed that the Ship works rather faster than the Diocese.

Just in case you didn't know, I understand that +David is taking on the role pro tem.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ship's Stowaway:
Thanks for the mention of George Herbert's "The Country Parson." I have downloaded a copy and will read it. I gather from some comments that I should be reading "If You Meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him!" -- but I'd have to know George Herbert better first. [Smile]

You might want to put beside it "The Reformed Pastor" by Richard Baxter.

I have been lent* "The Country Parson" to contextualise Baxter but I suspect that it works the other way too.

Jengie

*By someone firmly in the Baxter camp.
 
Posted by Angel Wrestler (# 13673) on :
 
Don't do it!!! Don't. Please. Get that thought out of your mind right this instant. If you know what's good for you, you'll do anything but that.

You'll be a sitting duck for antagonists and you'll have to return ugliness with grace when the "cheek" you'd like to turn (or tell them to kiss) is not the one on your face. You'll be pressured from the hierarchy to get more professions of faith while being pressured by the people of the church to bring in more members and get them to become just like them (or only select certain ones to become members, meaning that 80% of your neighborhood won't qualify). You'll never be able to express anything that resembles critical thinking and you'll have to tolerate Aunt Josephine butchering the music every week The hierarchy will try to help you lead your church by saying, "get good musicians in!" ... but you can't hurt Aunt Josephine's feelings because her family has been there 150 years and they'd rather get rid of you than to get rid of her, no matter how bad the music is - and she does it for free and they don't want to pay for the music. Complete strangers will call you asking for money - some monthly (or more). And you'll find yourself without a thing to say when some germophobe suggests that you wear those disposable plastic gloves while serving communion. Be ready to feel the angst of God's distance.

(and if you must, you must. But if you do, know this: those annoying people are the dearest, most grace-filled people you'll ever know and God will show himself to be not only big enough to include you with your high falootin' education, but will be big enough to include Aunt Josephine, the old woman with some vulgar language, and the guy who unquestioningly puts Vicks on his feet because one of those advice e-mails told him to. You'll be shown generosity beyond what you can imagine and you'll have the sacred moments of praying with someone as they slip off into the arms of Jesus. You'll get to cry with people and laugh with them and eat some wonderful food! And you'll get a catch in your throat when you say, "remember that you're dust..." and "the body of Christ, broken for you." And when you baptize someone, you'll have a natural high for the rest of the day. Be prepared to cry at at least a couple funerals and be prepared to experience God at God's closest.)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angel Wrestler:
Don't do it!!! Don't. Please. Get that thought out of your mind right this instant. If you know what's good for you, you'll do anything but that.

Read Baxter? Or Herbert? [Biased]

Thanks for the personal testimony. I'd "like" it if the damn ship got with the times and provided one.*

(* I am not worthy to receive it but only say the word and we could have one)
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
quote:
Originally posted by Ship's Stowaway:
Thanks for the mention of George Herbert's "The Country Parson." I have downloaded a copy and will read it. I gather from some comments that I should be reading "If You Meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him!" -- but I'd have to know George Herbert better first. [Smile]

You might want to put beside it "The Reformed Pastor" by Richard Baxter.

I have been lent* "The Country Parson" to contextualise Baxter but I suspect that it works the other way too.

Jengie

*By someone firmly in the Baxter camp.

Dear Jengie: Thank you for the suggestion. I have downloaded the "Reformed Pastor" by Richard Baxter and will take a look. I had only read about Baxter in history books on the 17th century and did not know about this book.
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
Thanks for that, Angel Wrestler.

May I quote you in the next Chaplaincy Students' service I prepare?
 
Posted by Angel Wrestler (# 13673) on :
 
... uh.. well, if you're serious - sure! [Biased]
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
quote:
You might want to put beside it "The Reformed Pastor" by Richard Baxter.

I have been lent* "The Country Parson" to contextualise Baxter but I suspect that it works the other way too.

Jengie

------------------------------------

Dear Jengie Jon:

I appreciated the suggestion. It is an eye-opening treatise.

I have read about 10 pages of Richard Baxter's "The Reformed Pastor" and have to give up.

While he occupied a middle ground politically between the Dissenters (Presbyterians) and the Anglicans theologically during the English Civil War, this book (circa 1656) is very Calvinist -- he mentions the Presbyterian Westminister Confession of Faith --

Baxter thinks inadequate, lazy and wicked ministers are going to Hell. Ooops! [Eek!]

I'm continuing to read George Herbert's "The Country Parson" and Thomas Traherne's "Centuries of Meditation" -- same era, but Anglican priests and much gentler -- at least so far -- Herbert says that he is setting his standards for himself and other ministers very high just to encourage himself to aim high, but that any minister not reaching his standards shouldn't consider themselves a sinner. [Smile]

Traherne's book is not a book on clergy conduct, but a series of very rich meditations on Christian mysticism that I had never seen before. They're beautiful. But he and Herbert seem to be working from similar assumptions.

I should mention that while I was raised as an Episcopalian, I spent a year in an Orthodox Presbyterian church as a teen, read the Westminister Confession of Faith, and admired the steely backbone of Calvinism. It is a powerful theology. But I never quite clicked with it.


[code corrected]

[ 05. April 2011, 09:10: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
You do realise that the time Baxter was writing the Westminster Confession was the statement of faith of the Church of England. In fact it is technically a CofE document, hence the Westminster. You also realise what he wrote was initially for preaching at a clergy retreat, and one specifically set up to repent of the sins they perceive.

Have you also considered that in coming a pastor you do take on pastoral responsibility for a part of the church. Go and look at what the Bible says about prophets who don't warn, or what Paul says about leaders in the church and how their sins are under a microscope on judgement day. Baxter when talking of the need for catechism of the parish and it is in that perspective that you have to take his sayings on lazy ministers.

If Callum Brown is to be believed the pattern he laid down for clerical behaviour lasted up until 1950s. The pastoral visit that was intend to strengthen a households faith. Yes definitely amongst Anglicans and even Roman Catholics. In the CofE this included visits to households that weren't church attending. Just the other week I was interviewing a woman who started going to church because her mother sent her to Sunday School after just such a visit from the Parish Priest. The mother did not go herself.

Are we really better off today when the practice has fallen into disregard?

Jengie

[ 05. April 2011, 08:21: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
Dear Jengie:

OK, I'll give Baxter another ten pages and see if I like him better.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ship's Stowaway:
[Baxter thinks inadequate, lazy and wicked ministers are going to Hell. Ooops! [Eek!]

Well, at least he has that in common with most of our congregations!

Has somebody recommended 'Being a Priest Today' the authors being Christopher Cocksworth and Rosalind Brown?

I found/find this book quite useful.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ship's Stowaway:
Dear Jengie:

OK, I'll give Baxter another ten pages and see if I like him better.

Actually skip to the last chapter.

Jengie
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
quote:
Originally posted by Ship's Stowaway:
[Baxter thinks inadequate, lazy and wicked ministers are going to Hell. Ooops! [Eek!]

Well, at least he has that in common with most of our congregations!

Has somebody recommended 'Being a Priest Today' the authors being Christopher Cocksworth and Rosalind Brown?

I found/find this book quite useful.

"Being a Priest Today" is excellent.

Scoop: we've managed to engage Rosalind Brown to be the keynote speaker at next year's Clergy Summer School here in sunny old Brisbane!
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
Found this thread, yay!

Anyway, I'm heading off to the Advisory Committee on Postulancy to Ordination (ACPO) at the end of this month. If ACPO recommends me, then I will officially become a postulant to ordained ministry.

As well, I applied to Trinity College in Toronto for my seminary studies, Trinity being a liberal Anglo-catholic school where one of our fellow high-church ship mates is currently attending. If all goes well, I will be saying good bye to the Pacific Northwest coast and heading to three years of living in Toronto.

I'm a bit nervous about the prospect. I have never lived in another province before, all my life I have lived in Lotus land. I also know a few people in TO, but it will take time for me to adjust to the big city.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Sounds like an exciting new adventure Anglican_Brat. [Yipee]

Best wishes to you. [Votive]
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
quote:
Originally posted by Ship's Stowaway:
Dear Jengie:

OK, I'll give Baxter another ten pages and see if I like him better.



Actually skip to the last chapter.

Jengie

Dear Jengie:

I will try again. Baxter's "Reformed Pastor" had put me off again by stating that the Cromwellian appointees to the ministry (year 1656) were vastly superior to the ministers he dealt with in CofE prior to the Civil War.

That considerably annoyed me, as the pre-Civil War CofE ministers were not perfect, but hundreds of them had been dispossessed by Cromwell for being -- well -- the major sins of being Royalists and Anglicans.

So I questioned whether their replacements -- Presbyterians -- were morally superior to their predecessors -- or merely more in agreement with Baxter's theology.

So I had put his book away again. But I will give him a third try and read the last chapter of the book.
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Found this thread, yay!

Anyway, I'm heading off to the Advisory Committee on Postulancy to Ordination (ACPO) at the end of this month. If ACPO recommends me, then I will officially become a postulant to ordained ministry.

As well, I applied to Trinity College in Toronto for my seminary studies, Trinity being a liberal Anglo-catholic school where one of our fellow high-church ship mates is currently attending. If all goes well, I will be saying good bye to the Pacific Northwest coast and heading to three years of living in Toronto.

I'm a bit nervous about the prospect. I have never lived in another province before, all my life I have lived in Lotus land. I also know a few people in TO, but it will take time for me to adjust to the big city.

Dear Anglican Brat:

Good luck! [Axe murder]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
Richard Baxter is probably the least sectarian and most tolerant of the well-known 17th century writers. Which is why he still gets claimed by Presbyterians and Independents and Anglicans He was again a minister in the established church after 1688 - he had been one of the thousands ejected from their livings under Charles II - even though Charles had previously offered him a bishopric!

Baxter was happy to acknowledge both independent and episcopal churches as churches, and their pastors as fellow ministers. And perhaps more significantly, the Roman Catholics as well. He quotes contemporary RC writers with approval
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
I seem to have lost a post

Try the final chapter of Baxter, it is where he gets to the heart of the issue.

Jengie
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
Dear Jengie:

I have read the last chapter of Baxter. Not sure what my takeaway is.

1. He keeps harping on how the Presbyterian ministers serving with him were so much better than the Anglican ministers whose parishes they took away during the Civil War.

I now know why the Anglicans singled him out for special persecution -- more than other Dissenting ministers -- after he refused a bishopric from King Charles II. Baxter had trashed them in a best-selling book! No power structure will forgive that. [Devil]

2. He wants every minister to meet every family in his parish. Fine. Excellent idea!

But he wants to teach them the Cathechism during these meetings. Can't tell if it is the CofE catechism of that era or the Westminister Confession of Faith.

My thought -- he seems to have largely illiterate rural parishoners in 1656 -- if he was trying to teach largely illiterate rural parishoners the Westminister Confession of Faith -- wildly unrealistic. WC of F -- too complex for that audience. CofE catechism shorter, but would parishioners even understand it?

Not only that, but if they were rural, many were likely secret Anglicans of a sort. The working classes were extremely embittered against the Cromwellian ban on Christmas celebrations, etc. Some of them had a folk Anglicanism and were weary of Baxter and the other Puritan ministers.

Again, Baxter seems very politically naive.

In his place I would devoted my efforts to literacy classes and free Bibles, one per family. Hard to catechize if no one can read or knows any Bible.

2. He has some good things -- warnings to ministers against pride -- very important. Also good stuff on the necessity of ministers to keep up on book learning and better-written and delivered sermons. Good stuff!

3. He berates the clergy for conforming to government decrees on religion and urges more diversity of views in every Christian country --

but the clergy who hung onto their parishes probably felt that they had to conform to the Puritans -- they had to eat and had families to feed and probably viewed not wearing surplices, serving Holy Eucharist/Communion at tables instead of altars, etc. as negotiable as long as they were in a Protestant context.

Again, Baxter seems very naive.

4. He berates ministers for having worldly businesses and not giving enough to charity -- well, CofE parish ministers in the 17th century were notoriously underpaid, and Baxter's Puritan colleagues had taken over those parishes and their mostly low salaries.

Ironically, the Dissenting or Puritan ministers, despite persecution, became better salaried than their Anglican brethren by 1688 after the Anglicans took back those parishes.

The persecuted Dissenting congregations took better care of their ministers because there was no government parish salary to fall back on. So persecution does have some benefits. [Killing me]

5. Baxter talks about a reconciliation between all of the Protestant factions -- there should be a unified church. But how could this be after a decade of violent civil war partly over religious issues?

And when the 1688 revolution came, neither the CofE nor the Dissenters wanted to form a united church when offered the chance.

Again, he seems very politically naive.

Baxter would have done better nowadays with all of the ecumenical work between various denominations. He was about 300 years ahead of his time. [Angel]

6. Baxter's ideas on church discipline -- if I understand him correctly, he thinks ministers should be publicly rebuking and kicking out church members who are notorious sinners and denouncing them to the civil authorities if they don't mend their ways.

Baxter exists in a different historical context from us. As an official employee of Cromwell's government in some sense? Sort of a semi-sheriff?

I understand that some Dissenting congregations and even later Anglican congregations did deny people communion and kick them out for misconduct.

How this translates to a modern context is, I think, difficult. There are people who have to be told to leave congregations because their behavior is way, way, way beyond inappropriate.

But I am still in a learning curve on that subject, so cannot yet comment on it.

7. I may be having stylistic as well as theological problems with Baxter.

Herbert's "Country Parson" -- I'm only 20 pages in -- advocates for teaching the Catechism, etc. -- and also reflects its more peaceful era -- the pre-Civil War 1630s -- but it is just written in a more cheerful and upbeat tone.

So far, only one sentence in Herbert about the need to debate "Papists and schismatics" and some gentle rebukes to his colleagues who are too subservient to the nobility. But I am only 20 pages into the book.

Whereas, Baxter keeps talking about "sin" and "hell" awaiting his colleagues who in his view are not doing their jobs. It's hard for me to 'hear' him. [Eek!]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Its nice to believe that people were secretly Anglican.

You maybe interested that under the Congregational Ascendancy (followed the Presbyterian) parishes were assigned to factions according to the proportion of the people supporting that faction.

Yes that means Episcopalians appointed to Parishes.

Major problem was recruiting Congregationalists to parishes. They has quite strong leanings towards Anabaptist Ecclesiology and they simply did not feel the parish system matched their understanding of church. So during the Congregational Ascendancy parishes were often staffed by Episcopalians and Presbyterians despite Congregational dominance. How is that for tolerance!

Jengie
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
Jengie -- thank you for that historical information about the Congregationalist Ascendancy! I did not know that. [Smile]

I always learn something new when you post. [Overused]

I'm also appreciative that you had me slog through much of Baxter, because I did learn a lot and am a history buff of the English Civil War -- but living in America there is much that I miss. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Twangist (# 16208) on :
 
J I Packer's introduction to the Reformed Pastor (it's in the Banner of Truth version and reprinted in Amongst God's Giants) is very helpful in addressing a lot of the points you raise (and downright inspiring).
 
Posted by Twangist (# 16208) on :
 
Is there an echo?
Sorry - wierd computer
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Twangist:
Is there an echo?
Sorry - wierd computer

Being kind, sweet and lovable I have deleted the duplicate post.

Ain't I a darling?

Twangist, my connection does that sometimes as well but at least in AS I can correct it!
 
Posted by Twangist (# 16208) on :
 
thanks WW
 
Posted by Ship's Stowaway (# 16237) on :
 
Dear Twangist:

I wasn't able to obtain a complete copy of J.I. Packer's introduction to the Reformed Pastor, but did get hold of some lengthy extracts. Thank you for suggesting that.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Hoping someone here might have some wisdom...I'm just starting to think that possibly God's calling me to ordination, which is cool and scary and all kinds of things all at once.

However I was praying this evening, and it occurred to me, in one of those 'well, yes, duh' moments that this would mean having to give up teaching, my current job, which I love so so much...and I just cried.

How have others dealt with that part of being called to ordination - or indeed anything - when it means leaving something else behind?
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
Moonfruit
It doesn't have to be as rigid as that. There are many ordained ministers who remain in secular employment. Its not just an economic thing, it is a method by which the Church can be present in peoples working week (including school students). Teaching has a ministerial aspect anyway. A Self Supporting Minister (SSM) with predictable availability in the school vacations would be a blessing to many parishes.

Or looking the other way, don't lose sight of the teaching perspective of ordained ministry. You might lose the formal structure of the school setting but the teaching gifts you have been given weren't given to be wasted.

It is not an easy thing to work through. Ministry is a 'whole life' thing regardless of how bread gets on the table.

[Votive] for discernment

3F
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
quote:
Moonfruit wrote;
However I was praying this evening, and it occurred to me, in one of those 'well, yes, duh' moments that this would mean having to give up teaching, my current job, which I love so so much...and I just cried.

I went through this experience too and I think it is something that you have to let develop. I was certain I would train part time and carry on working in my day job (I am a paediatrician) until 3 months after my BAP, when it seemed right to train residentially (and therefore, the day job had to go....)
This was such a difficult decision for me that I deferred entry to college for a year (I start this September), really to let me get my head round a decision which I know was God-given.
 
Posted by Jel (# 9755) on :
 
Can I suggest something less organisational - the Spirit does not necessarily call you to a place in a heirarchy, although He can. After being Jonahed into a position (two levels below Javier Solana) where He wrote chunks of future human history, and then led me onto salvaging the Roman Eucharistic vocation, I'm now easing off to document.
Those of you in the mid-west will recognise there's a school of numerologists whose trust in the Lord is being tested by the considerable number of web pages which detected in that structure an apocalyptic intent. They've got it wrong because mankind does not set that agenda, God does.
The reason I raise this here, though, is that my vocation was outside the Organisational: I was used as a Prot to sort out Catholics who were not listening. Now they are, and my work in that respect is done: the background has led me onto a next step. It was certainly tested by the Church Army seminary, indeed under the toughest test possible, entirely justified by the quite extraordinary circumstance presented through me. The core theology is that of the young Samuel, listening seriously with the Lord's Prayer and nothing else as soul food. If we have something in our hearts at the same time, the Lord knows, so trust Him. The miraculous can and does still happen. That's what you're on about here, so go with it, happy that even if you don't know where that blind step of faith is taking you, His faithfulness will test you, stretch you, sometimes all the way, and you'll be doing what you were made to be.

And finally, to leaven the mix, don't forget:
Descartes: To do is to be
Sartre: To be is to do
Sinatra: Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo.
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
I'm not entirely sure this belongs here but a young friend of ours has been badgering God for a clear call for months. She received a pretty random email about Christian voluntary work helping with the never ending relief work in Haiti and, as she's a pharmacist, felt this was it. She prayed, received another email from another source for much the same thing so, not wanting to test God any more, she has applied and now has a stash of forms to complete, including a rather intimidating Statement of Faith.

Can you please pray for C, for the process to go smoothly and for her to be fulfilled in whatever happens now. [Votive]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jel:

And finally, to leaven the mix, don't forget:
Descartes: To do is to be
Sartre: To be is to do
Sinatra: Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo.

[Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:

Can you please pray for C, for the process to go smoothly and for her to be fulfilled in whatever happens now. [Votive]

[Votive] For C.

Can't hurt to volunteer in Haiti. Certainly God's work if she can do it.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Thanks for your thoughts - I think it's mostly a case of trusting God and letting things develop. Part of what freaked me out was that this would really be the first time that following God will have genuinely cost me something. That'll take a bit of getting used to, especially when I'm just starting to feel properly settled, actually living and working somewhere for more than a year at a time.

Still. Let go, and let God. He knows what he's doing. The more immediate task is, I guess, to do some reading then have a chat with my vicar. Who I suspect might not be entirely surprised. Ho-hum.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
I don't know how this pans out in the CofE, but out of Catholic priests ordained last year in the US, the largest single previous profession (including "none") was teacher. It was my background too.

The way I see it, I'm not leaving teaching to enter the priesthood. The priesthood is a threefold ministry of word, worship and shepherding. A priest is a teacher, a public pray-er and a servant-leader. I just got started on the teaching part before the other two.

Now, I have joined a teaching order, so there is a decent chance I might go back to classroom teaching at some point (I taught a 1 credit seminar as part of a service learning trip this semester, actually). But, as part of my vow of obedience, I have to be open to never stepping foot in a classroom as teacher again. I can profess that because I know that I can be a teacher in other roles as well.

I know some parish priests who live out very fully the vocation of teacher. I know some for whom that's not as central and whose gifts are more in other areas. I would endeavor to be part of that former group.
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Darllenwr:
Just in case you didn't know, I understand that +David is taking on the role pro tem.

I had heard rumours of that. I might contact the bishop's office and arrange a meeting. The simple fact I got told by the DDO who gave me feedback from my last board was that "when we send you back to the board, the entire board will be different... aside from the bishop". Therefore, at some point I need to get across to a bishop that always wanted to do a Maths PhD that it's something I personally am glad I never ended up doing!

In all honesty at the moment, whilst maybe I'm slightly off on my prayer life from where I was at my "best", the things I'm thinking I need to work on are learning to drive (which will hopefully be following an eye operation to improve my sight), working out how I feel I am likely to cope with a home-based job as a single person (or rectifying that issue of course...!) and convincing the DDO that I'm not desperate to do that maths PhD. Potentially meeting with the Bishop in a DDO capacity might be beneficial.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
RE Anglican teachers - there are at least 8 on my training course!

Moonfruit - I teach too (am currently halfway through my ordination training)and feel my teaching is much a vocation as the priesthood. I am going SSM but as my training progresses I can feel the pull for the future potentially leading me to part time parish post, part time chaplaincy/teaching post. I am lucky that my head has a similar vision and will bend over backwards to make it happen if that is where God leads me eventually.

Ithink there is definitely potential for both - either in school/parish/combination.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by matthew_dixon:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Darllenwr:
[qb] Therefore, at some point I need to get across to a bishop that always wanted to do a Maths PhD that it's something I personally am glad I never ended up doing!

Whereas I got* 'how can someone with a Cambridge PhD minister in the Valleys?' So your lack of PhD was held against you, whereas my PhD has been held against me!

I possibly need to think about seeing the Vocations Advisor again, but being unemployed and being knocked back for jobs hasn't done my self-confidence much good and that's my biggest problem!

Carys

*From the Vocations Advisor, whom the last DDO sent me to see, because I hadn't, even though I'd seen the previous DDO and a DDO in a previous diocese.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
Just an update:

I have been accepted into Trinity College in Toronto and will attend in the fall. As well, this weekend, I will attend the ACPO conference for my diocese. If recommended, I will officially become a postulant of the Church.

Pray for me [Votive]
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Just an update:

I have been accepted into Trinity College in Toronto and will attend in the fall. As well, this weekend, I will attend the ACPO conference for my diocese. If recommended, I will officially become a postulant of the Church.

Pray for me [Votive]

Many, many prayers Anglican_Brat. Hope all goes well.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Poppy:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Just an update:

I have been accepted into Trinity College in Toronto and will attend in the fall. As well, this weekend, I will attend the ACPO conference for my diocese. If recommended, I will officially become a postulant of the Church.

Pray for me [Votive]

Many, many prayers Anglican_Brat. Hope all goes well.
Thank you, Poppy. I had an amazing weekend at ACPO and have been recommended to postulancy.

I'm following my dream and vocation! [Yipee]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Anglican_Brat [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Wannabe Heretic (# 11037) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Anglican_Brat [Yipee] [Yipee]

Seconded - congrats A_B [Smile]

Might I ask for people's prayers too please - I'm off to BAP on Monday [Help]

(those of you who aren't in the C of E, or went through this under a previous acronym, I mean selection conference [Smile] )
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
Go well, WH.

Treat BAP like a retreat, but with some serious self examination.

If you feel the need to do something (e.g. scream in the open air, prostrate yourself in the chapel, whatever), just go with it - it might make sense later.

Let the Spirit speak how she will.

[Votive]
3F
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
[Votive]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
May the Spirit be with you!
 
Posted by St.Silas the carter (# 12867) on :
 
Come Friday, I'll have finished my first year of seminary! [Smile] It's been exciting, though more tiring than fun.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Congrats Anglican Brat - now the fun begins ...

Hope you enjoyed your BAP WH - that soudns odd I know - but despite it being my BAP I did enjoy mine!
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
The Bishop made it official, I'm now a postulant! [Angel] [Axe murder]

Thank you for your advice and prayers. I will continue to pray for all people of our Holy Church to discover their calling, whether to the ordained priesthood, or deeper engagement with their baptismal vocation.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Well, I'm being sent to bap. I'll know the date soon, but looks like being sept/october.

I want to scream arrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggh and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee at the same time. I've been exploring this for a long time, so the thought of a decision being made is very exciting, but the thought of it being made by someone I don't know is terrifying.
 
Posted by religious kittens (# 9927) on :
 
Can I just say how much I like the H & A Day adjusted title for this thread! No-one's more scared than me at the thought I'm supposed to be a future leader of the church!
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Oh yes, be afraid, be very afraid, mmmwwwhhaaaaaaa
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Yes, once upon a time clergy seemed very senior and very important and appeared to know everything. We were in awe of them.

Now, people we knew as little children and even babes in nappies are being made priests and some of them are even being appointed as canons, bishops and other senior ministers. They, of course, cannot possibly know anything and the church is sure to be heading for hell in a handbasket.

I guess it was ever thus.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Took me a while to find the thread! Lol worked it out in thee nd though - I knew I posted on it last night so it couldn't have gone that far!
 
Posted by Wannabe Heretic (# 11037) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:

Hope you enjoyed your BAP WH - that soudns odd I know - but despite it being my BAP I did enjoy mine!

Weirdly enough, yes I did enjoy it, thanks [Smile] The group there was great - we all had a laugh together and at the end the panel secretary leading it said we were a particularly noisy group!

But now for the waiting...
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
Just out of Presbyterian curiosity...
I get that BAP is a selection conference, but what do the initials stand for?
Ta in advance - trusting that I am predestined to receive an answer from one of you [Biased]

[ 12. May 2011, 16:30: Message edited by: joan knox ]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Bishops Advisory Panel.

Jengie
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Hosts: could this thread's title be edited back to the original please? I mean, I can take a joke, and all that, but now you have all had your fun doing chaos and all, can we have our thread back to normal so it looks rather more supportive than currently.
Thanks in advance....... [Smile]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Yesterday, when I was going to change it back, my mind went blank [no comments necessary!] and I couldn't remember the original title - I hope I've got it right this time.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
Thanks Jengie! I'd worked out the 'B' for 'Bishop' bit but tiny brain was toiling with the other letters.

Out of curiosity what's the process for the different denom's represented by this thread? [indeed, what are the different denom's represented in the thread?]

FWIW, our [as in the Church of Scotland - presbyterian] equivalent to BAP, used to be called 'selection conference' - until apparently it was felt a little un-p.c. [and perhaps somewhat Darwinian...!]
Now we have 'assessment conference' instead, which is after the end of an 8 month placement with a congregation other than your own, towards the end of which is a 'local review' - with the minister of that congregation, someone from Ministries Council, and your Presbytery representative. If you get through the LR you then get to go to assessment conf., and if you succeed, you proceed to training - doing a B.D. and 3 placements, with several essays and 5 conferences kindly given to us all by Ministries Council to add to the fun.... Should you survive, you proceed to a 15 month full-time probation, after which, if deemed okay, you then look for a charge and are ordained into it.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
I used to be more knowledgeable of the URC method due to my dad's field of work.

Stage 1: Approach your minister or elder
Stage 2: go through whatever informal procedures the congregations thinks it should do. You might well be sent to a Enquirers conference and also may have interviews or take services. A wise congregation would set up a discernment group for this stage (it might morph into a support/contact group later). As far as I know no congregations do.
Stage 3: have your name brought before church meeting. Church meeting has to support your candidature before you can go any further.
Stage 4: go through whatever hoops the synod think are necessary almost certainly including an assessed preach
Stage 5: vote from synod supporting your canditature.
Stage 6: Assessment conference
Stage 7: training, this always includes placement
Stage 8: If you complete successfully and you still have support of the denomination (yes I know of cases where that has not happened) then you may look for a pastorate.

You are then a minister but for two years you have a senior minister to guide you.

It used to be synod was the final arbiter of who went to training where, now it is assessment conference. You went to assessment and then synod with the assessment report made its decision. I suspect this was a case of changing what we could alter in the hope that that would fix it rather than fixing what was wrong.

Jengie
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
ahhh, our systems differ in that we do not need to have the support of our minister or congregation to explore the sense of call. In an ideal world, you'd obviously like to have that, but it is not crucial to the overall discernment process, which from go to whoa can take up most of a year. The supervising minister of the congregation you have your enquiry placement on is one of your assessors. For me, what transpired out of that process - which was fantastic - was that I have gained both a wise mentor and friend as I've continued on the way as a student minister.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by joan knox:

Out of curiosity what's the process for the different denom's represented by this thread? [indeed, what are the different denom's represented in the thread?]

For the RCC, this is going to vary a lot depending on whether you're going with a religious order or a diocese, and then also vary depending on which order or diocese. Like Joan, there's no sense that the local pastor has to act as a 'gateway.' In some ways, it would be nice if that was a requirement (that's a way of being 'parochial' that would fit our theology well), but it's not how things have turned out.

For my community, here's how we run things in the US. (In different countries, we'd do some of this differently, to fit different cultures and different requirements from the local bishops).

1. First contact. You contact our vocations office. We send you a nice packet, put you on the mailing list for magazines, encourage you to read our vocations blog. We invite you to come for an informal weekend visit at either our graduate or undergraduate seminary, depending on whether or not you'd have a degree by the time you'd be entering.

2. Vocations mentor. After the informal visit, if things look good to continue discerning, we'd assign you a vocations mentor and try to get you connected with a local community if possible. If things keep looking good, you can ask to formally apply. The vocations office are not allowed to say no to anyone who meets basic criteria, but they can suggest that this might not be a good idea.

3. Formal visit. You come to the appropriate seminary (grad or undergrad) for a weekend, after having submitted a large application packet. You have a bunch of interviews, including a psychological screening. One of the interviews is always with one of our lay collaborators. The application packet and interview feedback is reviewed by our applications committee who makes a recommendation to the Provincial. The decision to admit or not rests solely with the Provincial. Applications Committee decisions are secret, but I think the Provincial normally but not always goes along with them.

3a. Old College. If you need more undergraduate studies, you go to our Old College seminary to get your bachelors. There's no tuition, but you pay room and board and get no stipend. Formation and community happen at the OC and Collegians get degrees at either Notre Dame or Holy Cross College.

3b. Candidate Program. Everyone goes through this the year before Novitiate. For people who entered with a degree, it's their first year in seminary; for those who entered straight out of High School, it's their senior year; for people who entered during undergrad, it's decided on a case-by-case basis what's best. Candidates live at Moreau (our major house of formation), take classes at Notre Dame (pre-reqs for the MDiv, normally mainly philo, but depends on candidate's preparation), do a placement at a local parish or in campus ministry, immerse themselves in house life. [There is no tuition or room and board, but there is also no financial support] If discernment leads them that way, they petition for...

4. The novitiate. The novitiate is the first year of membership of the order. [Financially, that means that the novice has no private income or expense; any income or expense is held in common.] It's a year away, on a mountaintop in Colorado. It's a year to come to know God more closely, the community more clearly, and yourself more deeply and from this, discern your vocation and train to live it well. You do one day a week of ministry as a hospital chaplain and half a day in a parish, but the rest of the time is lived in a monastic rhythm of silence, work and prayer. (Plus nightly conferences and occasional workshops). If discernment leads the community and novice in this direction, he petitions for...

5. Temporary profession. [This is the stage I'm in right now]. You make vows of poverty [forsake individual ownership to hold all possessions in common], celibate chastity [forsake exclusive relationships to hold brotherhood in common], and obedience [forsake individual decision making to make decisions in common]. We make these vows for one year at a time. During this year, you return to Moreau, but now as a member of the community. We study for the MDiv at Notre Dame, which involves coursework plus ministerial placements. You also have various roles in the house during the semester and summer assignments. This is the first stage when there's a presumption (though no obligation on either side) that'll you continue all the way to...

6. Final Vows. Once you profess final vows (same vows, but forever, not just a year), initial formation is over. The day after professing final vows, you are ordained deacon and serve in a parish or campus ministry until ordination as a priest about nine months later. Assignments then continue. Your final assignment (barring accidents) is: reside Holy Cross House (our nursing facility); ministry of prayer.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Hosts: could this thread's title be edited back to the original please?

quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
I hope I've got it right this time.

boo [Frown]

You're no fun...
 
Posted by Macrina (# 8807) on :
 
So here's the thing.

I'm an apostate [Smile] as I gleefully tell a lot of people and explain the difference when they want to know. I left Orthodoxy nearly five years ago due to a combination of doubt, a really Dona-tastic controvesy in my diocese and a lot of confusion over my sexuality. None of these things are really resolved but I've always had this sense that I am running away from more than that.

I have this really powerful sense that something in my life is not right. That I am not doing what it is I am supposed to be doing and what I am supposed to be doing is living in a religious community. I had a (very) bad experience living in an Orthodox convent for a while but I think that was a bad time for me as it was abroad and at a time when I had huge huge doubts and confusion (just before I left the church).

But basically I don't want to believe in God and a calling and living my life according to this massive set of rules and expectations while at the same time I really, really do. The tension in this set me running. And I am still running, just about as fast as my feet can carry me. I've spent four years now training to be a nurse because I know I want to spend my life trying to help people in the middle of thier suffering. But even that doesn't feel like it's enough.

I'm not a contemplative. I'm a doer. I can't live my life locked away from the world I want to help it. And I have no idea how to go about reintegrating the church back into my life or which church to even go to. Or outside of that if there's even an order of monastics that would let me use the talents and skills I have to help people outside.

Anyway. That's my incoherant splurge. I don't have anyone who will take me seriously when I say I want to be a nun (or rather that I think I should be) maybe I should just give it all up as a bad job.

Answers on a postcard.
 
Posted by frin (# 9) on :
 
As Jengie indicated, the URC process changed slightly in the last few years.
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Stage 1: Approach your minister or elder
Stage 2: go through whatever informal procedures the congregations thinks it should do.

Stage 3: Meet the Synod moderator and be interviewed about your sense of call. If (s)he is convinced that you are ready, you get given the various forms which need to be completed. The synod may think that various additional steps would be helpful, such as a placement within a different congregation. Candidates without certain qualifications may be expected to undertake the lay training programme TLS on the university assessment track.

Stage 4: have your name brought before church meeting. Church meeting has to support your candidature before you can go any further.

Stage 5: interview with a panel from local churches other than your own. An assessed service must also happen at this point.

Stage 6: interview with a panel convened by the synod. This must support your candidacy, or the process will halt.

Stage 7: National Assessment conference - which both affirms, or not, that there is a call and makes a firm recommendation about appropriate training.
quote:

Stage 8: training, this always includes placement
Stage 9: If you complete successfully and you still have support of the denomination (yes I know of cases where that has not happened) then you may look for a pastorate.

New ministers have a pastoral support person and are expected to participate in ongoing ministerial education, which is particularly developed for new ministers, during their first three years in post.

'frin

[ 23. May 2011, 20:29: Message edited by: frin ]
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Macrina, I'm not sure I can be much help to you except to say that I know of some nuns who live in a communal house in a city and on of whom works as a teacher. I met her some years ago, and cannot remember the order, except I think they were anglican. Probably. Maybe.

But anyway, what I wanted to say was that it is far from impossible that you could find an order who would appreciate your gifts in terms of nursing.

If you are unsure where you should return to church if and when you decide to do so, why not spend some time sitting in the pews of a few different churches and see if anywhere feels like home. It's completely unscientific, but sometimes it works. And if it doesn't become clear at that point, it might give you some pointers on what you do and don't want from church at this point. Take things slowly. Someone once told me if the call is real it won't go away, and that has proved true. Take you time and deal gently with yourself.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
Macrina, what you're describing is apostolic religious life which, in Catholicism, developed out of vocations just like the one you seem to be experiencing to live religious life in community whilst working "in the world." There are many such communities out there, for men and for women. In fact, I'm a member of one (men's that is).

You mention that you're still working on going back to church. I think this is where your energy needs to be focussed right now. Responding to a call to religious life must flow from an authentic living of your baptismal apostolate, which has to involve membership and participation in a local community. Seek that and if the call to religious life still seems strong when you've fallen in love with a parish, carrying on seeking!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hart:

You mention that you're still working on going back to church. I think this is where your energy needs to be focussed right now. Responding to a call to religious life must flow from an authentic living of your baptismal apostolate, which has to involve membership and participation in a local community. Seek that and if the call to religious life still seems strong when you've fallen in love with a parish, carrying on seeking!

I agree with Hart here.

Except it doesn't have to be a parish.

Look at religious orders in your area perhaps and attend services....?

[ 25. May 2011, 12:54: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by whiterobe (# 15020) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Campbellite:
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


 
Posted by whiterobe (# 15020) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Campbellite:
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

[Hot and Hormonal] After a long time in the bilges I am seeing the Bishop in late Jul 11. Prayers needed pse
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
whiterobe
quote:
After a long time in the bilges I am seeing the Bishop in late Jul 11. Prayers needed pse
Does this mean you are seeing the bishop with a view to being sponsored for a BAP?

[Votive] and enjoy the experience; our bishop (different diocese) does a very nice prayer and blessing at the end of the interview!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Good luck whiterobe, I love your description of being in the bilges.

I am still down there too, have seen DDO a couple of times and written him an essay on the church in the 21st century. Things don't seem to be progressing very fast. But maybe that is for the best?

Prayers for all on the discernment road.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I've got my bap date, a load of scary forms to fill in and an appointment with the bishop to discuss the decision afterwards. It all suddenly feels very very real.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
Prayers for all on here. I'm enjoying my curacy enormously, and starting to get excited that I shall be ordained priest on Saturday the 2nd July, and say my first mass on Sunday 3rd. All prayers gratefully appreciated.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Praying for you and all the others being ordained this Petertide. It was great to chat againon Friday
[Smile] [Yipee] [Votive]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Originally posted by Jenn:
quote:
It all suddenly feels very very real.
The 'it' for me is ditching the day job and starting theological college in September - it is scarily real!

So, I am looking for advice here. What three things will help me cope with the transition and, ideally, help me enjoy the experience?
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Macrina.

Your post is so jammed full of hope/possibility/ opportunity and new starts that i truly do not know where to start....

Enough to say that ...maybe... some of us will be praying for you, as you start to put the jigsaw peices together? I for one am going to be watching very eagerly as your life unfolds.

It's all a question of With Whom....Where...and When. The how and the why of it all will ( i think) come about quite naturally as you seek and wait and pray.

I am so pleased that you posted here.
[Smile]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It all suddenly feels very very real.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The 'it' for me is ditching the day job and starting theological college in September - it is scarily real!

So, I am looking for advice here. What three things will help me cope with the transition and, ideally, help me enjoy the experience?

-
This time last year I was where you are now Aig.
Only to me it didn't seem real until the removal vans had been and taken away all our belongings- most of them into storage. You got me thinking about what three things helped me to make the transition.
1. A very supportive spouse who though he hasn't enjoyed it himself has been a rock to me throughout.
2. Knowing a few people at least by internet if not in person so they seemed like friends as soon as we arrived.
3. Knowing that this was what I had felt called to so for so long.
I must say I have loved all my first year here at college and am looking forward to my second year. It has been a joy to worhsip daily with others, to learn more about serving God and to feel God so close to me throughout the experience.
Now just waiting for the curacy news to start to filter through! [Help]
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
The 'it' for me is ditching the day job and starting theological college in September - it is scarily real!

So, I am looking for advice here. What three things will help me cope with the transition and, ideally, help me enjoy the experience?

I don't know which college you're going to, but as someone about to leave, my three tips would be:

1) Involve yourself in the life of the community in a way which suits your personality and gifts - the friendships you make at college will sustain you throughout your future ministry.

2) At the same time, make sure that you get yourself out of the college regularly - you need space to breathe!

3) Make the most of this opportunity to have new experiences and learn new things - especially look for variety in your placements - I did, and it has resulted in both a deepening of my relationship with God and a broadening of my spirituality.

[Votive] for you in this exciting new step in your journey!
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
For folk BAP-ing..................
[Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Thanks Jante and Cenobite:

The supportive husband is ( I think) there - I'm doing the weekly boarding thing which also ticks the box for getting away!
I don't know any one either at college or going to college, but I am not too concerned about that - I like meeting new people.

I suppose my real question is: if it is so simple, why are people traumatised by the transition?
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Hi Aig
Sounds like you are sorted. Which college are you going to? Just in case its this one and I can say hello in person [Yipee]
Jante
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
You ask "why are people traumatised" by the situation of going away to college?

I suspect that it has to do with the fact of leaving home and not knowing what the future will look like, in any way, or shape, or form. Offhand, I cant think of anything else which is comparable. Most of us have the security of a home base from which we can go out and to which we return, a place we have chosen to live, and doing a "job" or other activity which we have generally chosen. We do a days work, and go home. Church is an activity which while being extremely important, doesn't necessarily fill our whole horizon. We have friends, and hobbies...

When we go to theological college everything is up in the air. We may be living in a place not completely of our choosing, the things we are asked to do may be difficult (probably should be difficult) and will stretch us. We don't know where we will be in 2 or 3 years time, even geographically. Partners may be ambivalent about the whole thing.

And, in addition, for a number of us there is that little worry at the back of our minds..."maybe they have made a mistake...maybe God has made a mistake....maybe I have heard God wrong and shouldnt be even thinking about ordination."

Going to theological college while wonderful and scary and breathtaking and all those other things, can feel like a bereavement, as we come to terms with the loss of our old way of life and of other dreams of ordinations, and have to face the reality of the possibility that it will happen.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Sorry Jante - it is not the same college.

St Everid - I'm sure you are right to describe the trauma in terms of displacement, loss and bereavement. I can relate to this; I and lots of colleagues, have just been moved from our lovely, purpose built children's centre and placed in a converted gym, in a Napoleonic fort, on top of a hill. Panoramic views of Portsmouth harbour and the Solent have not made up for the sense of being a displaced person.
However the fort is quite cool - I think the submarine outside the window and the tank at the entrance set the tone nicely..........

Will theological college be like this?
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
That should be 'St Everild' obviously...
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
...I think the submarine outside the window and the tank at the entrance set the tone nicely...

Onward Christian Soldiers or Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!
 
Posted by Sir Pellinore (ret'd) (# 12163) on :
 
I think a mediocre and/or ill chosen theological college can result in a dreadful letdown, St Everild.

Such places do sadly exist and have put many people off or warped and twisted them terribly.

It's a bit like joining any institution. Some are good and nurture people well. Others can be quite destructive. Others just wet and ineffectual.

I have a dread of dioceses, such as my own, where there is really only one choice of college for potential ordinands to attend. I think the system in England, where you have a wide and genuine choice, far preferrable.
 
Posted by Joan_of_Quark (# 9887) on :
 
I'm going to vicar school this autumn. There isn't a tank at mine. This is SO NOT FAIR!!!
I'm OK with there not being a submarine either. It's not next to the river. I'm very reasonable like that.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
Prayers for all on here. I'm enjoying my curacy enormously, and starting to get excited that I shall be ordained priest on Saturday the 2nd July, and say my first mass on Sunday 3rd. All prayers gratefully appreciated.

I'm spending too long on Facebook. I was looking for the 'Like' button!
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Blimey, it's been an age since I posted on this thread (well...the one before this to be accurate)though I have been following all your thoughts and wanderings from a distance!

Just want to say all the best to those who will be deaconed/priested soon, and those who'll be starting (or continuing) college. Hang in there, however scared you are!

I'm still on my own wandering. I wanted to leave the church after I was turned down but I didn't. Now I actually work for the church and I love my job, and I love teaching but...

(I don't know if this fits on a thread mainly about ordination, if not then I apologise.)

I'm looking at the possibility of becoming a Sister. My life would be a lot to let go of but, as I said about another vocational path a long while ago, we'll see.

I hope there are more young women (I'm 29) out there considering this path too. Hey, get in touch!!
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
First firm steps towards reader selection today.

Eeeeeks
 
Posted by Boopy (# 4738) on :
 
I have recently got through Reader selection and will be starting the training programme in September. Astonishing but very exciting. [Ultra confused] , [Eek!] , and [Big Grin] , in roughly equal measure. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
well that was said far too soon

i'm back for full discernment

[ 17. June 2011, 12:18: Message edited by: Ethne Alba ]
 
Posted by whiterobe (# 15020) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
whiterobe
quote:
After a long time in the bilges I am seeing the Bishop in late Jul 11. Prayers needed pse
Does this mean you are seeing the bishop with a view to being sponsored for a BAP?

[Votive] and enjoy the experience; our bishop (different diocese) does a very nice prayer and blessing at the end of the interview!

[Duplicate deleted
Gwai, All Saints Host]

[ 17. June 2011, 21:47: Message edited by: Gwai ]
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Having let the discernment process slide for a while, I emailed our current 'Warden of Ordinands'* last night. No response so far.

Carys

*This is the term the Vocations Wales Website uses.

[codefix]

[ 25. June 2011, 09:13: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
hi, a faint question for those in the uk:

Once one has landed in the diocesan discernment process....how swiftly or sluggardly do matters proceed?
Or is it a mixed bag, depending on the diocese?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
It varies. I have been in it for a year now, seeing the DDO, filling in forms, writing essays, having long chats. DDO has been on holiday, I have only been able to meet at certain times, so it has been more drawn-out than I was expecting, but that is probably a good thing. He wants me to go to a BAP before the end of May next year which will be nearly 2 years from initial chat with parish priest, but it deends on your diocese and your personal circs, I guess.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
In my Diocese they give you a time line so you have some idea of the process. For me it was 15 mth from seeing the DDO to having a BAP. But my BAP was in November - so 2 years from DDO to starting training (which is average here), However, I then spoilt it by deferring for a year - so for me, 3 years.
I have to say it was only once the BAP said 'yes' that I was able to reflect on the whole vocation thing. The extra year has been a good year!
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
from where i am sitting ( one inch over the starting line!) "extra time" is looking like a great idea....

thanks you for feed back
[Smile]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Been to the ordination as deacon of one of our congregation today. It was last year that I had my first definite sense of calling. To sit there and think "this could maybe be happening to me one day" was a hugely scary and yet amazing thought. It was a wonderful service, packed cathedral, lusty singing and a real sense of God's presence.

Thinking of any of our members who have been ordained this time round.
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
Hi Guys

I'm just popping in to join you on this thread. I have had a calling for several years but still don't know in what form (I'm nearly 50)

I'm doing a distance part time Theology degree with Aberdeen University (CLL see here if interested)
and have finally felt the need to become more involved in my local (struggling) Church of Scotland. Looking at their website for discerning a ministry scares me witless but I need to start somewhere. Actually going to the church is a start I know, but I would love to hear from you guys if this sounds fairly normal or am I just a bit [Help]

Thanks

Birds
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
I was ordained priest on Saturday & celebrated my first mass on Sunday. [Yipee] Still amazed & anticipate returning to earth eventually [Yipee]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by birdsoftheair:
Hi Guys

I'm just popping in to join you on this thread. I have had a calling for several years but still don't know in what form (I'm nearly 50)

I'm doing a distance part time Theology degree with Aberdeen University (CLL see here if interested)
and have finally felt the need to become more involved in my local (struggling) Church of Scotland. Looking at their website for discerning a ministry scares me witless but I need to start somewhere. Actually going to the church is a start I know, but I would love to hear from you guys if this sounds fairly normal or am I just a bit [Help]

Thanks

Birds

Sounds normal Birds. [Smile] Getting involved in your local church is a definite good start.

quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
I was ordained priest on Saturday & celebrated my first mass on Sunday. [Yipee] Still amazed & anticipate returning to earth eventually [Yipee]

Congratulations Rosa. What a high. [Big Grin] Got any photos?

[ 05. July 2011, 03:21: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
@ Birds - yay, go for it and don't let the 121 jargon blindside you, lol!! Have you been to the Enquirer's Conf. yet/ going to do Enquiry placement? Or still in the pre-Enq. thinking space? The Ministries Council 'hot-phrase' is 'reflective practice'... if you're not doing so already, why not take up keeping a journal as you sift through the thinking/ and the practical 'getting involved' bit in your home church?
Been through the process, loved it... [Smile]
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:
hi, a faint question for those in the uk:

Once one has landed in the diocesan discernment process....how swiftly or sluggardly do matters proceed?
Or is it a mixed bag, depending on the diocese?

It depends not just on the diocese but also on the person. For some people, the process can be scarily fast, for others, it can take many years. The thing is, don't get disheartened if it does take a long time - sometimes God isn't quite ready for you as soon as you think he should be!

Don't try and pin a timescale on things either - I tried doing that myself first time around, and they did put me forward when I expected... but wasn't ready for it.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by matthew_dixon:
The thing is, don't get disheartened if it does take a long time - sometimes God isn't quite ready for you as soon as you think he should be!

Or your particular church isn't ready for you.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
....helpful posts, thank you

having waited ( my own choice) for quite a while....i've realised that i'm Quite Ok thankyouverymuch about the waiting continuing for a long time to come!

i'm now in no hurry at all.....
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Birds of the air

Picking up on what Joan Knox said, I wonder if this might be a place to start? Or if you did not want something theological then how about this. Gillie Bolton is good and has done quite a bit of work on therapeutic writing as well.

Jengie
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
Thank you all for your encouragement, links and messages.

The journal is a good idea, I do have one with one page written a couple of years ago!The books look very good Jengie, thanks and might help.

Church was much better than I expected last Sunday; last time I went I almost wept, but time and possibly God's grace has given me a new perspective. The minister isn't the easiest person to relate to and doesn't believe in lay ministry unless he is forced to use it when he is in another parish!

Guess I'll just wait and suggest a few things and see what happens [Smile]
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
Birdsoftheair, another book I found fab. fab. fab. is this one
It's a keeper and I come back to it regularly... well worth having a wrestle with at some point, tho' maybe not right this minute [Smile]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Birds of the Air

Ministers are unpredictable beasts when it comes to ordination. Some who are quite happy with Lay Leadership suddenly get up tight when someone is candidating; others who are unhappy with lay leadership will relax if the lay person is a candidate.

These may be a minority I would guess but they are substantial enough a minority to be noticeable.

Also watch out for grooming for minnistry, if a minister suspects you have a vocation, suddenly you can find yourself in positions of leadership that you did not expect. I suspect that the other can happen as well, that you suddenly find yourself out of leadership positions for much the same reason.

Jengie

[ 08. July 2011, 06:13: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Killing me] Jengie.

Strange but true methinks.
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
I totally agree with you Jengie, a good friend advised me to wait until this Minister had moved on but that could take years!

People (well 2 out of a congo of 7 not inc the choir) did ask my why I had come back; (I used to help with kids activities)so I just said it felt like the right time. Not sure they knew what I meant though. The concept of God or the Holy Spirit informing my decision making is a bit alien to them. [Frown]
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
Birdsoftheair - is it possible to visit other parish churches nearby, if you haven't done so already?
Always useful to see how other folk 'do' church, even within the same denomination. And perhaps, if poss., it may be useful to spend a little time in one of them and see how that fits [or doesn't, and why!] - and get you thinking on differences in practice and theology? [unless geography is a problem re. distances, etc]

Also, I may be misinterpreting you up wrongly here, so if I do, disregard this next: while it's great to have your minister on board/ supportive... it is not an essential as it is for the Piskies - ours is quite a different understanding of ministry. You are not dependant upon your minister's approval or otherwise, if there's a calling and you go through the processes outlined by 121, that calling gets tested beyond just the local sphere.
I guess what I'm saying is, don't let what might be an awkward relationship with your minister necessarily hold you back from exploring. And... anyone can go to an Enquirer's Conference without necessarily signing their life away [Smile]
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
Thank you joan knox.
I have done a bit of on line research and realised that it is very different in the COS to the COE.


I shall just have to stop being a big girls blouse and take the first steps!

Fortunately Mr B is up for it, as we live on one of many islands, any placements etc will be away from home (if it gets that far.)

birds
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by birdsoftheair:
Thank you joan knox.
I have done a bit of on line research and realised that it is very different in the COS to the COE.


I shall just have to stop being a big girls blouse and take the first steps!

Fortunately Mr B is up for it, as we live on one of many islands, any placements etc will be away from home (if it gets that far.)

birds

...and if it happens to be 'one of many islands' in the west, contained within a couple of the 'we haven't discerned any women with any giftings for ministry/ eldership' women-free presbyteries... I hope that won't present a problem either!
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
I think she is slightly further North than that. Piglet seems to know quite a bit about the area.

Jengie
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
excellent - thanks Jengie
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
I will give another plug for 'Under the Unpredictable Plant', which I read this weekend on retreat at Alton Abbey. A friend defines me as 'a charismatic catholic' (of the C of E variety) and most of the themes are familiar. But the author is coming from a very different angle, is immensely readable, and uses the story of Jonah in a memorable way.
I think it is really good.
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
Thank you all for your kind suggestions.
For all those wondering, I live here
though I moved from this place.

God certainly has a sense of humour as I found out today that the presbytery may be moving ministers about to cover shortages on the mainland, so things will change here soon even though I thought they wouldn't for years. How it will affect my Kirk though is hard to say, except that I think lay ministry will become even more important.

I am seriously looking to go to the next Enquirers Conference and will wait to see what comes from that.


[url corrected]

[ 18. July 2011, 03:27: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
That sounds like a god plan, Birds. I went on a vocations weekend 2 years ago and it really helped to have the space and guidance as I tried to listen to God about all of this.

I've just finished the first draft of my BAP registration form and notes for my written reflection. Next step is to redraft it later this week and then go on holiday [Smile] I think the holiday will be well needed - I'm finding these forms very difficult. I'm a perfectionist and that is NOT good for this sort of thing.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jenn.:
That sounds like a god plan, Birds. I went on a vocations weekend 2 years ago and it really helped to have the space and guidance as I tried to listen to God about all of this.

I've just finished the first draft of my BAP registration form and notes for my written reflection. Next step is to redraft it later this week and then go on holiday [Smile] I think the holiday will be well needed - I'm finding these forms very difficult. I'm a perfectionist and that is NOT good for this sort of thing.

I've just finished my last bit of paperwork for Church of Scotland for a wee while... in it I noted I was learning to overcome the 'paralysis of perfectionism'!! Perfectionists and forms very much do NOT go together, I agree [Smile]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
My DDO has organised a placement for me at a mega-church of quite the opposite churchmanship to mine, so that should be interesting..... he has also asked me to read "The Shack", has anyone else read it? Getting along the road now, things seem to be swimming a bit less treacly.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
My DDO has organised a placement for me at a mega-church of quite the opposite churchmanship to mine, so that should be interesting..... he has also asked me to read "The Shack", has anyone else read it? Getting along the road now, things seem to be swimming a bit less treacly.

The Shack is a good read. Although evos love it, there is a lot that is quite orthodox and acceptable to mainstream Christians.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
I enjoyed The Shack. Worth reading. And I'm a liberal evangelical. [Big Grin]

Just beware of heretical Trinitarian theology. I believe this has been the greatest criticism of the book.

Read it a while ago but I think the author strays to Modalism.

But anyone writing about the Trinity will naturally fall into heresy; it's an impossible doctrine.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
...Although evos love it, there is a lot that is quite orthodox and acceptable to mainstream Christians.

Leo, I'm not an evangelical by any manner or means but the suggestion that evangelicals are not mainstream Christians is, I think, not only pretty darned offensive to an awful lot of Christians but also not the sort of snarky stuff we need on this thread, nor, indeed, anywhere in All Saints.

WW
All Saints Host.

[ 22. July 2011, 11:46: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Just beware of heretical Trinitarian theology. I believe this has been the greatest criticism of the book.

Read it a while ago but I think the author strays to Modalism.

No it doesn't - it explicitly challenges modalism: "We are not three gods, and we are not talking about one god with three attitudes, like a man who is a husband, father, and worker. I am one God and I am three persons, and each of the three is fully and entirely the one." (p. 101)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Not Modalism then? Maybe Docetism. Can't remember.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
The Lutheran Witness review : 'Young’s extremely human yet wholly divine Jesus may not sit well with modern-day Docetists who at times tend to regard our incarnate Brother-Savior Lord as being almost embarrassingly overly human (e.g., would the real Jesus drop a dish of food and then even laugh about His seeming clumsiness?).' here
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
My DDO has organised a placement for me at a mega-church of quite the opposite churchmanship to mine, so that should be interesting.....

This can be a wonderful and eye-opening experience. It can also be a fairly exposed and lonely time. Go preparing to get involved as much as they will allow. (Can be easier in liturgical churches were there a more 'minor' jobs to do). You may well find it hard to worship as you are used. It may be worth attending a service elsewhere in the week that is more your sending tradition. Avoid debates about the merits of your tradition and theirs - when you are the only representative of charismatic-conservative-orthodoxy you will feel particularly isolated.

3F
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello all,

Good to see that people are progressing nicely through mountains of paperwork! I remember it well...

I've just done something rash, or not. I've made contact with a community and I'm speaking to a Sister next week (I think). I'm also considering another to compare/contrast.

Blessings to all as we continue to work out where we're going and what we're doing whilst we get there.


Masha
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Masha [Votive] For your meeting.

I have just received a mega email from my college re starting in September. This is more disturbing than I expected.
 
Posted by Joan_of_Quark (# 9887) on :
 
The same thing just happened to me, aig, and it made me think of the parody of "Here I am Lord" - "No, not me, Lord, I am hiding underneath the bed..."
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
'...it's too hard Lord, I'm too scared Lord. Won't you please find someone else instead?!'

Couldn't resist. Sorry.
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
Hi Masha et al,

I think we share more than just an avatar!
I know what I need to do but can I summon up the courage to do it? Hiding under the bed sounds good to me. [Big Grin] Trouble is God can still see me. sigh........
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Indeed birdsoftheair He even finds you if you try to hide in church! By the way I have noticed you have excellent taste in avatars!

Things seem to be moving for me - not sure whether I'm pleased or terrified. I'm in the process of setting up dates to visit two convents, both communities have been very open about talking to me and helping me to discern if I should join them. the Sister I spoke to was lovely, and so honest about the problems of Religious Life. Good to know they tell you the downsides from the outset!

I was having real problems setting up dates due to having told someone I'd work every Saturday morning, then I got a phonecall saying that I'm not needed every Sat which freed up time for visiting ( I hope, unless another call is in the pipeline).

[ 28. July 2011, 16:43: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by jacobsen (# 14998) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Just beware of heretical Trinitarian theology. <snip>

"We are not three gods, and we are not talking about one god with three attitudes, like a man who is a husband, father, and worker. I am one God and I am three persons, and each of the three is fully and entirely the one." (p. 101)
Does anyone understand this? I've always taken comfort from the notion that it is a mystery, which we accept as far as we can, but cannot hope to comprehend.
 
Posted by birdsoftheair (# 15219) on :
 
Not one bit jacobsen and I have done: Christology and the Early Church and Criticism and Defence of Christianity at first year degree level, all of which spend an inordinate amout of time on the Trinitarian heresies.

I just accept it and don't worry too much how it works. As you say it is a mystery, much as the Dawkins contingent say that is a cop out. Why would we want a God without a sense of any mystery?
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
A beauty of a post from justlooking on a purg thread.

quote:
Originally posted by justlooking:
I'm not sure of the source of this prayer, I think it may be Methodist, but it crops up quite a bit:


'We are not ordaining you to ministry; that happened at your baptism. We are not ordaining you to serve the Church in committees, activities, organisation; that is already implied in your membership. We are not ordaining you to become involved in social issues, in ecology, race, politics, and the search for justice and peace; for that is laid on every Christian.

We are ordaining you to something smaller and less spectacular; to read and interpret those sacred stories of our community, so that they speak a word to people today; to remember and practice those rituals of meaning that address people at the level where change takes place; to foster in community, through word and sacrament, that encounter with truth which will set people free to minister as the Body of Christ.

We are ordaining you to the ministry of the word and sacraments and pastoral care.

God grant you grace not to betray but uphold it, not to deny but to affirm it, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Amen....'


 
Posted by Derf (# 2093) on :
 
It is indeed Methodist, I think from the Methodist church in Singapore but I may be wrong. Seasick will probably know. Either way it's very powerful.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
well according to the the st edmunds discernement/ vocations website ...it is indeed from the ordination service of the Methodist Church in Singapore
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
Might be useful as a discussion starter amongst some ministry candidate friends re. thinking through a theology [or, indeed, theologies] of ordination - I confess that I am going to shamelessly pinch it [Smile]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Today I am off to see a vicar about my SSM curacy for next year [Big Grin] Very excited, hope they like me and it all comes off.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
SSM?
Same-sex ministry?

For the unenlightened Presbyterian here... I do not know this term Bagpuss - wot is it, ta? [Smile]

[both unenlightened and unable to spell - argh]

[ 04. August 2011, 12:36: Message edited by: joan knox ]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Self Supporting Ministry - like S. Paul's tent-making.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
d'oh... [Hot and Hormonal]
thank you!
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Hahaha not quite Joan! Bit radical for the C of E that is! [Biased]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
[tangent]As my Anglican days are now a long time ago I still think of SSM as the Society of the Sacred Mission.[/tangent]
 
Posted by Erleuchte (# 16533) on :
 
Hellooo. New Ship deck-swab here. I'm looking forward to trawling through this thread but for now I will shamelessly plug the blog of my vocation discernment process here: [Big Grin]

http://erleuchte.wordpress.com/

Pax, Erleuchte
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Welcome to the Ship and the thread Erleuchte [Smile]

The blog looks great!
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
Falling off the bottom of page 3...how is everyone?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
All my paperwork is in and I'm panicing about my presentation!

To be honest at the moment I'm looking forward to having a decision more than anything else!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Glad this has been bumped...
I'm on week 2 of my placement with the mega-church and it seems to be going well. I won't get to preach as hey are booked up until Christmas but I am going to take part in leading some lunchtime prayers, go along to some of the small groups and generally experience a different tradition. Little Laxton's is having fun too and looking forward to the Sunday club starting up next week.
I've actually got a pain in the side of my face from smiling and nodding so much, talking to so many people.

Diocese is organising a series of evening meets for those on the discernment road, which will be interesting - sort of pre-BAP tips?

Hope all is well with everyone else.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
Yes, that "being in limbo" is rather odd...hope the presentation goes as you wish it to!
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
"..... a series of evening meets for those on the discernment road"

Hmm, an invite for our archdeaconary one came through last week. It's still all a bit surreal.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
We had an evening for people going to BAP in autumn a few weeks ago. It was helpful I think. I can't believe how quickly the time is going now! All the things I run here have started back up too, so autumn chaos has begun. I like it though [Smile]

Is anyone else going to BAP this year?
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
sorry, everytime I see the acronym BAP - I get the giggles and think 'nice baps' [Snigger]
It is probably a good thing I am not Anglican, lol!
Ahh... did I just lower the tone as usual... hmmm
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
[Snigger]

It's all right jk, they'll change the name next week/month/year. In my day, long ago and when they very wisely decided I was "not yet ready", it had just changed from CACTM to ACCM.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I think I'll be BAP'ing early next year. Apparently the diocese has a deadline after which one is too late to start training in September, so last BAP result needs to be done by May.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
Whereas, to me, a bap is a largeish flat round bread roll...

WW, I think it was ACCM when I went as well.
 
Posted by Japes (# 5358) on :
 
Was it not ABM at one point as well?
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Yep, the one everyone else but me in the crowd I was in a few years back went to was ABM - ABbaM
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:
"..... a series of evening meets for those on the discernment road"

Hmm, an invite for our archdeaconary one came through last week. It's still all a bit surreal.

We had a couple of these in my diocese as well. They were good for helping to articulate our answers to likely questions. After all, you may know how you feel, and why you think God is calling you, but putting it into words for others can take some thinking about.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
That's intersting Panda. I think our DDO tries to ask the likely questions in his interviews. The evening meeting was very practical stuff about BAPs (and yes, m thoughts alternate between bread rolls and boobs when I hear BAP). Different dioceses really do do things very differently!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Am a bit overwhelmed at the sheer numbers of people at the placement church. They have to run the Sunday club in sittings as there are so many children. Rather different to my own church where we struggle to attract five children to an all-age service. And having been used to bringing down the average age to about 75 I am stunned at the numbers of younger people, couples in their thirties etc. So is it the theology or the welcome that they are doing right?
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
What's the theology and worship style?

As for my journey, I'm three quarters through my first year and have yet to be chucked out. By the grace of God alone!

I have gained the role of being the group naysayer (or according to the previous group naysayer that has just left the group to be priested - the one that calls "bullshit!".

Can't think why.

[ 12. September 2011, 03:36: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
It's low-church and worship band style. Not to my taste, but it is done well and with enthusiasm.

The theology is... well I haven't really had much chance to assess it, but I would guess the traditional evangelical position, there is lots of "Jesus is Lord" and "thank you Lord for taking our sins away" type stuff. I knoew that I would find it challenging, because my own tradition is much higher up the candle, but I do see that my place has a usual Sunday attendance of 60 and this place at least four times that.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
So is it the theology or the welcome that they are doing right?

To go back to your original question, I think it's kind of a million dollar (pound?) one.

I think if you posed it in Ecclesiantics you'd get a number of different responses.

Why are there more people in that church than your own?

Some would say because of its contemporary worship style (the band?). Some would say it's because it might have a more "Evangelical" theology (black and white) which is more attractive to certain types.

Some would argue it depends on who the leader is. Some particularly charismatic leaders can attract all sorts regardless of worship style or theology. But when they leave, congregants often leave too.

Some would say more middle of the road or high Anglican churches have fewer numbers but more loyal ones. They stick around. Those "new fandangled worship band mega churches" attract lots of people but those people leave fairly quickly out the back door and either lose their faith entirely or revert to more "traditional" options because those kind of churches lack depth.

It's curious they placed you in this church if you are a more up the candle person.

Tho in my diocese, we do that too. But it seems to be the exception.

Go with the flow. Hope you enjoy it. And your little one too. [Angel]
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
re. the placement part of our training up here in the presby frozen wastes of the north: we are encouraged to go on placements that are definitely not like our home church/theol background. This to really try to broaden our exposure to the diversity of styles/ opinions/ etc. I've loved it, even as I've wrestled with some of it.
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
Just giving an update on here of how things are going. If you're someone I know in person and you're finding out this for the first time - apologies, I've not really been focussing on "keeping people up to date" at this particular step.

Basically, I got asked to send some things to our current DDO (who is also our current Bishop rather confusingly) believing these to be things he wanted me to do so we could then meet up and discuss them.

After he'd read these things through, he sent me a letter back, basically saying that what I'd sent and everything else he'd seen of me was "adequate" and that I didn't really burn with any passion or have any urgency or desire for the life of a priest. Rather contradictorily though he did also say that I offer "some evidence of experience or promise in all areas of the selection criteria"! This was done, as far as I know, without any consultation with anyone else and without actually putting me before a panel of people to assess this. I think "disappointed" would be an understatement really. I've got a meeting with him tomorrow where I'm going to raise my thoughts on his comments (and hopefully by doing so he might see my passion, urgency and desire for the life of a priest!)

Prayers gratefully received.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
matthew_dixon [Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Feeling for you [Votive]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by matthew_dixon:
Rather contradictorily though he did also say that I offer "some evidence of experience or promise in all areas of the selection criteria"!

I'd like to see how he evinced 'evidence or experience or promise in ALL areas of selection criteria', when he was a potential ordinand,testing his vocation!

Does such a person ever exist outside the imagination?

Keep plugging away!
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
Well that's the thing - he thinks that person does exist, he thinks that person is me, but thinks I don't really want it, so has seemingly turned me down in spite of that!
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
m_d - have you had your meeting with your Bishop yet? [Confused]
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
Yes, and it generally went okay. I'm not at the end of the road as I thought I was. It's simply a case of trying harder in the coming weeks and months than maybe I have been doing, it seems.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Matthew_Dixon

I wonder if it really is a matter of try harder or really a matter of a different emphasis in performance.

I suspect you need to think about showing your passion a bit more overtly. This is going on what is said here. It really is a bit of a personality clash.

You show your passion by developing your competency in areas you see as important to ordination. Therefore when someone asks you about your vocation talk about how you are doing in these areas. What you probably don't do is talk about what drives you to develop those areas.

There is a long history of people with aptitude but no vocation going forward to the ministry. It happens particularly in a certain subset of the population (I belong to it, and oddly enough I have to put a lot of effort into persuading people I am not called). The problem is such people can do enormous damage to the ministry. I don't think I would, but I would damage myself pretty badly pretty quickly in trying to do an impossible task that really isn't my deepest passion.

So in a sense you need to let the Bishop see what is behind gaining those competencies. Now this is where being female may actually help, it is more normative for females to talk about these things. It will feel like a breach of privacy for you. Yet if the Bishop is to really make a good judgement he needs to see it. You might like to spend some time talking through why you want to be a priest, with someone like a spiritual director. Not really to clarify things in your mind, but to find/create a language with which you are happy expressing your motivations.

Jengie
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
I kind of half know where he may be coming from I think?

I needed a faculty which I didn't get - fast forward 12 years and ended up getting one and before I knew it I was off to BAP faster than I could imagine due to several factors I won't bore you with.

I wasn't reccommended - got highly commended on about 6 of the criteria but they felt I was still called to be a Reader (I wasn't and I knew that)

Went back 12 months later and got through no problem - difference was the second time I was very in your face on the paperwork and verbally and in my presentation about vocation and calling and actually to be fair I think I owned it more. I think the first time my priest, my Bishop, DDO etc knew it was there but I was still in shock at getting the faculty. Second time it was mine - to the point I cried in the vocations interview (and I am NOT a person who does that in public)

I think what I am trying to say in a long winded way is that you have to be very overt about your feelings - indeed even a little OTT
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Bagpuss - thank you so much for that. In a way I think you've just summed up something I've been trying to put into words for quite a while, that need to be overtly passionate about vocational yearning/calling...

I think that at my BAP I probably came over as too quiet and introverted but underneath it all my heart was yearning with passion for it - and still is!

Like you, I had a 'no' and had been advised to go back within 12/18 months but I've put off my return now to co-incide with children's exams...hard in some ways but good in others.

In the meanwhile all sorts of opportunities to break out of my 'quiet' persona have been offered to me and I feel blessed to be where I am now...perhaps sometimes we need to really show that passion to be believed! [Smile]
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
I needed a faculty which I didn't get - fast forward 12 years and ended up getting one and

That's interesting. I was under the impression that one could only apply for the faculty once and, if it were turned down, that was it. Slightly less scary now, perhaps.

Thurible
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
I kind of half know where he may be coming from I think?

I needed a faculty which I didn't get - fast forward 12 years and ended up getting one and before I knew it I was off to BAP faster than I could imagine due to several factors I won't bore you with.

I wasn't reccommended - got highly commended on about 6 of the criteria but they felt I was still called to be a Reader (I wasn't and I knew that)

Went back 12 months later and got through no problem - difference was the second time I was very in your face on the paperwork and verbally and in my presentation about vocation and calling and actually to be fair I think I owned it more. I think the first time my priest, my Bishop, DDO etc knew it was there but I was still in shock at getting the faculty. Second time it was mine - to the point I cried in the vocations interview (and I am NOT a person who does that in public)

I think what I am trying to say in a long winded way is that you have to be very overt about your feelings - indeed even a little OTT

It's true there's no point leaving the selectors guessing what your feelings are about being an ordained minister. Those have to be articulated clearly.

OTOH, many people are skilled at sounding like the 'right' person, when they're not necessarily the right person. I think selectors must have a very tough job really; because they have to sort out what they hear, from what they have discerned about that person.

The onus is also on them, to a large extent, to be skilful enough to interview the candidate so as to get a true picture of that person's heart and faith; rather than simply to elicit the 'right' answers.

But as even selectors are human ( [Big Grin] ) there are times when candidate do need to be quite explicit and unambiguous about why they think they ought to be recommended for training.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Bumping this again...
Am becomingly increasingly dissatisfied by the mega-church's non-Eucharistic services. I know this says a lot about me and the differences in churchmanship, but I find the services pretty pointless. The church leaders seem to be getting round the canon law about celebrating the eucharist at least once per Sunday in the same way that the don't bother with any eucharistic vestments (unless you count a clerical shirt) and I wonder why they want to call themselves Anglican. They don't operate any particularly parish-specific work that I can see, they have a gathered congregation from all over the county. It's an interesting experience but coupled with a potential ordinands' meeting where the discussion was pretty much taken over by men from an evangelical background, I am missing the breadth of the C of E. Have spoken to DDO about this as I found it rather discouraging, and he was very helpful.
I am currently looking at the first three criteria for selection for my next discussion with the DDO.
Prayers for all others on the discernment road, especially matthew_dixon

[ 26. September 2011, 18:59: Message edited by: Laxton's Superba ]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
I needed a faculty which I didn't get - fast forward 12 years and ended up getting one and

That's interesting. I was under the impression that one could only apply for the faculty once and, if it were turned down, that was it. Slightly less scary now, perhaps.

Thurible

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when I applied for my first faculty. Bishop was about to retire and was putting his foot down about how many divorcees were going through.

I just got told you know where the vocations adviser is afterwards and no mention was ever made of whether that was it etc.

When I asked the DDO many years later - new DDO, new bishop, me in new parish etc he hadn't got a clue if you could reapply or not. Obviously I could - I think it was down to the fact that it was a new bishop, also that several years had passed and by then I had been marreid to second husband for 18 years (first husband for less than 2!) so they kind of had to acknowledge he wasn't just a passing fancy lol

What do you mean by slightly less scary now? Is that place you're in then?
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Mrs Thurible was briefly married before she was baptised and so I would need to apply for a faculty, yes. The DDO has made it out to be the most heinous process and one that can only be gone through once (so, in the unlikely event that a faculty wasn't granted, that would be that).

Thurible
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
'faculty'??? Please explain for the few of us who are non-Anglicans. The way it's being used is not the way that suggests academia-type faculty, so what is it you're all on about?

Yours,
puzzled in Presbyland
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
This Australian Anglican doesn't know what a faculty is either...
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
Depending on circumstances 'faculty' is basically authoritative permission to do something.

Eg, divorced ordinands - or ordinands married to divorcees - usually need a 'faculty' from the Archbishop of their province to become an ordained minister. Whether it's granted or not, I suppose, is down to what the circs are.

As yet, I haven't come across anyone, that I know of, in this position who's been denied one, though I'm sure it must have happened. It seems from what Thurible's experience is some dioceses must make a bigger deal of it than others.

Within parish life a faculty is permission to the Parochial Church Council, from the Diocesan Advisory Council/Chancellor, to put pews in/take pews out, erect a notice board, re-order a church's furniture, re-tar the car-park, put toilets in, remove an ancient chalice from use, sneeze loudly etc etc etc etc etc.

It is truly the mother of all 'F' words.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Should anyone who is divorced or married to someone who was divorced feel a call to the ordained ministry in the Church of England, then a Bishops Repressentative ( each diocese has one) is required to interview the prospective candidate.

To say that this chat is intrusive...would be seriously underplaying the scope of the discussion. It all centres round a form ( Canon 4) and the questions that are to be answered.
In addition, other people are contacted to verify the facts given.

(imho, prayer should be offered afterwards, it's a damnable process)

It's loosly termed 'having to get a faculty' in the UK and not to be confused with the faculty process required to do repairs on our church buildings.

My understanding of this process for divorced people, is that it's to ensure that the church is not caught up in any potential scandal further down the track. For the minister, or for the church as a whole.

A clever person than I can maybe find and link the helpful place then we can all read about this fascinating part of our vocation process.

( emotive much~ yup)
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
What they all said! [Big Grin]

I went through 2 processes - the frst one was hell on earth - interrogation by priest I had never met who insisted he could only see us on our wedding anniversary (tactful or what!) references not taken up etc etc - basically it was a pastoral car crash - the Bishop (I have now) thought about showing me the follow up letter but decided against it - thank God for his pastoral sensitivity.

The second experience was fantastic,very sensitively done, amazing priest, Bishop was fab and I would even say he bent over backwards to make sure I got my C4. He advised sacrament of reconciliation afterwards and he was right - it was definitley needed and if I am being truthful was the fnal part of the healing process from the mess that the first process had made.

I love my Bishop [Overused]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
As all above have said. What is more once you have a Faculty all future paperwork for the C of E asks you to say whether you have been granted one or not - so each church you go to knows your situation.
My own was dealt with sensitively by the interviewer but the follow up had problems- now thankfully blurring into obscurity! [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Some stats on vocations in the CofE if any of you poms are interested:

quote:
Ordination candidates

Another 515 candidates were accepted to train as future clergy in 2010, with those aged 20-29 showing a 45 per cent increase from 74 to 108. In total, 563 new clergy were ordained in 2010. Of those, 284 were entering full-time paid ministry.

Revd Preb Lynda Barley, Head of Research & Statistics for the Archbishops' Council, comments: "It is encouraging that the Church is responding confidently to the challenge that the changing age profile of our nation brings, with one in five future clergy entering training being under 30 years of age."

While the numbers of people being training for ordination remained buoyant across 2009, the number of retirements also remained high. Taking retirements and other losses into account, there was a net loss of 129 full-time paid clergy. The total number of licensed clergy (including part-time and self supporting ministers whose numbers increased) was down by 72.

Church of England publishes latest statistics on web.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
bumping, and thanks Evensong - really interesting.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Would anyone like to share their experiences or opinions on training part-time on a regional course rather than full-time at a college? Thanks.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
I'm in my final year of part time training. What do you want to know?
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Bagpuss - thank you so much for that. In a way I think you've just summed up something I've been trying to put into words for quite a while, that need to be overtly passionate about vocational yearning/calling...

I think that at my BAP I probably came over as too quiet and introverted but underneath it all my heart was yearning with passion for it - and still is!

This is where I hit problems I think. I find it hard enough to sell myself at secular interviews* and I really don't want to do it in a religious context. It just seems wrong.

Carys

*yes I've been working on it, though still not got a job.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Would anyone like to share their experiences or opinions on training part-time on a regional course rather than full-time at a college? Thanks.

At my college it is the same course whether you do part time or full time. The downside of training part time is that I have to be very organised to get just the right books out of the library and if I don't then it is another week before I can have another go. If I get a problem in essay writing I can't just ask the tutor or a fellow student over dinner. However the pluses outweight the negatives for me and that is mostly becuase I have teenage children who didn't have to move schools. I loathed moving schools as a child and if I can save them one move that is a plus.

The other plus is that you get to practice some of the stuff they teach you outside of college on your work collegeues. This week I've used conflict transformation and cross cultural listening on the computer dept at work. More material for theolgoical reflection [Biased]

I suspect a lot of full time v part time comes down to personality and how you take to living in community. I thought I would love being in college as I'm an extrovert but found that the week I lived in for a course I was on there was no one to talk to as the place seemed full of introverts who disappeared off to their rooms as soon as classes finished. But then the intake changes and I saw a serious card school in the bar so there might be more singles or more weekly boarders who don't have to rush off and feed the kids or do the music centre run at the end of the day.

Don't know if that helps at all.

[ 15. October 2011, 12:36: Message edited by: Poppy ]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
I have just started training residentially (weekly boarder) but have several friends who have completed or are at various places in non residential training.
They have all reduced their working hours (the ideal for them seems to be working a maximum of 3 days per week) because the pressure of work from the course is so great. They chose this form of training generally because of family commitments (children and/or husbands). In some ways non-residential training seems to be more like the reality of parish life as a curate; it may be coincidence but the best curate my church has had (in 20+ years) trained on a regional course.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
hmm..... yes it is the prospect of school moving that concerns me. I would love the college formation but not at the expense of the small folk. Part-time paid work and part-time study would fit the bill best, but there are pros and cons both sides. Is the decision up to you completely, or does the DDO have a say?
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Would anyone like to share their experiences or opinions on training part-time on a regional course rather than full-time at a college? Thanks.

The regional colleges courses are made up of people were the study pattern made things possible. The college is (often) selected by location rather than church tradition. The graduates will likely have worshipped together in every tradition from by-the-book charismatic to lets-get-imaginative catholic and all points visible from there. It would always have been guided by someone for whom that was natural to them. Equally, you can debate every view on Marian theology until they throw you out of the bar.

On the other hand you spend less time living in each others' pockets and have to sew tents in the week.

Formation will be different rather than less important. You would have three years blending ministry development, a mixed prayer life and the real world.

Worked for me.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:

They have all reduced their working hours (the ideal for them seems to be working a maximum of 3 days per week) because the pressure of work from the course is so great.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry at the above!

[brick wall]

I am in my last year of a part time local course.I am a teacher and head of department and second in faculty, in a subject that has a very heavy marking workload. I also have 2 teenage children.

However, I did my BA and MA both by distance learning and am mega organised so have managed pretty much OK. I tned to do my essays before the tutorials and then tweak them after I have had the sessions on them - has always worked for me so far!

I think there are pros and cons to both forms of training. I yearn to do more 'proper' theology - decent in depth Bible study of lots of books rather than bits here and there. But after a week's summer school I think I would be excommunicated for murder if I had to live in [Biased]

I like how we are all from very different traditions and the obvious arguments that arise because of that. We also get some top class speakers on our residential weekends that the colleges wouldn't necessarily get.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 3rdFooter:
Formation will be different rather than less important. You would have three years blending ministry development, a mixed prayer life and the real world.

Worked for me.

I think this is very important. Formation happens on part time course, not just in college. I'm informed that it also happens to OLMs who are training in parishes! I suspect that the constant juggling of work, study, family, prayer, worship, sabbath etc is good preparation for life in a parish. But each type of training has its own strengths and weaknesses and if you have family commitments then it is a case of what is possible rather than what might be ideal for you as an individual.

Being part time forces you to learn to be organised and pace yourself as there are so many other calls on your time such as shopping and cooking and all the stuff of life that college takes care of if you live in. On my course there are all types of work patterns from retired or not in paid work to full time jobs where college work is either done on trains or late at night after everyone else has gone to bed. I do 20 hours which is working well for me.

You get to be very good at independent study on a part time course as there is no one else but you to motivate you or help out when it goes a bit pear shaped. So if that is going to be a problem it might be worth thinking that through and getting some input on study skills before you attempt part time learning - or it might be right up your street - I never attended any lectures at uni and did it all off reading lists and tutorials so this style of learning works for me.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thanks everyone.
I like the idea of the OLM training but I don't see there is any chance of that in my parish/diocese. I would like to be able to train on-the-job in the same way that one can as a teacher with the GTP scheme, with of course some college stuff too. I see that some colleges do mixed mode training so that is worth looking into as well.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Can a kindly host or more technologically-minded Shippie post a link to the previous vocations thread please - I have tried and failed to find it using the search function and in Limbo.
thanks
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
'Ere it be!

No, no, don't thank me, just throw money!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
thanks Wodders [Yipee]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Thanks WW [Yipee]
I really enjoyed reading the thread and remembering the journey I took alongside so many who seem to have disappeared from here now.
Jante
(Wondering if I've worked out who QUpe is here at Holy Hogwarts!!!)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
We did a session on Anglican Spirituality a few weeks ago and this quote was given to us. It's a quote by Monica Furlong (English Journalist 1930-2003).

quote:
I am clear about what I want from the clergy.

I want them to be people who can, by their own happiness and contentment, challenge my ideas about status, about success, about money, and so teach me to live more independently of such drugs.

I want them to be people who can dare, as I do not dare, to refuse to work flat out (since work is an even more subtle drug than status), to refuse to compete with me in strenuousness.

I want them to be people who are secure enough in the value of what they are doing to have time to read, to sit and think, and who can face the emptiness and possible depression which often attack people when they do not keep the surface of their mind occupied.

I want them to be people who have faced this kind of loneliness and discovered how fruitful it is, as I want them to be people who have faced he problems of prayer.

I want them to be people who can sit still without feeling guilty, and from whom I can learn some kind of tranquility in a society which has almost lost the art.

Much of what the clergy were once esteemed to be has been stripped away, and with it much that encourages self-deception.

Like Christ, if he is brave enough, the priest is now free to offer the best gift of all – himself. Without any certainty that it is going to be understood or appreciated, he goes out to other people, able only to offer his relationship with God, his longing to help, to love and to heal. He is prepared to be vulnerable, to make a fool of himself, in a way that only a Christian will attempt.

(Monica Furlong – addressing the clergy of Wakefield Diocese at Swanwick in 1966)

What do yous reckon?
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Some excellent comments on models of ministry by the Archbishop of Canterbury here.

It's an excerpt from a recent speech on women's ministry but it applies to all clergy.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I'm going through the criteria for selecion at the moment and I am coming to grief with the ones on mission. Being a leftie liberal pluralist I haven't really got much to say about converting the masses and I certainly can't think of anything I have ever done that "counts" as evangelism in the strictest sense.

Now I appreciate that not everyone will share my reluctance to knock on doors with a Bible, run Alpha groups for my not-yet-Christian friends and so on, but how do I approach the mission criteria in a way that is sensitive to the intent of making God known?

I have been looking at the five marks of mission and am relieved to see that converting people is only one way in which mission is defined. But I do have a basic reluctance to "share the good news" in an active way. My preference is the Frances of Assisi misquote about preaching the gospel always, use words if necessary kind of thing.

Would anyone like to share how the mission criteria were dealt with at their BAP?
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Is there anything a bit 'fresh expressions' going on in your parish? I spent 18 months attending a 8.20am children friendly Taize eucharist which fitted the nurturing new believers bit. I also led a couple of bible study groups. What about eco friendly stuff - that is also a valid indicator of mission.
Why not have a look at the five marks of mission and then be creative? 'To respond to human need by loving service' can fit most work situations and as a 'a leftie liberal pluralist' you can be eloquent about seeking 'to transform unjust structures of society'. Enjoy....
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Just got back from Bap and more exhausted than I hae been for a while! I think they are going to say no, fairly sure of it actually. Think I'm ok with it, but would really appreciate prayers as I wait.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
[Votive] Jenn- prayers for you as you wait...
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
[Votive] Jen
I recognise both of those feelings/emotions.

All I can say is that it worked out for me second time and looking back I know it was the time that was wrong not me.

Prayers for wherever this stage leads you xx
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Jenn - [Votive] prayers for the waiting [Votive]

However don't be too sure about the result; a friend of mine came away from her BAP certain she was going to get a 'no' and got a qualified 'yes'.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Votive] [Votive] Jenn.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Bagpuss - can I pm you please about your journey?
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Sorry - that was meant to read 'please can I pm you'... not thinking! [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Jenn [Votive]

What makes you think it will be a no?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Just realised how far short I fall in so many areas. Maybe it's the timing. I don't know. I'm trying to be realistic as lots of people have told me I'm being overly negative. It's wait and see time really.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Jenn the waiting rime is by far the hardest.
[Votive] as you wait
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Jenn - please don't think you "fall short" in any way! [Smile]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Bagpuss - can I pm you please about your journey?

Course you can
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:


Monica Furlong quote from Swanwick conference. (see above)


What do yous reckon?

Wow. That's an amazing quote. Worth reflecting on. Thanks for posting it.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:


Monica Furlong quote from Swanwick conference. (see above)


What do yous reckon?

Wow. That's an amazing quote. Worth reflecting on. Thanks for posting it.
I was surprised by the date. I expected it to be more recent than 1966. Not sure many clergy are there on the not working flat out bit!

Prayers on the waiting Jenn.

Carys
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I am shamlessly going to steal that Monica Furlong and send it to my DDO, whom I am seeing tomorrow. And I am bumping this thread before it falls off the bottom of the page.

DDO thinks I am too cynical and need to button that a bit, fair enough. We have previously discussed "Rev" and the "If you see George Herbert on the road kill him" book as being required viewing/reading for potential ordinands, so it's hardly surprising that cynicism plays a bit part in my outlook!!!

Any news Jenn? [Votive]
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Laxton--Tell the DDO you're skeptical, not cynical. Which would be true. You wouldn't be offering yourself if you were a cynic. Your skepticism is part of your truth-seeking, and it is a gift. Tell him I said so. [Razz]

ISN'T that quote from Monica Furlong superb!! And daring. (MF was a good friend of a friend of mine, who told the story of how once, when she was visiting his house in Boston, she decided to clear out his cupboards, and wound up putting a large canister of Metamucil down the garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. When the water was run, it began to swell...)
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Aw shucks... thanks Amos, that is indeed how I feel. And I think the DDO can see that, he just thinks I will need to tone it down a bit for the Bishop, who might not see things the same way.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
They said YES! [Yipee]

I haven't seen the bishop to get my report yet, but the ddo tells me he always goes with the recommendation, and we told the church this morning (they hadn't known I was going forward!)

Seeing the bishop tomorrow. So excited!
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
Congrats Jenn!
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Wonderful news Jenn
[Yipee]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
I'm not seen round these parts much anymore but I just had to say:

Congratulations Jenn!

[Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Congratulations Jenn! [Yipee]

Do you know where you will train?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I haven't decided yet - need to go and look at places and see how it works with husband/kids.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Congratulations, Jenn.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Congratulations from me, too.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Congrats Jenn. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Well done Jenn! [Smile]
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
shall be praying as you see the Bishop

how exciting

[ 14. November 2011, 07:44: Message edited by: Ethne Alba ]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
What lovely news Jenn. Well done. The meek shall inherit the earth!!!
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I've seen the bishop and received my report. It's very humbling to hear what other people think of you. Thanks for the support over the past few months/years and the congrats since. You guys are fab!
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Fantastic news Jenn xx
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
So pleased Jenn! God be praised! [Yipee]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Just bumping this before it falls off the first page.

Jenn, have you had any feedback from the BAP, and/or thoughts about training?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I received my report from the bishop on monday, which was very helpful in knowing where they noticed weaknesses and strengths. Very humbling. I'm looking at residential training, so will be visiting a couple of places in the coming months.

I've been contacted by a couple of people who were on bap with me and found out what happened to them. It's very odd. you spend 3 intense days with people but all you see that they are actually assessed on it the presentation/discussion = 1 morning. The decisions I know of weren't all what I had expected - keep having to remind myself how little i know!
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Looking at colleges is exciting!
Are you willing to divulge which ones or will we have to guess if it is you when candidates visit?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
probably nottingham and bristol based on ddo's advice.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
I don't know much about either of these colleges so had a look at their websites. I then looked at some other college websites. I came to the conclusion that some are much better than others in terms of giving accurate information for ordinands. I have a clear favourite - does anyone else have an opinion on this?
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
I looked at 4 colleges when trying to discern which I was most suited to. I foudn all their websites fairly accurate but it was the visit and the strong sense of rightness then that I went with. Oh and my Bishops reccomendation!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
It's taken me ages to pluck up the courage to post on this thread!

I'm stuck in the discernment process -- not because of my doubts but because it just seems to have taken so long! It's six months now and I have yet to see the DDO (have seen a vocations adviser 3 times).

I keep telling myself that it's God's time, not my time, but I feel so stuck -- I can't move forward or backwards, and I'm not even officially in the selection process.

What were other people's experiences of this part of discernment/selection? Is it normal to take so long? I feel a bit, how long, O Lord, at the moment.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
It took me several years to go to an advisory panel. It seemed like forever at the time, but with the wisdom of hindsight it was the right length of time.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
You probably won't want to hear this but my journey from first approaching my Vicar to going for BAP was 6years and I know mine wasn't the longest journey. the discernment process is a long one but with reason and though it seems like you are in limbo, the very rpocess changes you and helps prepare you for the future.
[Votive]
If you want to chat in more dpeth about the process PM me.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
I don't know much about either of these colleges so had a look at their websites. I then looked at some other college websites. I came to the conclusion that some are much better than others in terms of giving accurate information for ordinands. I have a clear favourite - does anyone else have an opinion on this?

I didn't go to either of these colleges - but first time round at selection, I checked them out. I liked them both - but St John's had the edge for me, definitely. I had a great interview with the Principal and VP (they're different now, of course) and I liked the amenities and what I could see of the worship life. I hear good reports of it still and believe it has a great reputation.

Which I'm sure Bristol does, too! But at the time, I would've plumped for St John's.

I ended up somewhere different because when I next approached selection, things had moved on for me and Queen's in Birmingham was much more the place for me to be.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
hello Niminypiminy .....from someone else sitting and admiring the view from discernment mountain [Biased]

It does get a tad difficult after a while doesn't it?

Finding out what each step of the process was actually for....and why each specific delay was in place ... helped. It involved a bit of digging around, but there is lots of information out there... in the public domain.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
<waves from neighbouring peak>

I've done a bit of reading about the process, and I'll try and dig around a bit more. But why does it have to be so, if not exactly opaque, then translucent?

I think it's the sense of stuckness that is getting to me. I know time has to pass, but it is the feeling that I can't make plans into the future that is starting to become hard. My work want me to commit to organising things and teaching courses for the next couple of years, and it feels like, I don't know, I'm performing a commitment to be there that I don't entirely have.

It's good to know, though, that in retrospect the process did take the its own time, and that it wasn't too long.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I hated the pauses in the process. Once I got to the ddo things started to make more sense. He set out a vague timetable for me (if all goes well you'll be looking at college in 20xx) and that really helped. I got very frustrated when I had to take a break to have my son, but at least there was a proper reason for that. Prayers as you wait
[Votive]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
A would be cleric wonders why a system of discernment run by clergy is about as clear as mud.

Well when the Good Lord takes it into his head to call a few more people to the ministry who are gifted with:
  1. adminstrative skills
  2. the realisation that not everything runs on church time
  3. an ability to communicate in clear English

We might actually get some thing more clear. However for some reason he seems to prefer people with pastoral skills, theological ones, the prayerful ones, the mission orientated ones or even people who like leading worship.

I think I am glad he does, but it ain't going to make discernment any easier in the short term.

I have known a cleric who was absolutely superb at doing the administration that came with a training role and I suspect would be the same if managing a discernment process but in my experience he is the exception to the rule.

Nobody goes into the ministry thinking I want to be a DDO or similar. It is a role they end up with, and while they may really enjoy working with those discerning, they normally don't enjoy dealing with the admin and are therefore unlikely to take on the extra that would keep everyone in the loop.

Jengie

[ 28. November 2011, 21:38: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]
 
Posted by Lamb Chopped (# 5528) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Niminypiminy:
<waves from neighbouring peak>

I've done a bit of reading about the process, and I'll try and dig around a bit more. But why does it have to be so, if not exactly opaque, then translucent?

I think it's the sense of stuckness that is getting to me. I know time has to pass, but it is the feeling that I can't make plans into the future that is starting to become hard.

I'm sorry. [Frown] But on the bright side (yeah, right!) this is very much what it is like when you're out there doing ministry. A sense of being stuck with regard to one (or two, or three) situations, a frustration because you have NO idea what is supposed to happen next or how to make it happen, and a sense that if you plan for the future, you're basically dreaming, because life is bound to take a sharp left turn any minute now.

You get used to it.

If you're perverted enough, you may even get to liking it, once you give up trying to control your environment and just ride the wave you're on as best you can with the help of God. But it's darn hard.
 
Posted by joan knox (# 16100) on :
 
Our [CofS] system is very different, and a little more straightforward, it would seem.

Go to Enquiry Conference, c. April-May-June.
If you decide to go for Ministry of Word and Sac., apply to be put on Enquiry placement, starting October.
A month to decide whether it's the right thing or not.
If not, withdraw, if yes, continue placement on assessed basis until May when you have Local Review: an hour with a national assessor, someone from presbytery, your assessing placement minister, and a rep. from Ministries Council.
If they say no, it depends on the kind of no as to whether or not you can try again - you get 3 attempts [no, we're not quite sure - there might be a call and we need more time to see evidence of this... come back after a year/ or - no, really, just nooooo].
If it's a yes, that yes is an agreement to let you proceed to the Assessment Conference c.May-June: afternoon/overnight/leave after lunch next day - full of interviews, psych tests, team work exercises, etc.
Having gone through the Assessment Conf. again the possibility of several types of 'no'.
But, if you get a yes, you can then proceed to training... off to University for the B.D. in Sept. and further placements and conferences.
Basically, it's possible to go through our discernment process and have your answer in c. 15 months. And you see anything and everything that has been written about you. And you get a written timetable - so you know when you need to do things/ when stuff is going to happen. No surprises, no cats out of bags.

What I found most helpful when in discernment process: I loved the practical placement - gave me a sort of on the job insight into what it might be like to do this minister thang, with a wise minister/ mentor who met with me fortnightly for supervision. Fab.

This is in no way a 'ours is better'n yours' post... it's just feeding another denominational process into the thread.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Thank you to all for your wise and encouraging words. I am sure that Jengie Jon is absolutely right about being a DDO, and her post made me see a slightly nightmarish alternative-world church full of people who love doing admin. (Mind you, I speak as an admin hater.)

I guess the only thing to do is to be in the stuck moment and to see the waiting as a kind of spiritual discipline, and to trust that, however frustrating and labyrinthine it feels, God is here too.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
I guess the only thing to do is to be in the stuck moment and to see the waiting as a kind of spiritual discipline, and to trust that, however frustrating and labyrinthine it feels, God is here too.

If you can see it that way you are well on your way!!!! [Smile]

Nobody goes into the ministry thinking I want to be a DDO or similar. It is a role they end up with, and while they may really enjoy working with those discerning, they normally don't enjoy dealing with the admin and are therefore unlikely to take on the extra that would keep everyone in the loop.

Maybe I'm weird, or maybe its because I think I learned so much from my own discernemnt process but I would actually like to be involved as a DDO or Vocational advisor sometime in the future! [Ultra confused]

Jante

[ 29. November 2011, 11:40: Message edited by: Jante ]
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Niminypiminy--I've pm'd you.

Jante--I'm amused by your location. When I was there we just called it 'Hogwarts.' With no added 'Holy.'
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Amos, not sure when they added the Holy but it was called that when I arrived!
[Razz]
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
Just realised I've not posted in here recently. Things have just suddenly gone SO fast that I've been struggling to tell those who needed to know - and only once I'd done that was I prepared to announce it to "the world" so to speak on the internet.

Anyway, yes, I've got a diocesan selection panel meeting in a couple of hours (yes I know that makes it 8:30pm!)

I think I'm in a far more mature place than I was first time I went to one - 2.5 years ago - so it's really a case of making sure they can clearly see where God is calling me to, and seeing if they think it's the same place that I think it is.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] for you, Matthew
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Matthew! I was wondering how things were going for you. Hope the panel meeting goes well, and look forward to hearing about how things have progressed for you.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
[Votive] May God go with you Matthew.
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
Last time I went to a board, I came out thinking "That went okay, they're bound to say yes"... and they said no.

This time I've left the board meeting thinking that I didn't do well at all! Now potentially part of that is that I've got more awareness now of what is needed, but basically pretty much nothing I'd been preparing for came up, and they seemed to focus very heavily on some of the leadership aspects of the role and questions on the theme of "How would you deal with someone when you'd made a decision that they didn't agree with?"

So, either I'm far more right for it than previously because I'm actually aware of my shortcomings and was expecting a higher standard from myself than previous... or it is what it is on face value which is probably not a great result.

Should find out in a couple of days.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Hope all goes well with you, Matthew.
You definitely have something to offer the church - hope the understanding of what, and when, and where, gets worked out to your - and their - satisfaction.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Prayers for you, Matthew. You can never really prepare in advance for these things, so try not to worry about that. Let us know.
 
Posted by matthew_dixon (# 12278) on :
 
Well, the decision went as expected - a no. However what I didn't expect was the reason.

I was expecting either of two reasons:

1) I messed up the interview - which would have been really really frustrating.

2) I failed to show a clear ability in the leadership criteria - which is something I am sure I could develop.

What they actually said, and this was a universal opinion across the board, was that they were unable to detect an imaginative flair. Now, if someone had told me 5 years ago that I needed an imaginative flair to go forward for selection, I would have been able to tell them that it was something that I didn't have and was unlikely ever to have. Their reason for turning me down was 100% accurate (though I do want to discuss in feedback the reason WHY I was turned down for that reason).

So, it's somewhat of a case of back to the drawing board at present - as it appears I am pretty much there with all of the other things needed, I just really really don't have much imagination at all!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Oh Matthew..... well, that's a bit of a strange reason. I hope that you are managing it and I'm sure other opportunities will be just around the corner.
[Votive] for you
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
[Votive] Thinking of you Matthew.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
(Without going into too many details quite why:) Oh what I would give for a curate at our place without imaginative flair....
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Stuff'em, Matthew. They do seem make bit of a habit of moving the goalposts.

As you know, a few years ago I went through the same experience (indeed, at the same board as your previous presentation) and was also turned down for reasons which I thought were accurate but whose relevance I doubted. I was furious about it for about a day, and then woke up on the next day but one and thought:
'(i) I don't have to endure a provincial selection conference;
(ii)I don't have to spend two or three years with some of those drippy types who you encounter at theological colleges; and
(iii)I don't have to go and be a curate in Merthyr.
(iv) Looking at it like that, what's not to like?'

I've never looked back!

[ 03. December 2011, 20:33: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
[Votive] Matthew - I think that to put yourself forward for selection is tremendously brave and hope that you are okay.
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
Popping in to say I've been a priest 24 years today. Sometimes I think the selectors (twice) made a Very Bad Mistake™. But it was a mistake in the orbit of God, so I'll blunder along - and mostly I think it's a blessed life: certainly a privileged one.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Zappa,
casting your mind back twenty four years, are you able to say what it was that tipped you over into Doing Something About going forward for ordination?

Was it arm up the back and frog marched to theological college? Your wonderings? Others suggestions?

Just interested to see how folk get to where they are ....and part of this process for us is listening to others story.

If you didn't mind?
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
It seemed to make sense of my life and gifts. I was Uni at the time, third year, and lots of people had been telling me for a couple of years or more that's what I should do - I had been (loosely) planning to be a secondary school teacher.

So I began the exploratory process ... one step at a time, interview after interview. Eventually I was accepted by the bishop, though I later resigned and started all over again when I moved to Australia.
 
Posted by Macrina (# 8807) on :
 
So today I managed a very awkward request to my Vicar to arrange a conversation to talk about life the universe and everything.

This is a big step. Thinking of y'all else making big steps.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Good luck to you Macrina. [Votive]

I've just finished my first year of formation. I'm knackered.

Yet I was told three or four days ago I have to prepare an exegesis on Mark 1:1-8 and will be questioned on it.

*sigh*.

Got two days to do it.

*double sigh*

I hate interviews.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Macrina....that first step is the worst one. All better once That one is out of the way.

Will be prayin'............
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Planning a visit to Cranmer - any shippies there?
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Well done Macrina. That's a hard thing to do. [Votive]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I've got 2 appointments with diocesan vocations assessors lined up for the first week of January.
If they like the cut of my jib, I'm off to the Bishop and then to a BAP. 18 months on the path so far.....
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
I hope all goes well with the meetings. [Votive]

If it does - when will you go to a BAP?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Gosh, I don't know. I would rather get it over with ASAP but certainly before the cut-off for starting training this September, which is the end of May I believe. Can't imagine myself BAP-ing!!!
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Once you get to the stage of your Bishop agreeing to sponsor you - the process speeds up unbelievably. Blink and you will have started training!
That is why I deferred.....
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
And once you have started training it is only a few short moments until it is time to find a curacy.....

I think I went public on an earlier incarnation of this thread about going to a BAP back 2008. My time at college has flown by and now after some months of uncertainty I have been offered a title post [Yipee] . 2012 will be full of packing up a house we have lived in for 20 years to move to the curate's house [Ultra confused]

Time flies but the wait from BAP to letter from the diocese felt like years. Odd that.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Congrats Poppy. Hope it goes well. [Smile]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
[Votive] For all those who this year feel the Holy spirit prodding, poking or driving them to ordained ministry. [Votive]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
SCM Press are having a twenty percent off sale for any students in the house.

I've always found them really good.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Howz this for a vocational explanation?:

quote:
"I am the first generation of people for whom Christianity is a form of rebellion."

He presses on: "I still find it extraordinary that this is what I do. There is always a degree of puzzle about it. And yet it is utterly right.

It is part of what I am and feel I have to be. The puzzle is how to explain my conviction.

It is like falling in love. The night before I got married, my brother sat me down in a curry house in Ripon and asked me to give him all the reasons why this was the right thing to do and write them on a napkin…" This was a preposterous request because "commitment exceeds your capacity to explain it".

Rev Giles Fraser
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello vocational people!

Hope you're all doing well on your different paths.

I have come to a bit of a 'Hmmm. What the ...?' moment in mine so I'm hoping that someone wise might advise me!

If I feel (as I do) that I should offer for ordained ministry, do I go for Stipendiary or do I stick with the day job and go for NSM?

Obviously I'm not asking for an answer - just your ideas on how you went about deciphering your vocation. I'm lost! With no map!!

[ 12. January 2012, 21:21: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Hello *Masha*. I'm lost in the same part of the country, and it's foggy here as well as mapless.

I think the only thing one can do is go on into the uncertainty and pray that bit by bit it will become clear what your path is and where it is going.


[Votive]
 
Posted by Arch Anglo Catholic (# 15181) on :
 
The decision on whether to be NSM/MSE or stipendiary is certainly a challenge. At the moment, I'm distinctly on the first track as the way in which my 'formation' has taken place, and the pointers toward vocation have been very much in that direction and in the place in which I now live.
That's not to say that things might not change! The Holy Spirit does very strange things, to be sure.

May I suggest that you look at what has driven you to this point in your journey, and to ask some searching questions?

Is the desire to be an NSM our of fear of change, comfort in your present position and security, or is it because you feel drawn to this place, time and people?
It's really difficult to be honest with yourself, I know, but worthwhile!

Try talking to other friends who have some understanding of your vocation, your incumbent perhaps too, and get a sense for where they see you too.

God doesn't leave us out on a limb, the signs are there for us but His voice is gentle in comparison with our noise and clutter.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
What good advice AAC.

I have had my 2 vocations assessors interviews and they have both given me the nod to go forward to see the Bishop. Yikes. Now I was talking with my parish priest today and he reckons there is a vast imbalance in the system over numbers of evangelicals selected, with evangelicals making up more than 75% of all those accepted at BAPs. Anyone care to comment?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Thinking back to my bap I would guess at >50% of candidates being evangelical of one stripe or another. If that's typcal, then you are likely to get a higher proportion of evangelicals selected I'd guess.

Also I wonder if the mission/evangelism focus is easier to talk about for people with an evangelical background? (n.b. not saying they are better at doing it, just that they might be more used to talking about it!)
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
The greater proportion of evangelicals presenting for selection is a no brainer: evangelical parishes on the whole are larger, and have a greater proportion of younger people (mostly male, but some female) who are available to experience God's call on their lives.

Evangelical places: a) usually have a clearly defined sense of mission and b) talk about it, encourage and mentor people to engage in mission.

They also largely have a better attention to the spiritual life and a passion for faith which is pretty much lacking in all but the most fervent of Anglo-Catholic nosebleed high places.

Having said all that - and I realise it's an extremely broad generalisation - there is one other factor to consider. I think sometimes that God is only able to work in hearts that are open to faith... Where faith (and therefore hope and love) is present, there the Spirit is working. What I observe in my diocese, and in the mainline churches generally, is a pessimism about the future, a focus on buildings and maintenance, a focus on anguish and anxiety about "not having any young people/not enough money/not enough people to do things/not having or having to pay a priest etc. Where that spirit is at work, of course the Spirit's not going to raise people up to lead it: it's got enough leaders efficient in the ways of leading it into the ground.

If evangelical and extreme A-C places are keeping the hope alive (and love and faith), then may they know every blessing as God raises up people for ministry.

One thing I hold onto and try to remember is the conclusion I reached that God calls everyone for a reason, sometimes for a specific task. This means that even if I don't think X person should be ordained, God may still be calling them for a particular reason. There are no bars to God's call except those we put up ourselves. God will call out people for ordained (and other forms of) ministry if the people of God are faithful. And sometimes even when they are not.

[ 14. January 2012, 09:02: Message edited by: Nunc Dimittis ]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Nunc Dimittis, may I just take a moment to suggest that you might be wonderful? [Big Grin]

Every time I read one of your posts I get something from it; often something to think about.

Thank you!

Also,

Thanks for the advice Arch Anglo Catholic - useful!

NP (can't remember how to spell it, sorry) good to know it's not just me.

[ 14. January 2012, 16:23: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
Masha,
This is not a decision you have to rush to much or fix in your head. It is OK at BAP and even as you begin training to tick both boxes. I am not saying you should procrastinate, just let your ministry be formed over time. You will be surprised how things can change.

SSM/NSM is not the easy option. If you think this might be your path, you need to think how ministry and self support are going to work together. When I started training, I was in a job that involved a fair bit of long range travel, which would have been a real challenge. If you know any SSMs in simalar work to yourself, ask them at the workplace ministry that would go alongside your parish ministry.

Happy to PM if you want to ask questions.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
ArchAngloCatholic and 3rdFooter thank you from me too for your advice (even though it was Masha who asked for it). Really helpful.

Thinking about the first part of NuncDimittis's wonderful post, I wonder if it is the case that the majority of older ordinands are evangelicals? Or is the youth-orientation of some evangelical (CofE) churches off-putting to those of, ahem, more mature years? (Maybe that's more of a purg topic, I don't know.)
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
The question about being stipendary or not can be down to economics and practicality. A paid post usually means moving house and if that is not possible becuase of caring responsibilites - elderly parents, children at important stages in their education, spouse's work etc then SSM might be the only option. Alternatively you might have a career or job than enables you to have the flexibilty to combine SSM and paid work and your ministry can enrich both.

I always felt called to full time ministry and decided to train part time as that was one less school move for the children as we didn't have to up sticks to theological college and then move on again two years later.

It might be worth checking with your DDO when he/she expects you to have made these decisions. It was discussed very early in my discernment but I suspect that was partially about exploring whether I was serious about the call and not just a stay at home mum whose last child had gone to school and now fancied doing a bit for the church. I know that much of this discernment process is about being rather than doing but it doesn't hurt to give some serious prayer time to thinking about how would I feel if I did this full time, or juggling with a job, or caring and sit with the feelings that arise to discern where God might be calling you.

[ 15. January 2012, 07:15: Message edited by: Poppy ]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
I am training with some people who have switched from SSM to stipendiary part way through training. This involved a couple of extra interviews on the vocation and leadership criteria.

Equally I know stipendaries who have gone SSM house for duty. I think that certainly in my diocese there is a lot more flexibility than there used to be.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Interesting. Here there is no distinction made at selection; you are selected for training for ministry, and that's it. Our bishop has just said that if those who were intending to be NSM want to become stipendiary that's largely fine with him (I expect he'd want a brief chat about it) but the training is supposed to be equivalent.

Suits me - all being well I'll be ordained an NSM deacon in June, but I hope to move to part-time and then full-time as my kids get bigger.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
That worries me. When I was trained for NSM, the emphasis was on being a priest in the workplace and the selection criteria at BAPs was harder that that for parish ministry.

The 'worker priest' model has been abandoned in favour of filling parish gaps on the cheap and regarding parish priests as chaplains to a churchgoing club.
 
Posted by Darllenwr (# 14520) on :
 
Equally, one might argue that the role of NSM has had to change in view of the changes in the working environment. As I understand it, the function NSM was seen in the context of the large workplace, such as a motor manufacturer or a shipyard or a colliery, where there would be several hundred people (possibly thousands) employed. Such industries have largely evaporated these days - certainly they have in my part of the world - and the original role of the NSM with them. So, yes, one can see the current role of NSM as being one of getting a priest on the cheap, but that may not be entirely fair on our hierarchy, who are having to perform an increasingly difficult juggling act merely to keep churches open. Faced with the choice between installing an NSM priest-in-charge (house for duty) and seeing a church close for lack of funds, which do you think they are going to choose?
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
This is taken from the URC Manual page on Ministry

quote:

There are three models of non-stipendiary ministry


Model I - service in a congregation as part of a team. The pattern is taken from the former eldership of the Churches of Christ and is limited in scope and local in nature


Model II - pastoral charge of a small congregation, or service as part of a team of ministers caring for a group of churches.


Model III- ministers in secular employment. Service set apart to be a focus for mission in the place of work or leisure. It is related to a local church or District Council.

I think we were before Anglicans or Methodists in Non-Stipendiary Ministry. Therefore my comments on the models here are important. Model I is the oldest, it stems back to 1970s or earlier when we were in discussion with the Church of Christ. This was to cover their category of Elder, who were ordained local people in secular employment with responsibility for worship within the congregation. Their "ministers" were in fact "missioners" and you should only get one if the congregation was struggling. Quite small congregation could have three or four ministers, who would work as a team to provide worship, often with one leading the service of the Word and another the communion (which was weekly in Churches of Christ).

Now about that time Leslie Newbiggin returned to the UK and saw the ability to use this change to create something like the missioners/catechist of the Church of North India. These being basically type III people or the type Leo is talking about.

Type II have come about because of the large number of churches to the relatively small number of ministers (although there are actually fewer members per ministers, there are more churches per minister as church size has got smaller). Early retirement and such has meant that for a number of smaller churches we have been able to provide ministerial cover by a non-stipendiary route.

Jengie
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Having been dipping my toe into and out of this process for a while now....certainly ten years ago any idea of moving between stipendiary and non stipendiary was frowned on.
But then again, so was moving from a Local Ordained Ministry post...out of the area and into a stipendiary post and on out into the big wide ocean of possibilities.

The scenery is changing ...and not all diocese are the same.

Which is sometimes confusing.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
This is taken from the URC Manual page on Ministry

quote:

There are three models of non-stipendiary ministry


Model I - service in a congregation as part of a team. The pattern is taken from the former eldership of the Churches of Christ and is limited in scope and local in nature


Model II - pastoral charge of a small congregation, or service as part of a team of ministers caring for a group of churches.


Model III- ministers in secular employment. Service set apart to be a focus for mission in the place of work or leisure. It is related to a local church or District Council.

I think we were before Anglicans or Methodists in Non-Stipendiary Ministry. Therefore my comments on the models here are important. Model I is the oldest, it stems back to 1970s or earlier when we were in discussion with the Church of Christ. This was to cover their category of Elder, who were ordained local people in secular employment with responsibility for worship within the congregation. Their "ministers" were in fact "missioners" and you should only get one if the congregation was struggling. Quite small congregation could have three or four ministers, who would work as a team to provide worship, often with one leading the service of the Word and another the communion (which was weekly in Churches of Christ).

Now about that time Leslie Newbiggin returned to the UK and saw the ability to use this change to create something like the missioners/catechist of the Church of North India. These being basically type III people or the type Leo is talking about.

Type II have come about because of the large number of churches to the relatively small number of ministers (although there are actually fewer members per ministers, there are more churches per minister as church size has got smaller). Early retirement and such has meant that for a number of smaller churches we have been able to provide ministerial cover by a non-stipendiary route.

Jengie

Thank you. Not for the first time do I find myself being grateful for the many advances and insights from the URC.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Panda:

Suits me - all being well I'll be ordained an NSM deacon in June, but I hope to move to part-time and then full-time as my kids get bigger.

Snap!
[Smile] Apart from the big kids bit - mine will be at university and mortgage paid off by the end of my curacy which will hopefully then open wider doors.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Bumping this up a bit...
How is everyone doing? I am waiting for parish priest to write my reference before I arrange to meet the sponsoring Bishop who will decide if I go to a BAP.
[Votive] [Votive] [Votive] for all of us
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] [Votive] Laxton Superba as you look to going to BAP
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thanks Jante.
Got a date to see the bishop, and a BAP date too. Eeek!
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Is this with the intention of starting training in September, if all goes well?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
yes Panda, part-time on a regional course is the intention. How are you getting on?
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
On the NSM/Stipendiary front, I know someone from this diocese who trained for NSM because he couldn't train full time* and started out as an NSM and then his apparently secure job went and an ideal stipendiary post came up and he became NSM.

My own vocational discernment has taken an interesting turn in that I'm starting work as a full time permanent verger next month. I think for the short term I'll be focussing on this role and seeing how it fits vocationally. It could be the right thing long term or it could be a stepping stone on the way, answering some of the concerns that have been raised about people skills/being too intellectual.

Carys

*Not sure how this sits with Panda's comment about Wales not making that decision at training, but maybe they've shifted since he started training. Or it may be that I don't know the full reasons for his decision which had a lot to do with finances and logistics I think.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
On my referral for a selection conference from the diocesan panel, it said I was a candidate for NSM, and the 'ministry envisioned for candidate was Assistant Priest, Team Member or Team Vicar. When I bridled slightly at this, my DDO said it was standard to put those three if you were starting out as NSM, and they were regarded as a starting-point (after a curacy) rather than as a restriction.

On my conference (in 09) there were no questions about whether I distinguished between NSM and stipendiary in terms of my calling. They were in interested in a call to the priesthood, only.

LS, the end is in sight! One more set of essays (4 x 3000), due in May, two sermons and a lot of forms on reflection to fill in. Question: when does reflection turn into navel-gazing?

[ 17. February 2012, 19:56: Message edited by: Panda ]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I've been sent A Long Form to fill in ....eeeks. Having to put it all down in writing seems so scary. I know this means things are moving on a bit (good) but looking at it makes me get butterflies in my stomach.

Any tips for tackling The Form?
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
On the NSM/Stipendiary front, I know someone from this diocese who trained for NSM because he couldn't train full time* and started out as an NSM and then his apparently secure job went and an ideal stipendiary post came up and he became NSM.

My own vocational discernment has taken an interesting turn in that I'm starting work as a full time permanent verger next month. I think for the short term I'll be focussing on this role and seeing how it fits vocationally. It could be the right thing long term or it could be a stepping stone on the way, answering some of the concerns that have been raised about people skills/being too intellectual.

Carys

*Not sure how this sits with Panda's comment about Wales not making that decision at training, but maybe they've shifted since he started training. Or it may be that I don't know the full reasons for his decision which had a lot to do with finances and logistics I think.

They want candidates who have people skills and aren't too intellectual? Oh well, that's Michael Ramsey out of the window, then....Still, what kind of loss is that, when you can instead fill up the ministry with lots of ever-so-nice people who didn't quite make it as primary school teachers [Mad] .
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Niminypiminy:
I've been sent A Long Form to fill in ....eeeks. Having to put it all down in writing seems so scary. I know this means things are moving on a bit (good) but looking at it makes me get butterflies in my stomach.

Any tips for tackling The Form?

I don't know if how like your long form is to the long form I had to do, but here's what I did.

The "basic data" stuff: With patience, and an appreciation that the Church takes orders seriously.

The reflective questions: Prayerfully and slowly. I had to unlearn the habit I'd been taught in school of selling myself on applications. I wasn't selling myself, but participating in the discernment process. For a lot of the questions, it was the first time I'd really tried to articulate answers to them, so the process was quite formative.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I had a first go at the form then emailed it to my husband and my vicar. It really helped to have someone else to read it over and tell me where it "didn't sound like me" - where I had missed things or fallen into the trap of saying what I thought they might want to hear. That was a really helpful process. If there is someone you trust who would be willing to do that, I'd recommend using them!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Thanks Hart and Jenn for your wise words. They're really helpful.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I'm a bit of a saddo in that I like the tedious bits of form-filling the best..... with the more thoguht-provoking stuff I sat down and did a brain dump of my initial reponse to the question, then went back to it a few days later and was pleasantly surprised at how cogent it seemed. Talking to my DDO I was assured that it isn't meant to be like an UCCA form where you are selling yourself but more of a reflective process. In fact, the whole of the journey from initial contact with DDO to going to a BAP is a really important discernment process and you shouldn't feel that you have all the answers at the initial stage. Filling in the forms can help you clarify how you feel about things and often will be very useful in showing you your path so far.
 
Posted by Aravis (# 13824) on :
 
I don't think selection boards have a problem with candidates being intellectual, but they have understandable concerns if they can't uncover strong evidence of other qualities at interview.
I used to know a priest who considered herself intellectual, but her ability to relate to people (either individually or in the context of a sermon) was so limited that her intellectual skills were of no use whatsoever to the church. (I hasten to add that I can't see that being true of anyone posting on this thread - but I can see why it worries selectors.)
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
They want candidates who have people skills and aren't too intellectual? Oh well, that's Michael Ramsey out of the window, then....Still, what kind of loss is that, when you can instead fill up the ministry with lots of ever-so-nice people who didn't quite make it as primary school teachers [Mad] .

Sorry, not quite sure what you mean there. I've never had any aspirations to be a primary school teacher. Am I too thick or too clever?
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
I don't think the 'too intellectual' thing need be a problem either. The two youngest Anglican candidates in my college class (23 years old) were both Uni post-grads; one in astro-physics, the other in biochemistry. An older ordinand was a history PhD.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
off to see the ddoish person

always loathed jumping into swimming pools and this feels much the same

[ 25. February 2012, 20:30: Message edited by: Ethne Alba ]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Good luck Ethne Alba
I'm seeing the sponsoring bishop on Weds.... [Votive]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] LS
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Good luck Ethne Alba and Laxton's Superba (what a nice rhyme and metre your names have together)

[Votive]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Has anyone experience of doing an exchange with another theological college? I am considering going on a term's exchange to Yale and would be interested in hearing people's thoughts and experiences of exchanges.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Good to go, from the Bishop.
Eek.
BAP-ing in June at Ely (probably).

Yikes!!!!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Cool! (and scary at the same time)

[Votive]
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Excellent news!
 
Posted by nowsouthwest (# 14600) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
Has anyone experience of doing an exchange with another theological college? I am considering going on a term's exchange to Yale and would be interested in hearing people's thoughts and experiences of exchanges.

I had a spell on exchange at the College of the Transfiguration in South Africa and feel I received more formation there in a different environment and context than the rest of the time in the UK. Go for it!
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Thanks Nousouthwest, I probably will go for it!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Doing BAP forms...... how much paperwork!
It's not easy thinking of people to act as referees. Such a lot of personal information required.
Thinking about the written reflection and presentation too - does anyone have any tips? I've got a vague idea of what I'm going to talk about and I've decided to go for something that I know is slightly out of my comfort zone. Would be grateful for anyone's experiences of BAP presentations.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Bear in mind that the presentation is done when you are fairly stressed and it needs to show that you can do basic presentations and then lead a group discussion afterwards. If you go with something outside your comfort zone will it be outside everyone else's and will they find it hard to discuss it afterwards?
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Write your questions down for the post presentation discussion and have an idea of where you want to go with it in the round up.

I did mine on a mixture of prayer and vocation - was highlighting extra things to show I met the vocation criteria as that's the crucial one.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thanks Poppy and Bagpuss
My outside-the-comfort-zone thing is mission and evangelism, so it's not too outrageous, but I thought it would be a good way to work through how I feel about a) the difference bewtween the 2 and b) if there should be a difference, IYSWIM. I know it's something my bishop reckons is a deal-breaker for BAPs. Having an idea of where the discussion should go is a great idea, otherwise it has the potential to end in a soggy heap. Lots to think about. Thanks again.
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
LS, look for some easy opening discussion questions that everyone would have an opinion on. Once people start talking, the rest will flow.

Keep in mind that the panel are looking for people who participate and contribute to other peoples presentations. Ministry is often about other people and what they think is important.
 
Posted by *Leon* (# 3377) on :
 
LS: I get the impression that the purpose of the discussion is to demonstrate your skills at speaking and leading discussions, not to demonstrate that you can come up with profound arguments. Remember also that the 'audience' are being marked on making helpful and interesting contributions, so they're actually the easiest audience in the world. As a result, if choosing between 2 subjects, pick the simpler one; that way you can concentrate more on presentation style and less on explaining your argument.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
What I also did was make a rough plan of the circle beforehand and then filled in everyone's names where they were sitting.

This helped me to intervene and say things like just a sec Bob I think Betty wanted to say something when I had an over keen person who liked the sound of their own voice a lot and one person who was very timid and liked to think things through. Using names was much easier to direct the discussion.

I also scribbled a few points next to each name so when I was summarising I could say the question we were looking at was x (ready prepared) Bib and Phil were of the same mind that x, y, and Suzie thought z so in conclusion boah boah boah

Hope that makes some sense! It just made me feel more in control and prepared.

As someone said - everyone will be playing nicely as they are on show! Just remember to listen well and to contribute but not dominate in all of the presentations, have an opinion and don't be afraid to challenge something you disagree with.

I scribbled little comments down during the discussion
 
Posted by Nikon User (# 5940) on :
 
Just as a matter of interest, does DDO stand for Decidedly Dreadfully Obstructive?
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Hi all,
After having been turned down by the DDO about five years ago, I am now rentering the vocation path. Spoke to my parish priest on Monday and she is supportive and we are going to meet after Easter and work out ways I can gain more experience etc. before going to the vocations team.
 
Posted by Padre Joshua (# 13100) on :
 
I am to be appointed as pastor to a small United Methodist congregation in June. It will be my first appointment since June 2009, although I've been serving as a missionary in northeast Alabama since the fall of that year.

I am elated, because I'm finally getting to answer God's calling on my life. I'm a bit nervous, because I don't want it to end badly like it did last time.

The process will hopefully lead through my undergraduate, to M.Div., and thence to ordination.

May Christ be ever with me.

[ 28. March 2012, 00:21: Message edited by: Padre Joshua ]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Votive] [Votive] orinocco and Padre Joshua
 
Posted by Richard M (# 16447) on :
 
Hello all,

Just thought I'd jump in here and let people know that, after ignoring that nagging feeling that there's something better I should be doing with my life for far too many years, I finally got the courage up to speak to the vicar last year.

I have spent the last 12 months trying to hold down a new job (I left IT and took up teaching) whilst navigating through the discernment process. It has been an interesting time - plenty of action followed by long periods of hearing nothing at all for months on end. My DDO has been great though and has tried to keep me informed whilst juggling all the different jobs she has on the go.

So where am I? I've now filled in every form that you possibly think of and I'm "looking forward" to my BAP in June. <gulp>
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Hello Richard
I am BAP-ing in June, too.
Will pray for you. [Votive]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Prayers for you both as you prepare for your BAPS [Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Prayers for both of you.

Meanwhile I have my first appointment with the DDO on Tuesday. Feels like a big deal, and I'm very nervous about it. It's been a long journey to get this far!
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
I've just made first contact with my diocese to begin to discuss what I think I'm being called to do. Emailed yesterday but no response yet.

I'm in the odd situation of being an Anglican in Scotland on an island with no institutional Episcopal Church presence, and within weeks of moving here the sense of more being expected of me than doing my job grew. I spent a couple of weeks praying so desperately I'd stopped listening, before talking to the Church of Scotland minister (I've been worshipping with the Church of Scotland, which is interesting, but very different from what I'm used to) about it. She has been very supportive, but being the liberal Anglo-Catholic that I am it's pretty clear that my call is going to involve the Episcopal tradition.

I have a strong sense that God has exciting things planned for the church (in the broad sense) here, and He's calling me to help with that. I hope the diocese agree and have ways for it to happen. It was only when I started trying to find out what to do that I realised how much the selection process depends on having the infrastructure of the Episcopal church already in place.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice I'd be eager to here them! I feel like I'm about to get my bike to the top of a very steep hill and I'm not sure how good my brakes are.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Welocme- this is certainly the place to come for support
[Votive] As you discern what God wants for you.
quote:
I've just made first contact with my diocese to begin to discuss what I think I'm being called to do. Emailed yesterday but no response yet
One thing I'd say at the start is you will need patience- in all probabilty bucket loads. Some people do go through the whole process of discernement fairly quickly- but its more usual to be at least 18 months and in some cases such as my own is was nearly 7 years from contacting the diocese to going for a selection conference ( BAP) and then on to training. One of the frustrations of the process is slow answers to emails, phone calls etc. ( I realsie as I read this that it may sound as if I'm getting at you and thats not my intention simply a warning about the process!! [Frown] )
Your's does sound a complicated situation so even more patience may be needed. [Votive]

[ 10. April 2012, 16:31: Message edited by: Jante ]
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nikon User:
Just as a matter of interest, does DDO stand for Decidedly Dreadfully Obstructive?

From what one hears about the dificulty of arranging a meeting with one in some dioceses, it might stand for Diary Doesn't Operate.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello all,

I've given in and am off to have a talk with the Vicar.

Then off to make an appointment with the DDO if he agrees.

Good thing though - the chap who'll be my sending bishop (if all goes through) recently told me that he thought it was 'right' that I should try again (I was turned down two and a half years ago).

Wish me luck! Or something...
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Hope it goes well Masha. Those two and a half years have gone fast. [Votive]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Thanks Laxton's Superba!

Haven't they just.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
So pleased to see you here again Masha. [Votive]
Jante

[ 15. April 2012, 20:03: Message edited by: Jante ]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Thanks Jante!

Is it daft that I'm much more scared this time than I was last time?!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Prayers for you, Masha. [Votive] I'm not surprised you're more scared second time round. Rejection is so painful, and it's horrible to think it might happen again.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
I did it twice - feel free to PM me if you want to chat. It did feel totally different second time around despite knowing the routien of the BAP and my way around the retreat house!
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Ooh, thanks Bagpuss. That's helpful! I feel different about it already. I was much more 'sure' last time and much less worried about the role of a priest.

Hmmm. We'll see.

I'm speaking to a wise and lovely chap about it next week. He'll advise well having been a DDO for a decade in his previous role.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
That sounds good; it's always wise to get new perspectives on where you are.

Coming up the home strait now... two essays to finish in the next three weeks and I will be finished. Eeep.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Well, that went better than expected.

Wise and lovely chap said that he would commend me to the DDO and support me through the process.

DDO is happy to meet with me.

Here we go again...
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
Preliminary discussions with the contact person at the diocese went well, I'm going to go and have a chat with the Bishop when I get the opportunity, which if he's free will be the end of next month when I next visit the mainland. Failing that I'll see him when he comes to visit in the summer. Gulp!
 
Posted by North East Quine (# 13049) on :
 
Welcome to the Ship, Arethosemyfeet! There's a thread to welcome new people at the top of the All Saints Board, and a Scottish thread "Irn-Bru Special" too.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Oh

Matters just got a tad more formal. Today I appear to have gone one more step along the road ......
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:
Oh

Matters just got a tad more formal. Today I appear to have gone one more step along the road ......

In a good way?

Sounds potentially good...

[Votive]
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
it is a good way
and also a blessed relief
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Ok this BAP is lurking. What practical things do I need to think about? What do I need to take and what do I wear? Can I wear jeans or is that too sloppy? Will there be any time to go for a run?

I would welcome any advice. I am planning on driving just in case of emergency with little Laxton although it is a fair way away. I think I would find stressing over train connections more tiring than driving however.

Thanks.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
I would wear something slightly more formal than jeans...unless they are very expensive and well-cut jeans, and you dress them up a bit, perhaps with a blazer and good cotton shirts, and heels.

Don't know about the running...I've never run anywhere in my life.

Of course, if you are a bloke (and you may well be, for all I know) then I can't advise.

Where are you BAP-ing?
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
People wore jeans on my BAP. I didn't, I go into slob mode automatically if I wear jeans, so I wore something which felt a little more business-like t put me in the right frame of mind.

You will have time to go for a run if you want to, there are plenty of gaps and it's up to you how you use them. You will have an exercise to do in those gaps, but I still had enough time to go shopping and to sit in the cathedral for a while too.

Take a watch. I didn't, hence the shopping. I normally use my phone, but that wasn't possible.

Take headphones. The walls were paper thin and I would have loved to be able to relax with some music in the evening.

Don't worry if you don't sleep well. The adrenaline WILL get you through. Prepare to crash afterwards though!

If you eat when you are nervous, take snacks. There are loads of drinks available and trays of biscuits appeared at regular intervals but I ate my way through quite a bit of chocolate while writing my exercise and reading rubbishy novels which relaxed me [Smile]

Mostly though, be you. If you try to be someone else it'll show through. Your ddo has sent YOU to bap, not someone else. Try and enjoy it - you'll meet some lovely people.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Ok this BAP is lurking. What practical things do I need to think about? What do I need to take and what do I wear? Can I wear jeans or is that too sloppy? Will there be any time to go for a run?

I would welcome any advice. I am planning on driving just in case of emergency with little Laxton although it is a fair way away. I think I would find stressing over train connections more tiring than driving however.

Thanks.

Our interview weekend is pretty different, but at the time I applied I was a teacher and I wore three of my nicer teaching outfits -- slacks and button-up shirts. A suit would have felt too business-like to me (no-one who interviewed me was wearing one), but jeans too informal.

I didn't bring any exercise clothes, but should have done: it would have been a good de-stressor.

My advice would be to try to enjoy it, even though you will be nervous. You're not there to sell yourself, but to participate in a discernment process. You get to talk to people about the action of God in your life, and what you feel the Spirit is calling you to. I found that very exciting!
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
I wore my jeans as did many others and I'll be wearing them when I am ordained too! [Biased]

Obviously not for 'proper' occasions but at other times they'll be on. Also bought myself a clerical hoodie - that's going on for non uniform days at school and messy church!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
Also bought myself a clerical hoodie -

Never heard of them before but just Googled. Interesting. What does yours say?

I got my first parish placement a few days ago. I'm nervous. I'll be expected to preach. Did I mention I'm nervous? [Help]
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
Nerves are part of the deal!

My first training rector is a Canon (the Rev'd Canon Dr), and is the sort of woman who is petite, svelt, and who just carries authority - what you might call a "powerful woman" (don't mess with me). I had only ever seen her around at college and was scared of her!

I spent 8 hrs every Friday with her for 18 months, and discovered her to be incredibly compassionate, comfortably ordinary, and in being vulnerable with me she played a key role in some stuff I needed to work through. Her patient teaching and mentoring paid off: if it hadn't been for her I think I would have been lost in my curacy. I would trust her with my life (one of three people in the world).

I hope you are able to get something similar out of your parish placement.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thanks for sharing that Nunc.

My boss told me he chose this placement for me because the priest is an excellent supervisor. [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
Also bought myself a clerical hoodie -

Never heard of them before but just Googled. Interesting. What does yours say?


Doesn't say anything - it's a chocolate coloured main body with a lime green insert and slip in collar. hard t describe - will take a photo when it finally arrives!
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Ok this BAP is lurking. What practical things do I need to think about? What do I need to take and what do I wear? Can I wear jeans or is that too sloppy? Will there be any time to go for a run?

I would welcome any advice. I am planning on driving just in case of emergency with little Laxton although it is a fair way away. I think I would find stressing over train connections more tiring than driving however. Thanks.

Oh my. This takes me back. When I went to ABM (this was before BAP) an experienced friend (she'd been a selector) gave me advice about what to wear: 'Dress conservatively. Wear a skirt. No dangly earrings--too Jewish. No heels. And no lipstick. Certainly no jeans.' I showed up in a longish grey skirt and cardigan with, as directed, no earrings or lipstick. Everybody else was in jeans, and one of the selectors had silver earrings dangling to her shoulders. 'Are you Amish?' one of the other candidates whispered.

Don't wear anything you're uncomfortable in. Smart casual is good. Not too formal. Whatever you wear, at least one person will be wearing something completely different. Treat yourself to a new toothbrush, and have your hair done.
And whatever you do, when the other candidates go to the pub in the evening, go with them. This was the most useful piece of advice I ever received from my DDO.

Edited to add: You MAY be able to find time to fit in a run. Very early in the morning. You're unlikely to find time to read.

[ 14. May 2012, 05:40: Message edited by: Amos ]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thank you all for your advice especially sartorial! I don't really DO smart, so it will be jeans, but not tatty ones. I am confused by the importance of the pub thing though - I never go to pubs, don't drink alcohol, don't like the atmosphere. But I might manage a token lemonade one night, if it is important to show the ability to make small talk etc.

Am still thinking abou the BAP presentation. Not the easiest thing to prepare - it's not an essay, or a sermon, or an UCCA form, odd kind of thing to have to do.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Whatever you do for the presentation make sure that it is something that people can have a discussion about. It is a really good idea to have some open questions to get the discussion going or some follow up open questions if it stalls. I went very low tech with my presentation as I was convinced that the emotion chip in my computer would go into overload if I attempted to use anything more high tech than an OHP [Smile]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
LS I don't do pubs either and I didn't go out to the pub with any of the others ( if they went!) Interestingly I'm now at college with 3 other who were on BAP-don't think any of those went either!
Be you thats the most inportant thing. There are plenty of other opportunities to chat and show you can relate to people.
Continuing prayers for your BAP.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
On my BAP NOBODY went to the pub. We did sit and have drinks from the 'bar' (cupboard) though, which was very pleasant.

I'd have loved a pub visit but I thought it would be slightly unseemly to drag the rest of the candidates out to the local.

Given that I got turned down anyway I probably should have given it a try! [Big Grin]

I agree with all above advice - relax. If you're you then they'll see you. That was my problem last time. I was so concerned about 'performing' that I did exactly that and the poor sods couldn't tell what was me and what wasn't.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Re. the pub thing: The point my DDO was making was that it was important for me to join in whatever my fellow candidates were doing to unwind and socialize in the evening. The other half of his sentence was, 'You will want to go up to your room with a book. However the selectors will all be at the pub too, glancing over at your group. If you're not there it will confirm them in any opinion they might have that you're aloof and overly intellectual.'

In the event, I really enjoyed the pub visit, especially talking with the candidate who'd been a hostage-negotiator with the Met. He was recommended, and went on to Oak Hill.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Our group didn't go to the pub, we did hav a drink in the bar downstairs though. I felt intimidated by it, but in hindsight I'm glad I did it. Everyone (inc. the selectors) was talking about Downton, which I don't watch. I said so and got a look. I followed this up with - "what did people think of x-factor". I got another look. It was quite fun (although I did come away thinking that maybe I just didnt fit in with vicar-types). It was strangely relaxing. Then I went and read a book - much more me [Smile]

In other words - I wouldn't worry about how your attendance or non attendance at the pub/bar will be viewed. It's a stressful situation and you will need to wind down. If you can face the bar, you'll prbably enjoy it more than you'd expect, but if not, don't worry!
 
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
 
Knocks politely

I began a thread on professional listening skills training for church leadership.

http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=017042;p=1#000013

Daftly, I started it on the same day as the Eurovsion Song Contest, bad timing, that...

[Disappointed]

Could I prevail upon any of you aspiring clergy persons/pastors to hop over there sometime to add your two penn'orth, please?

thanking you

Miffy
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Done. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Done. [Big Grin]

Thank you!
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Westcoaster (# 17115) on :
 
Well, I think I've done it all arse about face. I spoke to the Bishop first, and had a full afternoon interview with him, and was then referred to the DDO..positively referred, I may add. I take it that's a good sign.... [Help]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Welcome to the ship Westcoaster and congrats on being recommended by your bishop. [Smile]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
I was going to post this in the Curate Support thread but it seems to have got lost in Oblivion so instead I'll post here. Actually this is probably a better place as its where I started the journey!
Today I leave Holy Hogwarts! I can't believe how emotional I feel at leaving college and being sent out into the world. I've learnt so much at college and made some great friends. Now we scatter to start as curates in the life we have all felt called to. Our vocation to ordained ministry has been validated and soon we will be ordained.
Thank you to all who have supported and prayed for me on this thread over the years since I started posting- back in about 2005 I think.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Yay! Congratulations Jante!

Must be hard to leave but there will be brilliant things in the next place too. [Yipee]

I went to see the DDO. She's happy to take me through so I've officially started the process again. Looking at college Sept 2013, if I get through.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
Jante, congratulations and enjoy the celebrations! God bless.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Congratulations Jante. Those years has flown by, haven't they. I wish you well for the future.

I came back from the BAP yesterday, and boy, am I exhausted. It was so intense, but supportive, and there was a really powerful sense of God's presence. I have no idea what will happen as a result of the BAP, and I suppose that it is part of the come-down that today I have felt really low and thought of all the things I could have said, and obsessed about the things I did say.

Everyone I met was lovely, though, and I enjoyed the experience, a real once-in-a-lifetime event.

(I think it's going to be a "no" though).
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
The day-after thing (obsessing about what you didn't say but wish you had, what you did say but wish you hadn't...) is perfectly normal for the day after a BAP.

It is a good idea to plan something to look forward to for the weekend after a BAP, so that there is something else to think about.

The rest is in the hands of God, the selectors and your Bishop...
 
Posted by Ahleal V (# 8404) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
I am confused by the importance of the pub thing though - I never go to pubs, don't drink alcohol, don't like the atmosphere. But I might manage a token lemonade one night, if it is important to show the ability to make small talk etc.


I went to the selection place that didn't have a pub, but did have a little self-service bar. However, I only went there for about 10 mins one evening. If there were selectors down there, I didn't hear about it.

To be honest, I spent so much time eating tea and cake on the BAP, and socialised with gusto during mealtimes, that in the downtime I did have, I stayed in my room, read a book, listened to my iPod - and ate 1kg of chocolate.

And - I got through the BAP and nothing was said regarding my non-attendence at the bar.

AV

[ 10. June 2012, 07:14: Message edited by: Ahleal V ]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Congratulations Jante! Hope your move goes smoothly, and prayers for you as you start this new stage of your life.

And prayers for you, too, LS, as you wait for the result of your BAP.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Zappa (# 8433) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jante:
Now we scatter to start as curates in the life we have all felt called to. Our vocation to ordained ministry has been validated and soon we will be ordained.

If I had one word it would be enjoy. It is a wonderful life.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
We are moving to the new house at the end of this week and I should probably be tidying another cupboard rather than posting here [Ultra confused]

Much as I've loved theological college I'm really looking forward to starting life as a curate.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
News from the BAP - well, it was a No - the Bishop rang me earlier on. I can't say I am surprised. I feel a bit disappointed, but in a way let off the hook. My DDO is away at the moment so I won't know what is in the advisers' report for a while (but I can guess!).

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, they were much appreciated. Who knows what lies ahead, some other fantastic opportunity to serve the kingdom may be just around the corner.

Prayers and [Votive] to all those still on the discernment path.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] for you LS as you discern the path God is calling you to.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
[Votive] prayers for you LS, that must have been very difficult news to hear. [Votive]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Prayers for you Laxton - have been there - and also moved on and come out of the other side - for me it was a second BAP and I aqm due to be deaconed shortly. But I recollect the feelings very well still. Prayers that you may discern which way to go forward however it turns out for you xx
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thanks everyone.
Initially I threw my toys out the pram and decided that was it, but now I really want to do it again and prove that my call is genuine, realistic and all the rest. DDO has advised a period of thought and reflection but is happy to go through it with me again.
Bagpuss how long between BAPs for you?
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Twenty-odd years ago I went to ABM (as it then was) and was turned down with a report that I thought and still think was monstrously unfair and rather patronising. If it had been less so I would probably have just accepted it and walked away, but I was so cross I was determined to not to. In the end I didn't go back, but the things that I did to keep pursuing what I thought was my vocation to the ministry changed my life in all sorts of ways (including meeting Mrs A) and led me to where I am now- which on the whole I'm pretty happy with.

So keep on at it. Even if you don't end up where you now think you should be, you may end up somewhere else which turns out to be the right place for you.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
LS prayers for you as you think about beginning the whole process again. I pray that your feet will guide you towards the path that leads to the place where God wants you to be. [Votive]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Hi all

Currently feeling nudged/poked towards the priesthood (Anglican) and feeling very Jonahish about it all. I suffer from major clinical depression and at the moment am really wondering why God would choose me for this when I just don't feel capable - but then the worse life feels for me, the more excited and passionate I get about mission and evangelism. No matter how bad things are while I am in a relationship with God, the more I cannot imagine being without Him and the more I need to show Him to others. Things like Godly Play and Street Churches really appeal for me, so I am considering the possibility of Pioneer Ministry or chaplaincy in a mental health or challenging educational (like a residential school for repeatedly expelled students) setting (I have had a lot of problems with homelessness and staying in education as well as the mental health issues).

I am off to university in Northampton in September to study Politics, and will hopefully finally get a degree (I'm 23)! At the moment I haven't told anyone in an official capacity about what I think might be a calling, as at present I am temporarily living with my parents until university, and as I am planning on moving to Northampton full-time I figured it was better to wait until then. However, what I should do...I'm not really sure of. Should I just concentrate on getting better and university, while attending a church but not thinking about ministry? I have been looking at projects in Northampton (like the Street Church) that I would like to get involved with.

Any help or advice would be welcomed! The more I learn about the priesthood and what's involved and how much feels impossible, the more mixing the priesthood and depression feels incredibly risky - although I suppose that seeing the priesthood as a challenging and difficult role is better than seeing it as an easy life working one day a week [Biased]

[ 22. June 2012, 07:35: Message edited by: Jade Constable ]
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Whatever study you're doing now, training for ministry would mean more study at the end of it, even if it's only a year (but at your age it would probably be more - sorry!). The selectors at a conference would want to see that you are capable of completing your degree, seeing through what you have chosen, that sort of thing, before sending you off on any more study.

I suggest, as you say, that you concentrate on getting well and go to university, but don't dump the idea of ministry too far away. Get involved with a church (you'll have to show evidence of belonging somewhere for a good length of time) and whatever it offers; get to know people and let them get to know you. You'll begin to see what ministry would mean for you as you go along.

Selectors will also want to see that you have an objective view of any mental health issues, not pretending they don't exist or that they're long gone, but that you have them under control, and you have some support for yourself in this area.

Good luck!
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Jade

You also need to be aware that an Evangelist/Mission vocation is not the same as one to be a Vicar. It is not necessarily either/or, it can be both/and, but if someone came to me all fired up around mission and did not seem interested in proclamation, sacraments and pastoral care, I would be asking what type of vocation they had, rather than whether they had one or not.

Jengie
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Thanks everyone.
Initially I threw my toys out the pram and decided that was it, but now I really want to do it again and prove that my call is genuine, realistic and all the rest. DDO has advised a period of thought and reflection but is happy to go through it with me again.
Bagpuss how long between BAPs for you?

It was 12 months for me at my Bishop's request - feel free to PM me if you want a chat.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Well I am not sure where the last 2 years training went let alone the 10+ years of complicated vocational journey and discernment!

But tomorrow I depart for my ordination retreat and God and bishop willingmy deaconing this Saturday.

Thanks for the prayers and support that you have contributed. Some of you have played a significant part in my journey - you know who you are!

Bagpuss x
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
Well I am not sure where the last 2 years training went let alone the 10+ years of complicated vocational journey and discernment!

But tomorrow I depart for my ordination retreat and God and bishop willing my deaconing this Saturday.

Thanks for the prayers and support that you have contributed. Some of you have played a significant part in my journey - you know who you are!

Bagpuss x

And me!
Am I ready? I'm packed - is that the same thing? Not sure if there's any more room in my head beyond making sure things are in place for me being away, and for the weekend. I feel that if I can just be where I should be when I should be, I will have to rely on the Holy Spirit for the rest.

[Votive] for all ordinations this weekend.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
You're not meant to be a good seminarian when you start. You'll pretty much have that down by the time ordination rolls around!

Talking of things rolling around, I'm finally approaching my last year of initial formation. Clearly, my superiors don't think I have enough to keep me off the streets as, in addition to finishing my last year of the MDiv, I'll be moving in to my community's undergraduate seminary to serve as assistant director there.

I'm definitely excited about it (it'll be a nice gradual transition between seminary and full-time ministry), but I'm not sure you can really be ready for these kind of things until you're in the midst of them. I'm glad I've had some placements that have been helpful preparation for this, and I have a lot of trust in my supervisor, which is key.

This coming year I'll petition for perpetual vows and, god willing, profess those at the end of summer '13, be ordained a deacon and then be shipped off for my first ordained assignment (being ordained priest Easter '14). Quite what and where that will be will be a task of community discernment for the coming year. I don't expect to have a clue where that might be until the new year, and I probably won't know for sure till after Easter. I'm much more OK with that not knowing than I would have been before all this began. Partly growth in patience, but mainly trust in community decision making and ability to live obedience (which involves both responding to and contributing to decisions).
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
(This temporary position might be attractive to someone with a few months to kill before clergy training or a permanent post, so am copying it over from the Job Support thread.)

If anyone is needing something to do with their time for a few months while waiting for something more permanent to come up, I've come across a gem of a position that I'd love to do myself if I was actively looking at the moment. I stayed here in the summer and it's a great place for people who love books - a residential library.
There are also 'Chapel and Chaplaincy opportunities' if you click on the appropriate link from the same page.
 
Posted by kingsfold (# 1726) on :
 
[Votive] for all those of you being ordained this coming weekend
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
(This temporary position might be attractive to someone with a few months to kill before clergy training or a permanent post, so am copying it over from the Job Support thread.)

If anyone is needing something to do with their time for a few months while waiting for something more permanent to come up, I've come across a gem of a position that I'd love to do myself if I was actively looking at the moment. I stayed here in the summer and it's a great place for people who love books - a residential library.
There are also 'Chapel and Chaplaincy opportunities' if you click on the appropriate link from the same page.

[Smile] I am going as chaplain there in August 2013. Can't wait.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Enjoy, Nunc! It's a great place.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Panda:
And me!
Am I ready? I'm packed - is that the same thing?

Panda... oops, I misread this when I replied a few days ago: you're approaching diaconate, not starting seminary! Prayers for you, Bagpuss and all, and thank you for your commitment to servant leadership in the church!
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Just had my medical. All cleared now so I can concentrate on getting ready for college! So so excited now [Smile]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Congratulations to all newly ordained people!

Especially Jante, as I was there for that one. You won't have noticed me as you had better things on your mind but I was the red haired steward on the main doors! Looking chilly in a summer dress... fool that I am.

It was a lovely service ad it was brilliant to be there to see the beginning of ordained life for so many.

Yay! Congrats to all!

Ed to add: Also yay for Jenn! Good luck.


Masha

[ 01. July 2012, 15:42: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Masha
I was there too - you probably gave me a hymn sheet. And of course there was another shipmate carrying the mace as well.
Congratulations Jante.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Thank you Geroff and Masha- I 'll admit to not seeing either of you- but then with tears in my eyes it was difficult to see anything!! It was a wonderful day and I'm not sure I'm back on firm ground even now!
[Angel]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Likewise - despite being back at work today I am still on a massive high - cannot find the words to describe how I felt during the service
 
Posted by Bookworm (# 11575) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bagpuss:
Likewise - despite being back at work today I am still on a massive high - cannot find the words to describe how I felt during the service

You probably never will! You'll spend the rest of your days living into and understanding the sacrament that is ordination. And the wonder and the grace of it.

But it's worth putting down a few words of some sort in a journal, and adding a copy of the service if you have one, and photos... making a metaphorical pile of stones to mark the place, to be able to go back and remember and give thanks.

[Votive] Giving thanks for all who are in times of transition and new beginnings.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
Wise advice Bookworm - I wish I had been given it 10 years ago.

(But I do have photos, a DVD etc, just not the thoughts that go along with them...)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
St Paul's Cathedral (on Facebook ) released a bunch of lovely photoes today of people being deaconed. Was that any of you lot?

Looked awesome. [Angel]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
Not me at St Paul's - we do have pics on our diocesan website though.

Great idea re the journal - I have jotted down some things last night as there were a few very poignant moments that I don't wnat to forget. Along with a list of presents, those I was ordained with etc. Lots of little bits
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
I can't find the curacy support thread - on a search it says it doesn't exist anymore!

Anyway - today I did my first baptism which was utterly lovely - a really special moment - just wanted to share [Smile]
 
Posted by hatless (# 3365) on :
 
It's all change in the hatless family. My wife was ordained a few weeks ago, and begins her first pastorate in September. This Sunday is my last after nearly 31 years as a minister in pastoral charge. I will be a hospital chaplain in the town we are moving to.

Change, adventure, work, partnership. It feels like we're choosing life.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
The oral exam yesterday completed my requirements for the Certificate in Chaplaincy. [Yipee]
Now I have to find out where to use it.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Latchkey Kid:
The oral exam yesterday completed my requirements for the Certificate in Chaplaincy. [Yipee]
Now I have to find out where to use it.

Places like RFS, your marine rescue stuff or similar?
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
I have just started a new curacy support thread called "Off we go..."
I hope it doesn't fall into Oblivion too quickly...
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Bumping this up so it doesn't disappear.... I know it's a long one, but it is so handy to have all the pages, as our journey together. Please can it be kept, or at least a link to it, and its predecessor, which is also of much value, in any new thread that is set up to replace it? Thanks very much.

For all those on the discernment road, [Votive] [Votive] [Votive]

I've had the summer off too much post-BAP dissection but will be returning to the fray next week with another trip to the DDO.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
I can't see any problem if you want to place links in this or any new thread to old threads on the same subject.
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
OK. So I'm writing this, and I still don't know yet if I'm actually going to press 'post' at the end...

How do you know the difference between a vocation and a completely bonkers bee in your bonnet? I think I've got a bad case of the latter, since even if I could be sure that this was 'a God thing' (rather than an 'all in my head' thing) there's no way that I could pursue it: I'm divorced and remarried; my husband is an atheist who has problems even with the fact that I go to church on Sunday let alone anything more; I am our main breadwinner; I have a full-time and demanding job and kids...

I know all those things to be the case, but the thought doesn't go away. And here's the really mad thing: I grew up going to church, lost my faith in my teens (as one does) and found it again a few years ago... but even during my long agnostic period I always felt (not always as in 'every day', but on different occasions throughout that period) that I should have been a priest (maybe 'if things had been different' or something). So now I'm back 'in the fold', as it were, the feeling has just multiplied (now it really is every blinking day, whether I like it or not).

I know that I probably just need to find some kind of alternative channel for those energies, by volunteering to help in some other way, but at the moment I'm kind of paralysed by the notion that that's not what I really want. (See... I wrote 'What I want', whereas surely it should be about what God wants... I'm pretty sure that's Pride, or something...)

If I press 'post' (the jury's still out at this stage) I guess I will be doing so in the hope of a reality check... Tell me that I am being silly, and that there are a thousand other ways in which I can serve God... I already know that I am, and there are. [Roll Eyes]


(I'm now hovering over 'Add reply'. I have been there for some time... [Roll Eyes] again [Ultra confused] [Help] )
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Pia, this might not be what you want to hear, but it might be that this feeling won't go away until you have acknowledged it properly and maybe even explored it. Is there any way you could do that? I understand the position with your husband must be very difficult, but would talking to your vicar/priest be something you could consider? Could you sound your husband out about this?
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
PErhaps this feeling needs Decent Christian Burial...go and talk to your husband and your priest ... but be prepared to be surprised in the direction that you may be being called. Remember that nothing is impossible with God.

Every blessing and enjoy the journey.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I'm glad you posted, Pia. I hope you find courage to take this further. It is awfully scary to start with but as the wise (wo)man said, nothing is impossible with God, and God is certainly a God of surprises, worth taking risks for. I'm kind of in the middle of the process, but I have found that the process itself can be revelatory, not necessarily as a means to an end of funny collar stuff, but as part of your spiritual journey. Hang in there, baby steps, and keep posting. Thinking of you [Votive]
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Thank you to all who replied.

The thought of talking to anyone about this in 'real life' makes me quake. It was hard enough to write it down...

And yet I feel better for having done so. And the fact that you took the time to read and reply means a huge amount to me.
 
Posted by Gwai (# 11076) on :
 
I know enough candidates for ordained ministry and people contemplating it ... praying for you, Pia.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
Another voice chiming in to say that vocational thoughts never go away unless you do something about them.

You ask, "How do you know the difference between a vocation and a completely bonkers bee in your bonnet?" The answer to that is at once very simple and rather involved: you submit the potential vocation to the Church for scrutiny. Also, when you talk about volunteering to help with something, don't necessarily think of that as an "alternative." That could be precisely the experience you need to make the discernment a little more concrete.
 
Posted by Earwig (# 12057) on :
 
Glad you posted Pia! I'm not ordained or in the process thereof, but Hart's reply makes much sense. Also, if it's really scary to think of talking to your priest about this, keep talking to God about it, and explore lots of volunteering opportunities. If they are what you feel 'right' doing, keep doing them. If they don't feel 'right' and the call keeps on calling, you'll have hopefully gained some confidence and experience on the way?
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hart:


You ask, "How do you know the difference between a vocation and a completely bonkers bee in your bonnet?" The answer to that is at once very simple and rather involved: you submit the potential vocation to the Church for scrutiny.

And even then, when they initially accept you for training, you'll still have that thought going round and round in your head on the bad days.

And I've been told that even once you're ordained, it doesn't go away. [Big Grin]

Tho I suspect one rather accepts that the church has made the right choice after a time. [Biased]

Well done posting here Pia. Talking about it all is the first step!
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Oh, thank you all, again.

I really like Hart's and Earwig's practical approach - find things I can do, that are un-scary in the first instance (things maybe that even my husband can cope with!), and go from there. That makes so much more sense.

I am really glad I posted now, as you've helped me to see the wood for the trees a bit... [Smile]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Slightly late, but I'm another one saying that you should do something about that bee in your bonnet. And I don't think you should worry too much about saying 'what I want', because God works through our desires as well as against their grain. So stick with it, volunteer for something and see how that feels, and keep talking - here is a good place. Discerning what you are called to can be a long process, and is often unsettling and scary. But it's also amazing and exciting to feel that God is calling you to something - even when it isn't clear what or why or how.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
.....and the journey in question is a long one. Time is a gift from God. We are not the same person as we were when the process started. Neither are our loved ones. Life happens. Things change. Some people loose faith. Others surprisingly find it. We shall pray.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
So. Today I was chatting to the chaplain at uni (the chaplaincy having been a great anchoring place for me here, much more so than the CU) and being the third person at the university to express interest in pursuing a vocation, we naturally fell to discussing that. It's been becoming clear that it *is* something I should look at, no matter how scary it is to me - and it really is scary! So the chaplain has emailed the DDO about a casual chat with me and the other two interested students. I know this is still all unofficial but it feels like I'm actually moving forward in this! It's scary and huge but very exciting. Would appreciate prayers, and praying for Pia too [Votive]
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Hello Jade. I am still here, still lurking...

I've had really good experiences of our chaplaincy, which has helped me through some tough situations. Glad you're having a good experience too. Praying for you. [Votive]
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
So who fancies applying for this wonderful, wonderful job! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
So who fancies applying for this wonderful, wonderful job! [Big Grin]

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

As a general question, at what stage in the process did people tell others about their vocation? How was it done? Coming from a spiritual background that's roughly half lapsed Catholic/Anglo-Catholic and half con-evo (and neither side really on-board with female clergy) and having a lot of liberal secular/atheist friends (who don't get why a modern feminist woman would want to be a priest in the first place), I have a lot of people to tell at some stage and have no idea how it will be taken. Depending on how this all pans out anyway...
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
More on Chorister's vacancy - it's house for duty.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
Slowly, starting only with closest friends, family and mentors. Once I'd been accepted as an applicant, I told more people, but I didn't go public till I'd actually been accepted to start the next year. Many people's reactions surprised me, especially that people's enthusiasm wasn't correlated with their church-i-ness.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
More on Chorister's vacancy - it's house for duty.

Gosh, it's real. I thought the video was a spoof.
 
Posted by deusluxmea (# 15765) on :
 
Futzing around the internet today, I stumbled on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington website. As some of you may know, the Bishop temporarily halted accepting any more ordinands in January, stating "we simply have too many clergy in the Episcopal Church now."

Is this true of all dioceses? I know that the TEC population is getting smaller, but had assumed, somewhat naively, that clergy presence would keep things chugging along...
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by deusluxmea:
As some of you may know, the Bishop temporarily halted accepting any more ordinands in January, stating "we simply have too many clergy in the Episcopal Church now."

That's interesting.

Here in Australia we have a massive shortage of local clergy in the Anglican church. We have to import them regularly from England.

But I hear the Episcopal church pay is much, much better than ours.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by deusluxmea:
Futzing around the internet today, I stumbled on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington website. As some of you may know, the Bishop temporarily halted accepting any more ordinands in January, stating "we simply have too many clergy in the Episcopal Church now."

Is this true of all dioceses? I know that the TEC population is getting smaller, but had assumed, somewhat naively, that clergy presence would keep things chugging along...

Wow. Send some to Wales. Or eastern Canada; I know they're running low there.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Possibly the Diocese of Washington/ TEC actaully welcomes people who think they might have a vocation, and doesn't treat them as if they are presumed to be some kind of weirdo until they can prove otherwise- unlike certain Provinces I can name (hint: Panda mentioned one of them, and the other one's next door, to the East).
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Talking of Wales, as we sort-of were, there's still time to catch up with the BBC Wales realty show about ordinands in training, 'Vicar Academy'', set in St Michael's College. If you're not in Wales, you can get it on I-player. It's quite interesting, although there's far too much of 'but now she is facing the toughest test of her life' kind of narration. There are three episodes on I-player now with a fourth this week.
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
quote:
Originally posted by deusluxmea:
As some of you may know, the Bishop temporarily halted accepting any more ordinands in January, stating "we simply have too many clergy in the Episcopal Church now."

That's interesting.

Here in Australia we have a massive shortage of local clergy in the Anglican church. We have to import them regularly from England.

But I hear the Episcopal church pay is much, much better than ours.

Not from what I understand.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
You mean regarding pay or regarding shortage?
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
Regarding pay. Generally in the US, from what I understand, pay and conditions are generally far worse than our minimum stipend/package (with the exception of well endowed parishes, of course).

Mind you, I think of all the dioceses in Oz, Brisbane appears to have the best pay conditions, so... it could be relative. (Minimum stipend next year is $57912, plus car, house plus utilities/housing allowance, and the option of salary sacrificing up to 30%... Not sure how that compares.)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Right.

Was just going on what I heard from Beeswax Altar. Haven't looked into it in detail.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Having secretly lurked since my BAP back in March 2010 I'm quietly putting my hand up here to say that I'm going for a second time in 3 weeks' and 6 days' time... exciting and slightly terrifying all at the same time but I'm trusting that I'm being obedient in going for a 2nd time and as my sense of calling hasn't lessened one little bit since then I think it's just what I have to do!

Your prayers would be very welcome -I just wanted to share this! My prayers are with everyone as they seek to discern God's will...

H Hope
 
Posted by deusluxmea (# 15765) on :
 
Prayers Hope! [Votive]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Best of luck H Hope. [Votive]

I have a first informal chat with the DDO today and more nervous than I probably should be!
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Prayers for you Harmony Hope as you go back into the fray and for Jade Constable as she enters it. [Votive]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Prayers for Harmony and Jade [Votive]

My last meeting with the DDO left me feeling like I'd fallen into a black hole. Not sure I'm out of it yet. Only six weeks to wait until the next one...
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Thank you everyone - it means a lot to me to be held in prayer.

I have no idea how it can take as long to prepare selection papers the second time round as it did the first but it's been quite a lot to get done on top of my usual work/family/church committments...in between my vicar has left and my DDO has changed so the prayers of everyone are even more comforting!

Now all I need to do is to stop waking up in the night thinking about my talk - the sooner I commit something to paper the better I think!

[Votive] for everyone on the discernment journey - may God walk with you all the way.

Harmony Hope
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
HH and JC [Votive]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
For Jade Constable - how did your informal chat go?

For NiminyPiminy - hope the black-hole feeling is fading...

H Hope
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
For Jade Constable - how did your informal chat go?

For NiminyPiminy - hope the black-hole feeling is fading...

H Hope

It went well thanks, got given a folder full of stuff to read and a dvd on pioneer ministry to watch (my response to that was 'no thanks' [Biased] ). The DDO has spoken to my priest about it so we shall see.
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Thank you everyone - it means a lot to me to be held in prayer.

I have no idea how it can take as long to prepare selection papers the second time round as it did the first
Harmony Hope

When I went for the second time I just used what I had done the first time around and added some bits and tweaked some other.

I found the second time totally different to the first and enjoyed it more - I think I connected more with the selectors.

Good luck and lots of prayers
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Thanks Bagpuss for sharing your experience - it helps to know that someone else has done the same before me! Do you mind me asking - did you have a sense that it was going to be a 'yes' the second time round?

H Hope
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
I've got half way through my training and I'm thinking of withdrawing... [Frown]

If I picked it up again later I'd have to start the whole process again. sigh.
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
Good Grief, or rather Bad Grief.

I hope you don't give up. Is it the intensity? Your intensity? Have you a kindred spirit?

Keep off the intense debates here for a while. I would find it wearing, but maybe you find them stimulating.

"And here's five words of wisdom, 'never take a stranger's advice'"
(from Adam Carroll Stranger's Advice
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Evensong - if this is mid course wobbles then it is probably healthy. The excitment of starting training which has been long anticipated and discerned will has worn off and the reality of finding a title post and completing all that academic work starts to kick in. This is normal.

Of course it may be more than that and I'm sure you have all the support in place in terms of tutors, mentors, cell group to talk this through.

Will pray anyway.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I've got half way through my training and I'm thinking of withdrawing... [Frown]


I did it. It was shit. Of those whom you expect to offer support as you make the transition back into the "real world", divide it by about 10 and that might be more accurate.

Thurible
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
I've got half way through my training and I'm thinking of withdrawing... [Frown]

If I picked it up again later I'd have to start the whole process again. sigh.

Please think very carefully and ride out a difficult patch for some time first.

[ 16. November 2012, 12:39: Message edited by: leo ]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Halfway through is often a difficult patch in any process. Rather than withdrawing can you take some time out so that you can have a break? That's what I sometimes advise students to do when they are having a tough time. Get some time for yourself and if you can, find someone who is not invested in you either staying or going to talk to about how you feel. Talk to a tutor, too, if you can - because they will have dealt with wobbly people before. [Votive]
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Evensong....nothing profound to offer, except prayer. Prayer for peace, for resolving the niggles, for silence and space and good friends who can walk and laugh with you.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
It's been par for the course for me, I've wanted to drop out half way through every time I've studied, finding it a particularly tough hurdle to jump over with 3-year courses. What got me over them was a combination of things: people rooting for me, not wanting to have wasted what I'd already done, and wanting to meet God's calling for me. I'm so thankful that I carried on.

Try to hang on in there, Evensong. Take a holiday if you can. You'll be in my prayers too.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thanks all for your support and encouragement. You're all very sweet. [Smile]

I am going through a rough patch ( I think it's partially because I've been placed in a parish and I'm totally unsuited to parish ministry ) but I'm not doing anything rash. I'm sitting with it and praying hard for true discernment.

Would very much appreciate any of your prayers too.

For those of you that did discontinue, I'd love to hear why and what you ended up doing. If not here, perhaps in a PM?
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Placements are supposed to challenge you and it sounds like it is doing just that.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
For Catholics, the seminary completion rate is about 40%, so leaving is actually a very normal thing to do. The best reason is to leave is that you have more clarity about your vocation than when you entered and that clarity is that you're not called to the priesthood. A very honest reason to leave is that commitments are starting to loom and you still don't feel like you've gotten that 'final yes' from God. Another is that there's not enough time left in your formation program to work on everything you feel like should be worked on before ordination AND you think you can work on these things outside of formation.

All of this must be tempered with: we can never be 100% certain of anything; we're never 'ready' for priesthood; ordination is not the end of formation; cold feet are normal.

Leaving formation can be a God-filled choice if done for the right reasons, guided by prayer and conversation with your formators, friends and spiritual director. Time out can also be a good call. Remember to never make a big decision in desolation: seek the consolation.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Bagpuss (# 2925) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Thanks Bagpuss for sharing your experience - it helps to know that someone else has done the same before me! Do you mind me asking - did you have a sense that it was going to be a 'yes' the second time round?

H Hope

Both times I went with the expectation that this could be the end of the journey - I kind of took that attitude all the way through - but I did feel as though I connected with the selectors better the second time round and that I had sold myself better on the paperwork beforehand. First time they thought I was happy to stay being a Reader so I made sure I out in LOADS of stuff to counteract that!
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Hello shipmates,

Thanks to everyone for the contributions on this thread, I've found them really useful. I've been feeling the pull of God to do something more with my life (and for Him) for years now. For the last two and half years I've felt that the pull was towards some form of church-based ministry, either ordained or lay I wasn't sure. Recently I've felt that pull getting stronger and stronger towards ordained ministry in the Church of England. Last week I received some very strong external confirmation that this may be the direction God wants me to explore, so I've decided now might be the time to look into this seriously.

I have to admit I found some of the information on the CofE website pretty daunting - the full Criteria for Selection seem to suggest the CofE are looking for supermen and superwomen rather than mere mortals! For anyone who has been through the CofE (or a similar) discernment process, do the Criteria for Selection become less daunting when you discuss them with your DDO or do they remain terrifying?! This isn't to say this has put me off, but it's made me feel even more inadequate than I felt before even God...

My parish (in Southwark Diocese) is currently without an incumbent - we are hopefully getting a Priest in Charge from around the middle of next year I think. Does anyone know what this will mean for the official discernment process? We have a fantastic Senior Honorary Curate who I'll talk to about how I'm feeling (after the Christmas rush...), but do I need an incumbent or Priest in Charge before the diocese can get involved? I talked very briefly to our previous incumbent before he retired, but that was only in the last few weeks of his ministry with us, and my thoughts were still a bit scattered at the time.

We also already have two people from our parish in the discernment process - I assume there's no quota per parish, but are the diocese likely to worry that our smallish parish (~75 weekly communicants, 100 on the electoral roll) won't be able to support more candidates pastorally?

Although I was baptised and confirmed into the CofE and have attended CofE churches for most of my life (I'm 30 next month) I've only been attending our current church for under 18 months. Before that I was attending (on and off for 3 years) and in membership (for a couple of years) at a pretty liberal Baptist Church - my wife and her family are/were Baptists - where I was becoming increasingly involved in the leadership. To cut a long story short, that church imploded in a fairly major way just over two years ago and we took the very difficult decision to leave. We came across our current CofE church and have never really looked back - I don't think any of us would contemplate a return to a Baptist Church now and it is very much ministry in the Church of England that I feel drawn towards (many reasons: the sacraments, liturgy, Baptist obsession with penal substitution: I'm far too liberal for the Baptists really).

Are the diocese going to be worried about someone entering the discernment process who has been in their CofE parish for such a short time? I'm not in a tearing hurry to rush through things - I hope and pray that things will go at God's speed - but equally I feel I've probably dragged my feet on this already, and I feel I'm being nudged to do something now rather than drag my feet any longer!

Any thoughts/prayers gratefully received!

IACHMR
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
IACHMR, I had been in Peterborough diocese for less than two months when I officially got Put In The System! With me I chose to go with my uni diocese as opposed to my home diocese because I have a stronger connection to my church here than in my home diocese - I realise your situation is different but I imagine the DDO will be sympathetic.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
IACHMR, you should be able to contact your vocations team/DDO without having talked to your incumbent first, and they will certainly be able to advise you on this in any case. Re pastoral support during the process, depending on your situation what you get may vary wildly. Since I talked to him 18 months ago (when he was very supportive) my parish priest has not mentioned the process once. Come to think of it he hasn't mentioned God once apart from in sermons, during that time. I don't think it's unusual for there to be several people going through the discernment process at once - I know of a church where there are 11!

It might be a good idea to see if you can meet with a spiritual director - your diocese should have someone co-ordination spiritual direction. Mine has been completely wonderful and a huge support as I go through the process, which is very testing, both mentally and spiritually.

[Votive] for you as you seek to discern where God is calling you, and as you think about your next step.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
I would second Niminypiminy on the need to have a spiritual director through the process. Your DDO may be wonderful, as mine was and is, but they are the person writing reports about you. Your spiritual director is completely outside the process and the person you can be totally honest with. They will also want to talk about God, which can be nice.
 
Posted by Birdseye (# 5280) on :
 
Evensong, don't give up please... if you liken it to 'basic training' for the army, only spiritual, you won't be far off. But stick it out!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thanks for your encouragement birdseye. Nice of you. [Smile]

But the question is .... why should I stick it out? I can. But would it be right? Is it what God wants?

*sigh*. Still in the desert wasteland at the moment.

I switch regularly between this feeling and this feeling.

And my husband just keeps telling me I need to grow up.

And methinks he may have a point.

I'm preaching on John the Baptist - just emerged from the wilderness - next week.

Here's hoping! [Votive]
 
Posted by Birdseye (# 5280) on :
 
I think your husband is a bit right really - being formed for ministry is not simply continuing Christian discipleship...The 'falling in love' bit is over (at least for the time being) and you've committed to being apprenticed to the daily work of God's kingdom, -you're going to end up being 'looked up to' or at least 'looked to' rightly or wrongly, by lots of people, and you are also going to have a certain authority and position -I think of it like a liveried servant in a King's court -humanly speaking no better than any other person, and certainly no closer to the King, but with a particular significance, and greater responsibilities... your relationship with God's people is changed somewhat... in that now you are no longer simply a happy little sheep, you are instead to be entrusted with pastoring his people... and God gives us free will -so being trained in personal discipline is invaluable...

Of course we do nothing alone... all the good we do, we do in God's strength -however if we don't get up and get on with it,the things that we should be doing won't be done... But if we DO develop the discipline to simply be obedient and get on with it... we find that God works for good in it all -and it's really exciting!

Faithful obedience is the order of the day... it might not taste great or excite us, but like an athlete's training routine, it works.

Grit your teeth and keep praying, it's worth it.
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
I have to admit I found some of the information on the CofE website pretty daunting - the full Criteria for Selection seem to suggest the CofE are looking for supermen and superwomen rather than mere mortals! For anyone who has been through the CofE (or a similar) discernment process, do the Criteria for Selection become less daunting when you discuss them with your DDO or do they remain terrifying?! This isn't to say this has put me off, but it's made me feel even more inadequate than I felt before even God...

For me they do remain somewhat terrifying. Especially during the times when I wonder what on earth God would possibly want a quiet introverted muppet like me to have anything to do with ministry.

quote:
Originally posted by Birdseye:
Evensong, don't give up please... if you liken it to 'basic training' for the army, only spiritual, you won't be far off. But stick it out!

And having ventured into an army recruitment office for a chat with their officers careers advisor when I was back at uni the similarities do seem to continue, right down to the three day selection. Big obvious leadership experience being among my shortcomings.

Anyway during a fairly large pause in the selection process I'd started to try and convince myself that perhaps I was just kidding myself that I was experiencing a call. It was at this point that dad (and having your dad as your vicar does seem to add an extra layer of complexity to the situation) decided that it was time for me to have an informal chat with the new DDO.

Chat with DDO went well and i find that now I'm booked onto a mini pre BAP one day panel in February to help discern further where this continual spiritual poking from God will lead me.

And? I'm terribly nervous but also glad that the process has started moving forwards again and I'm no longer sat in a sort of limbo.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
For all who post here wherever you may be in the discernment process...sorry not to not name you all this evening but I'm setting off on the long journey to my BAP tomorrow and fear I may never get to bed if I don't go now!

[Votive] You are all very much in my prayers.

Harmony Hope
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Prayers for you, as you approach your BAP, Harmony Hope. [Votive] [Votive] [Votive]

I've been thinking a lot, praying a lot, and mostly chickening out of doing anything more than that.

Above all, I need to find the courage to talk to my husband. It would be wrong for me to explore this any further without talking to him first. But... well, that's a scary scary thought.

[head >>> sand]
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
Prayers for all of you in the discernment process...and especially for HH as she approaches her BAP. May the blessing of God be upon each and every one.

[Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks to all for the advice above. Definitely keen to get a spiritual director - it's the sort of thing I've thought about doing for a long time.

I've now finished reading through the previous thread to this (all 28 pages!), and am really heartened how people have stuck with the discernment process even when things have been really hard, or seemed to be going nowhere. The support I feel for people on this thread is fantastic too.

[Votive] for all those struggling in any way.

HH - [Votive] for the BAP.

aig - does a fall term in New Haven CT mean you're at the Yale Divinity School? If so, do you know Rev Dr Maggi Dawn, Dean of Marquand Chapel? She was my and my wife's chaplain at University.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
do you know Rev Dr Maggi Dawn, Dean of Marquand Chapel?

Yes I am at Yale Divinity School (Westcott House do an exchange programme with YDS) and I do know Maggi Dawn, who preached a superb sermon on Friday at the Eucharist in Marquand Chapel.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Wonderful! [Smile]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Thanks for your encouragement birdseye. Nice of you. [Smile]

But the question is .... why should I stick it out? I can. But would it be right? Is it what God wants?


Sometimes, I think it's not so much about 'what God wants' - which is often a rather confused way of interpreting our own feelings and can obfuscate simple realities - but about straightforward common sense gifting and utilizing what God's given us. Do you believe you are moderately well enough equipped - given the appropriate training and considering your own pre-disposition - to do the task of an ordained priest in the Australian Anglican Church?

I think parish ministry is more about everyday graft and level-headedness than anything else. A basically sound intelligence, good empathy skills, broadness of approach to scriptural understanding. Do you have these? If so, why shouldn't God want you to be in parish ministry?

Perfection isn't required; Damascan Road experiences, neither. A fabulous theologian might be fatal in a sensitive pastoral situation, and a talented evangelist useless in leading a parish. But persistence, obedience, self-effacement and an eye for practical details however go a long way towards the ordinary day to day slog of parish priesthood.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Birdseye and Anselmina: brilliant posts both. My thanks. They are walking with me as I face the Spanish Inquisition next week.

@Anselmina

I've had a Damascus Road experience. I am considered a reasonably fabulous theologian (I've won awards at the University level) and I have an eye for practical detail. I have been branded very "down to earth" by my superiors and colleagues.

My biggest problem?

I don't like parish ministry. Never have. Never felt called to it. Knew it from the first moment of my call.

I remember looking at my parish priest in 2005 and thinking "nope - that's not me. Yet something is still pulling me".

I always had a very particular call to education and school chaplaincy (I'm starting my Diploma of Teaching in Secondary Education in Feb).

I'm much happier on the fringes than in the middle of the people of God.

I'm happier working in a secular context, representing the visible church, than being at the centre.....

But try explaining that to a church that is still based on a parochial model......?

It's rather an edgy road to walk.....

Especially since we have little or no distinctive diaconate in this diocese.

And especially since I still feel strongly pulled to the sacraments.

That leaves me in something of a no-mans land.

[ 04. December 2012, 12:22: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Evensong

I rarely post about my own vocation, partly because it sounds poncy (lay people aren't supposed to have vocations), and partly because it does not fit the way my denomination thinks. My biggest problem with it is the denomination sees the vocation (Oh I know they do that believe me) and thinks minister. Every time I go forward on minister I get an immediate and firm NO from God.

Right at seventeen I was reading Calvin's Institutes and I read of his five offices of the Church: Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher and Elder. When I got to teacher, I immediately said "That is what I am called to". My fathers big response was you had to be a pastor to be a teacher! So I gave it up.

I went to Uni, got a decent degree, found a career and discovered I am a researcher. I like questions, I like trying to find the answers to questions but I do not like being at the centre or in the spotlight. I have low interest in attaining institutional power. I have always had far more given me than I want. I know that is rare, I know there are people out their striving for it but my instinct is to walk away. As far as I can see the only reason to have such power is to get things done and most of the time the demands far out weight the ability to do things.

Now lets start the second story. In all fairness it started with the break up of a disasterous relationship. I had to find a way forward and knew I did not want a relationship or really any sort of developing of social activities immediately. I decided to use this as an opportunity and do some church related study, think reader/lay preacher level. Did it for about four years, I think I even looked at going into the ministry, got a no and got on with life.

Five years later went to a reunion for the course and did not bother filling in the form with what I had been doing. Not much as far as I was concerned although I had recently been ordained an elder. I got the information sheet back and the way you do, glanced at my listing. "Jengie has been exploring the church in modern culture" (well words to that effect). Hang on where did that come from!!! I was also playing with a thesis topic. Something about the role of vision in congregations and wondering about a mixed methods doctorate and devising all sorts of questionnaires to actually measure the depth of sharing of a vision of the congregation.

The next stage was a couple of years later when I put out a fleece like Gideon. I signed myself up for an Open University course which was a master at Sociology. I could do this as my first degree is an Arts degree and they excepted onto the course students with Arts first degrees. This degree is in Mathematics! I have a language difficulty and under pressure I could not write essays (my English deteriorated to a level where it was clearly problematic and I write very slowly). So my expectation was to fail at the first hurdle i.e. the first essay. A pass grade on the essay was 40%, I scored 53%. By the time I had finished on a good day I could write essays that were achieving over 80%! This was despite having depression serious enough that it took about an hour to read a paragraph at one stage.

So I thought well I have done that I better look at a doctorate. I asked people and they repeatedly said "Got to Birmingham". So I looked, found the theology department had a member of staff who looked as though he was interested in what my refined question had become. Approached him and he accepted me as a student. That relationship has worked! Funding has come through and I am in writing it up. God willing, I will graduate with a doctorate in Theology around this time next year.

It looks oddly as if I will be a teacher despite everything. Indeed there are a few people who use that title for me already. The doctorate is in applied theology, not in divinity, it should be of use to the church but will the church use it? I have no idea and the church is free not to use it and perhaps set me to other tasks if it so wishes.

Life is weird.

Oh by the way my denomination is still trying to hint that I should put my name forward to become a minister. I can't see why.

Jengie
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
Evensong, undoubtedly God needs fabulous theologians as well as parish ministers. Perhaps your calling involves being in a place - as an ordained person - where your gifts in theology are very much needed, academically for the integrity of the Church. And wherein priests like me - who love theology but neglect it woefully because there's too much parish admin and visiting to do! - can find our inspiration and refreshment.

I have a very subjective view of what the priesthood entails - but God likes to confound our limited ideas of what he can enable us to achieve for him. I tend to emphasize my own view and experience, and I forget or underestimate that there's a lot more to it than that!
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
...but God likes to confound our limited ideas of what he can enable us to achieve for him...

Quotes file.
 
Posted by Bostonman (# 17108) on :
 
Not quite at the vocation-to-ordained-ministry stage that this thread focuses on, but you are all incredibly supportive, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I have an interview for a fellowship run by the diocese that combines social justice/community service work in a parish setting with intentional community with the other fellows. I'm graduating from college/university this spring and looking around for jobs, but this has been my dream for about six months.

I have a phone interview tomorrow morning, and really hope it goes well. I would appreciate your prayers!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] for you, Bostonman.

And for Evensong, as she seeks her path.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
I'm back from selection... Some really positive bits...will hear week today. Thank you so much for your prayers, I felt surrounded by LOve. Will know the decision a week today.

Wondering if anyone else on SoF was there too... BAP at Ely 3-5 Dec?

Harmony hope
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] for you as you wait for the decision.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Evensong

I rarely post about my own vocation, partly because it sounds poncy (lay people aren't supposed to have vocations), and partly because it does not fit the way my denomination thinks. My biggest problem with it is the denomination sees the vocation (Oh I know they do that believe me) and thinks minister. Every time I go forward on minister I get an immediate and firm NO from God.

Hey Jengie.

Thank you for sharing the story of your vocation. I ( like you ) believe lay people have vocations. In fact, I think all of us are called by God to exercise our particular gifts for our own flowering so that we might benefit the Kingdom.

Delighted to hear the doctorate came together and you'll be finishing next year hopefully. Well done!!! [Smile]

As to the church using you: they might, they might not. But if they don't, no doubt you will be led to other areas where you can exercise your gifts.

As to the denomination seeing your vocation and thinking minister: funny that. I was just speaking with my systematic theology lecturer along similar lines. I asked him why he became a Rev. He said something along the lines of "well, in my line of interest (doctorate in systematic theology - hard core academic - can't really see him as a pastor) it was just naturally expected that you would go on to ordained ministry. It just seemed the done thing for someone with such a passion for theology.

Sounds like you're in the same boat perhaps?

I think there may be grounds for such an idea in that the church wants you to represent them. They wan't you to be given the "authority" of the church so that you might become an "ambassador" of the church. It glorifies the church in a particular way perhaps. Yet it's not the standard pastoral parish priest model at all is it? Or perhaps they expect you to be that too? And if that's not you (like it's not me) then I can totally understand your hesitation. [Big Grin]

Best wishes for the journey! [Votive]

quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
Evensong, undoubtedly God needs fabulous theologians as well as parish ministers. Perhaps your calling involves being in a place - as an ordained person - where your gifts in theology are very much needed, academically for the integrity of the Church.

Oh if only it were that easy! I might get good marks at Uni, but I'm not interested in becoming an academic. I like and need people too much. Dead end there. [Frown]

quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:

I have a very subjective view of what the priesthood entails - but God likes to confound our limited ideas of what he can enable us to achieve for him. I tend to emphasize my own view and experience, and I forget or underestimate that there's a lot more to it than that!

I hope you're right. We shall see...
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bostonman:
Not quite at the vocation-to-ordained-ministry stage that this thread focuses on, but you are all incredibly supportive, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I have an interview for a fellowship run by the diocese that combines social justice/community service work in a parish setting with intentional community with the other fellows. I'm graduating from college/university this spring and looking around for jobs, but this has been my dream for about six months.

I have a phone interview tomorrow morning, and really hope it goes well. I would appreciate your prayers!

That sounds really cool Bostonman. Social justice/community work in a parish setting with intentional community would be totally up my alley too!

What's your degree in?

How did the interview go??


[Votive] [Votive] harmony hope. Hope the waiting doesn't kill you!!

[ 07. December 2012, 13:32: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Oh if only it were that easy! I might get good marks at Uni, but I'm not interested in becoming an academic. I like and need people too much. Dead end there.

I'm bound to say I didn't say anything about it being easy! Nothing to do with any kind of ministry is, imo. Does academia mean not having anything to do with people? I don't know myself, but surely the best academics are those who really know and understand people? At least, if their work is to have any useful merit.

If parish ministry isn't for you, nor academic work, then I suppose you must be thinking of some form of sector or specialist ministry eg, 'canon theologian', 'canon evangelist'. Or some kind of specific area of support or creativity. Though I don't know how the Australian Church works in that respect. Practical theologians have a great deal to do with people. Though that does often seem to grow out of parochial experience.

Maybe it's not so much finding your own particular niche in church work, but finding out first what needs to be done and taking it from there?
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Evensong... I am totally unqualified to comment on your situation, so excuse my butting in, but I just wanted to say that I am an academic (not a theologian, though) and for me it's all about people. I mean, I love my research too... but what I love most about doing it, is that I then get to talk about it to people who are actually interested to know.

[Votive] for you. I hope it all comes right for you.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I'm an academic too, and I agree with Pia. Spending time alone in the library is in fact a small, and diminishing, part of the job. One of the greatest challenges and pleasures is sharing your ideas - with students, with other academics at conferences and seminars.

But it doesn't have to be either academia or ordained ministry - and people do go back and forth between teaching/research and other kinds if ministry - Rowan Williams for example.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Here is an out of date description of my doctorate. It is not the sort you get if you spend three solid years in the library.

Jengie
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
Oh if only it were that easy! I might get good marks at Uni, but I'm not interested in becoming an academic. I like and need people too much. Dead end there.

I'm bound to say I didn't say anything about it being easy! Nothing to do with any kind of ministry is, imo.
Indeed.

I spent around fifteen agonizing hours on a sermon this week only to be told by my supervisor when I presented my rough draft that she disagreed with my basic premise and I would I please delete this selected paragraph.

That essentially left my entire sermon on absolutely no sure ground at all. So I will be presenting tripe to the congregation tomorrow.

I was so peeved by the end of it, that I came come and created this meme to blow off steam.

I currently feel like a skittish horse jumping around a very cramped stall before the shotgun goes off for the start. Clamped in claustrophobic!


In terms of the life of an academic: yeah. Sorry folks, you're quite right - it is about people. My bad.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:

I spent around fifteen agonizing hours on a sermon this week only to be told by my supervisor when I presented my rough draft that she disagreed with my basic premise and I would I please delete this selected paragraph.

You've got 15 hours to do that????? A bit of advice - on sunday, get up to speak in church, drop your notes and speak from your heart. The study will have put you into the passage and you can now apply it to your hearers.

[coding]

[ 08. December 2012, 11:15: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
No way hose am I adlibbing. This is only my second ever sermon. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by shamwari (# 15556) on :
 
Quite right Evensong. The great Martin Luther once tried that on the basis that the Holy Spirit would give him the words to speak.

After the service he was asked "did the Holy Spirit speak?"

Yes, said Luther. S/he said "Martin you have been a very lazy man"
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
That is the general gist around my diocese. [Biased]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
and btw, If you're all wondering what my terrible premise was it was that John came proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins by water and Jesus would come with the Holy Spirit and fire.

And that this is what the sacrament of baptism today says. We repent, we are forgiven and we receive the HS through Christ.

Terrible heresy innit?

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
and btw, If you're all wondering what my terrible premise was it was that John came proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins by water and Jesus would come with the Holy Spirit and fire.

And that this is what the sacrament of baptism today says. We repent, we are forgiven and we receive the HS through Christ.

Terrible heresy innit?

[Roll Eyes]

I'm with you, Evensong.

I'd go with calling on the Holy Spirit to help you to tweak it so that it will say what he wants to say to the people, and try to let go and trust him.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
Whatever you preach on I find that people will sometimes go away with a message that was totally different from the one you may have been trying to get across. Which is fine, the message that they heard thorugh you may have been the one thing that they needed to hear.

Much like if you get eight people to read a bible passage you will end up with at least ten different views on what the passage meant to them.

Those that have ears to hear and all that.

[Votive] for tomorrow Evensong

[ 08. December 2012, 13:55: Message edited by: Ceannaideach ]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:

I spent around fifteen agonizing hours on a sermon this week only to be told by my supervisor when I presented my rough draft that she disagreed with my basic premise and I would I please delete this selected paragraph.

You've got 15 hours to do that????? A bit of advice - on sunday, get up to speak in church, drop your notes and speak from your heart. The study will have put you into the passage and you can now apply it to your hearers.

[coding]

Winging it like that only works well if you have years of preaching experience.

Plus there is a risk of rambling on.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by shamwari:
Quite right Evensong. The great Martin Luther once tried that on the basis that the Holy Spirit would give him the words to speak.

After the service he was asked "did the Holy Spirit speak?"

Yes, said Luther. S/he said "Martin you have been a very lazy man"

[Killing me] That's great!
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
Evensong, reading what you've written over the past couple of weeks, I am wondering whether you should trek over to Brisbane Diocese. Here we are MOST interested in accepting people for ministry who believe themselves called to be school chaplains, and there is a shortage of school chaplains who are ordained. (This is for our Anglican schools.)

Half the people currently in formation are there FOR school chaplaincy. There are even scholarships available for people who want to be school chaplains.

Why don't you ring Bishop Geoff Smith and have a talk with him?

BTW, your central idea about John the Baptist is the sort of thing I'd be preaching (I took a different tack today, but your's is equally valid).

One last idea: you may not be called to parish ministry, and it may bore you silly/drive you to distraction... But it is still a worthwhile experience to have in the course of formation. You learn the bread and butter of ordained ministry - which is the same whether in a school, hospital or whatever context. If you've got issues with your training clergy, contact whoever's in charge of parish assignments for ordinands and have a chat with them (well, that's what I'd do). Run your sermon past afew other people and see what they think of it. Maybe it's possible to a placement or series of placements with some school chaplains? or other fringe ministry chaplains?
 
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
 
Another diocese you could try is Canberra-Goulburn. The bishop values missional and fringe ministry OVER and above parish ministry, and is prepared to back those who have a strong calling to do it. The only catch is you basically have to find your own funding. But where God calls, as the logic goes, God provides...
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Bless you Nunc. I needed to hear those words.

Not because I am going to move.....but because delineating and clarifying my original sense of call will help with deciding the next step.

[ 09. December 2012, 12:36: Message edited by: Evensong ]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
[Votive] Holding everyone on this thread in my prayers.

I am hoping to hear about my selection decision tomorrow... please remember me in your prayers.

thank you
Harmony Hope
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] for you tomorrow
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Struggling with uni and depression - I know where God wants me to end up, I just wonder and worry about how I'll get there.

[Votive] for Evensong and others
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Thank you all for your prayers... They said yes!! I am delighted and exhausted all at once!

Harmony hope
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
I have been watching for this post! Congratulations, Harmony Hope [Yipee]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Smile] [Yipee] [Yipee] [Smile]
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
So pleased for you, HH. I've been thinking of you.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Great news! Starting training in September?
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Fantastic news [Yipee]
 
Posted by recklessrat (# 17243) on :
 
Congratulations Harmonyhope!
Evensong and Jade Constable, my prayers are with you.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Great news Harmony Hope!
Where are you going to train?

Update from me: saw the DDO again yesterday, he is happy for me to go to a 2nd BAP in January 2014. He wants me to do another placement at an Anglo-Catholic place and to join another potential ordinands' group.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
LS that's really good news! And good to hear that you're keeping on walking the path.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Congrats Harmony Hope. [Smile] Best wishes for the new endeavor!

[Votive] Jade Constable and Laxton Superba.

Thanks for prayers for me.

I've spat the dummy and am now awaiting the great and terrible day of the Lord.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Thank you everyone. I'm hoping to go to Cuddesdon - had a conditional place there 3 years' ago and an interview mid January. That would mean starting in September next year!

I am holding everyone on here in my prayers - those of us just starting out or those of us further along the way... my God walk with you all on your journeys.

Please do PM me if I can give any help or support to anyone.

with prayers
Harmony Hope
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Fantastic news HH! [Smile]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Thank you everyone. I'm hoping to go to Cuddesdon

Great place, excellent principal.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Just to wish everyone very happy Christmas! [Smile]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Happy Christmas!
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Especially Happy New Year to those who are home from college and trying to get that essay / portfolio / report done....
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Happy new year!

geroff - does that mean I should start trying? I'm planning on working again from wednesday [Smile]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Just wondering if anyone at Cuddesdon has any info on local schools and 6th form colleges please?

many thanks [Smile]
H Hope
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
The nearest secondary school to RCC is Wheatley Park
Primaries are Garsington and Wheatley
I don't have children so am not very familiar with the relative benefits of the options- I seem to recall that there was a school bus to Garsington primary but not Wheatley primary. There was a bus to Wheatley Park secondary. ( I left in 2010 so info may be out of date)
 
Posted by Purple Butterfly (# 17477) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Thank you everyone. I'm hoping to go to Cuddesdon - had a conditional place there 3 years' ago and an interview mid January. That would mean starting in September next year!

I am holding everyone on here in my prayers - those of us just starting out or those of us further along the way... my God walk with you all on your journeys.

Please do PM me if I can give any help or support to anyone.

with prayers
Harmony Hope


 
Posted by Purple Butterfly (# 17477) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Butterfly:
quote:
Originally posted by harmony hope:
Thank you everyone. I'm hoping to go to Cuddesdon - had a conditional place there 3 years' ago and an interview mid January. That would mean starting in September next year!

I am holding everyone on here in my prayers - those of us just starting out or those of us further along the way... my God walk with you all on your journeys.

Please do PM me if I can give any help or support to anyone.

with prayers
Harmony Hope


OOPS!! [Hot and Hormonal] Newbie alert!
When is your interview HH?
(I thought I'd finally stop lurking here and start posting - you found me on Twitter after BAP [Biased] )
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Hi Rosa - thanks very much for the info which is really useful.

Purple butterfly - my interview's on Wednesday. Nice to see you here! [Biased]

Evensong - how is it going now?

Jenn - hope the studying is going well!

Jade Constable - how is it going for you?

Laxton - how is your journey going?

[Votive] For us all as we journey.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
GOod luck HH with the interview.

My own vocational journey continues. AFter 18 months unemployed, this time last year I applied for and was offered a job as a verger and got it and started in March. It ticks many of the vocational boxes -- basically I'm paid to hang around church and do stuff -- though not all of them (preaching for example). I think it will be the right place for a while at least.

Carys
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Hello Carys - so glad you're doing work you enjoy and prayers for you as your journey continues.

Harmony Hope
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Welcome Purple Butterfly!

Carys:

Congrats on the verger job!

I applied for such a job two or three times but never got an interview. [Frown]

On the Evensong vocational front - I asked for a year off and they said no.

[Ultra confused]

For all you ministry students out there this is a hilarious website with short vid clips about life as a ministry student. I believe he is a Methodist in the USA.

Everyday I'm Pastoring

And this little beauty is my current favourite. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:

On the Evensong vocational front - I asked for a year off and they said no.

[Ultra confused]

That does it. There is officially a bead on my rosary with your name on it.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Axe murder]
 
Posted by no prophet (# 15560) on :
 
Shall I fear to tread here? I started a thread on postulancy. Evensong suggested coming here. I'm on the other side of what I read in this topic. Shall be assessing as part of a committee, people who have put forward as wanting diocesan support for pursuit of holy orders. Not an employment committee, but a step prior to that.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Congrats Carys and glad Cuddesdon went well for you HH. In my prayers Evensong [Votive]

Ordination stuff is on hold while I try and cope with uni stuff, but I am seeing the DDO in a couple of weeks. I still think ordination is where God wants me to be, it's the how I'm not 100% on.

I would be interested in others' experience UK Anglican theological colleges. I am AffCath Anglo-Catholic, liberal on the Dead Horses but not as liberal as other people on everything else - not opposed to PSA for instance, just not that it's the only possible Atonement theory. The chaplain at uni (who went to Cranmer) says Cuddesdon or Mirfield would be the best fit, Westcott House probably too liberal for me. Does this sound about right? Mirfield appeals more just in terms of location, personally.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Jade, [Votive] for you on your discernment journey

And Evensong, prayers for you. That sounds really tough.

HH hope your interview went well!

I have two essays to write for the DDO, both of which should have been sent off already, and I've been staring at the computer screen feeling completely blocked about both of them. One is the first draft of my written statement on mission and evangelism for the BAP, and I suspect that that's what is making it so difficult for me to get any words out.

I have a date to see the bishop, and I need to write and arrange to go to the open day of the regional ministerial training course (if Iir's a yes I will train part time). It all feels very serious and real, and more than a bit scary! [Votive] [Votive]

[ 18. January 2013, 21:51: Message edited by: Niminypiminy ]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Jade Constable wrote

quote:
I am AffCath Anglo-Catholic, liberal on the Dead Horses but not as liberal as other people on everything else
What does 'everything else' mean? Is this about divorce and gay people in active relationships or more to do with doctrine and theology?
I think an AffCath Anglo-catholic would feel very at home in terms of worship and spirituality at Westcott; it might be a good base to explore other issues. Westcott ordinands are quite diverse in their understanding of doctrine for example.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
Jade Constable wrote

quote:
I am AffCath Anglo-Catholic, liberal on the Dead Horses but not as liberal as other people on everything else
What does 'everything else' mean? Is this about divorce and gay people in active relationships or more to do with doctrine and theology?
I think an AffCath Anglo-catholic would feel very at home in terms of worship and spirituality at Westcott; it might be a good base to explore other issues. Westcott ordinands are quite diverse in their understanding of doctrine for example.

Sorry - regarding doctrine and theology. I understood divorce etc to be dead horses too. And thank you.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Don't rule out St Stephen's House. It's a far broader place than the naysayers would have you believe.

Thurible
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Well I have been denied a maintenance grant by the Student Loans Company (because I apparently didn't earn enough to qualify as self-supporting), so I can't afford to stay at uni and so can't stay with the support of my church/uni chaplaincy/DDO. I thought I was in Northampton for a reason [Frown]
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
Man that sucks Jade.

[Votive] that something comes through for you.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
Don't rule out St Stephen's House. It's a far broader place than the naysayers would have you believe.

Thurible

They have produced some excellent priests over the year, including women priests.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
The chaplain at uni (who went to Cranmer) says Cuddesdon or Mirfield would be the best fit, Westcott House probably too liberal for me. Does this sound about right? Mirfield appeals more just in terms of location, personally.

I know the Community at Mirfield well, and the place (if you can cope with the Pennine drizzle) is excellent. I don't know much about the College per se, except that I have heard some people don't rate it much academically. I would have thought that is less important as general formation and especially the solid foundation you would get in liturgy and spirituality. It is definitely Catholic in ethos but in no way precious and there are a number of evangelically-inclined students. The benefit of living alongside a dedicated monastic community must be substantial.

[PS. Sorry Jade, I have just seen your other post. I really hope and pray some finance will be forthcoming... that is just too bad.]

[ 21. January 2013, 14:56: Message edited by: Angloid ]
 
Posted by ButchCassidy (# 11147) on :
 
Jade that is an absolute tragedy. These events can make more sense looking back (as I found from a similar situation) but that is zero comfort at the time. Praying for you. I assume you've already used student loans? and a chat with the chaplain may provide contacts (I know a few churches near me who provide grants for poor students).

As for me, the Southwark discernment process divides into two parts: just had several sessions with the vocations advisor, who did the initial discernment bit, now he's sent his report to the DDO who will do the formal/ pre BAP bit. So waiting for her email, bit excited, one eye slightly on clock (would be v v handy for job reasons to go into training, if successful, this September. Making good progress so far..) Guess only thing to do in meantime is keep ploughing down the reading list..
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Jade if you are at University at the moment have you been to the Student Union/your tutor/ Student Support services at Registry (or whatever it is called at your Uni) for help with sorting out the loan? I don't know what your circumstances are(whether you are currently on an undergraduate degree course or some other kind of course, whether you have already had a student loan) but nowadays all universities have people who specialise in helping students through the funding and finance maze, as far as they can.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Niminypiminy:
Jade if you are at University at the moment have you been to the Student Union/your tutor/ Student Support services at Registry (or whatever it is called at your Uni) for help with sorting out the loan? I don't know what your circumstances are(whether you are currently on an undergraduate degree course or some other kind of course, whether you have already had a student loan) but nowadays all universities have people who specialise in helping students through the funding and finance maze, as far as they can.

[Votive]

I already have done all of that, it is purely down to SLC saying I am ineligible for any maintenance grant.
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Evensong:
And this little beauty is my current favourite. [Big Grin]

Strangely, it was the one I most identified with, too. [Paranoid]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
The chaplain at uni (who went to Cranmer) says Cuddesdon or Mirfield would be the best fit, Westcott House probably too liberal for me. Does this sound about right? Mirfield appeals more just in terms of location, personally.

I know the Community at Mirfield well, and the place (if you can cope with the Pennine drizzle) is excellent. I don't know much about the College per se, except that I have heard some people don't rate it much academically. I would have thought that is less important as general formation and especially the solid foundation you would get in liturgy and spirituality. It is definitely Catholic in ethos but in no way precious and there are a number of evangelically-inclined students. The benefit of living alongside a dedicated monastic community must be substantial.

[PS. Sorry Jade, I have just seen your other post. I really hope and pray some finance will be forthcoming... that is just too bad.]

My own priest went to Mirfield so I have heard good things about it. I actually know that part of the country very well - and would agree re academics v general formation.
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
I'm filling in a registration form for a Dioscesan Panel and tripped over a sticking point.

The Question asks:

Briefly describe yourself and your temperament, including your gifts and preferences, strengths and weaknesses.

But what, in this context, do preferences refer to?

Churchmanship perhaps?
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Is it more likely to be about things like: like working in groups; like clear structures and deadlines; like to work alone; tend to be quiet in new situations etc?
That was the sort of thing I wrote for this question. I didn't mention anything to do with church here.
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
That would make sense, I must be being more dense than usual tonight!

Thanks aig. [Smile]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Churchmanship might be one but consider:


Now you do not have to pick one from each but if one of those is making your heart skip then I would suggest you may have a preference for it.

Jengie
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
And that's something else to mull over.

Cheers Jengie [Smile]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Avoid churchmanship unless you can show that you are open and flexible. I think they want ministers and churches to avoid extremes.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Had a wonderful chat with my boss the other day.

He said the reason I'm struggling so much with being a "traditional priest" is that I'm more of a prophet than anything else.

He said I think outside the box, and when I do think inside the box I notice things that nobody else notices.

How nice is that? Maybe there is hope for me after all.

[Axe murder]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Evensong - lovely to hear that. Hope you are feeling happier now [Smile] .

Harmony Hope
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
It's strange, isn't it. When you are in the first part of the discernment process you assume once you are through bap it'll all be plain sailing. Why I assumed this I have no idea, but I sort of did. And now I'm at college and it's great, but also hugely hard. I'm more convinced than ever about my vocation, but I'm also aware of how difficult this path is. Prayers for you, Evensong, and for others who are realising the pain of the calling as well as the joy.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thanks HH. Hope things are going well with you [Votive]

Jenn. You are exactly right. The training itself presents very significant challenges. . .

My husband flipped out tonight . Said he felt he was losing me.. .
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
(((Evensong & Mr E)))

Hang on in there. [Votive]
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Hugs Evensong. It's such a demanding time for us and our families often get a rough deal. ****ing for you.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thanks Sioni and Jenn. Preciate it
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
I'm signing off for Lent, trying to find some time for reflection and reading...but you are all in my prayers and with all my best wishes.

Harmony Hope
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
I'm signing off for Lent, trying to find some time for reflection and reading...but you are all in my prayers and with all my best wishes.

Harmony Hope
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello all. Just popping in to say: I have a provisional BAP date.

My word, there's a lot of paperwork!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Masha - exciting and scary! When will it be?

I'm not looking forward to The Paperwork when my time comes.
 
Posted by E Tiddy (# 9201) on :
 
Hello all!

I'm returning afer a break of a couple of years [Eek!] This time I've got a BAP booked for the beginning of May and I'm currently working on my registration form. It's taken about 13 years for me to get to this point!Anyway, I've got a place at cranmer Hall if I'm recommended for training [Big Grin]

Best wishes to everyone on this journey. Hopefully I'll see you around. x
 
Posted by Percy B (# 17238) on :
 
I was involved in a weekend for those interested in vocations and found it very helpful to be with others thinking. Considering vocation can be quite a lonely venture. I do recommend this sort of thing.

Not just for what one can get from them, but what can share and give too.
 
Posted by E Tiddy (# 9201) on :
 
I've got to complete my BAP paperwork by the end of the week. Trouble is it's making me feel sick just thinking about it. [Projectile]
I've waiting so long to get to this point and don't know what to write. [Help]

Your prayers would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
[Votive] for you E Tiddy.

I'm still dragging my heels. The birth of our first child in April and our new Priest-in-Charge not starting until June seem like very reasonable excuses for not doing anything about the nagging feelings I keep experiencing. Those excuses will always be there, though, won't they... [Confused]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Percy B:
I was involved in a weekend for those interested in vocations and found it very helpful to be with others thinking. Considering vocation can be quite a lonely venture. I do recommend this sort of thing.

Not just for what one can get from them, but what can share and give too.

Was that CPAS? While CPAS are essentially an evangelistic-based organization, from what I remember of my experience on their vocation weekend, it could be very helpful for anyone of any churchmanship. At any stage of the process, too. At the beginning of the discernment process, just before selection/diocesan selection etc. Like you, I'd recommend these weekends.
 
Posted by uncletoby (# 13067) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by E Tiddy:
I've got to complete my BAP paperwork by the end of the week. Trouble is it's making me feel sick just thinking about it.

I had to do mine just before Christmas. In the end the only way I could get it done was work at it until about 3.30 in the morning! Too many distractions in the daytime.
[Votive]
 
Posted by uncletoby (# 13067) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
Don't rule out St Stephen's House. It's a far broader place than the naysayers would have you believe.

Thurible

They have produced some excellent priests over the year, including women priests.
I'd be interested to hear more about this. I'm trying to work out where I should train at the moment. I suppose I am a liberalish Anglo-Catholic - I'm looking at St Mellitus because staying in London would make sense for family reasons, and I have Westcott in mind as a plan B. But I've started wondering if I have made a mistake by not considering St Stephen's House. I'd like to know what others think about it.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Essentially, it's a broad place in a Catholic context.

So, daily Mass and offices with Benediction weekly, and full Catholic privileges.

The student body ranges from Romanist, breviary-wielding members of the Pusey Guild to open evangelicals who have their reservations about the House's theology but value the 'sense of holiness'. Those for and against female ordination work well together and happily, and attend each other's ordinations and the like, and become lifelong friends.

You should definitely have a look.

Thurible
 
Posted by uncletoby (# 13067) on :
 
Thanks Thurible.

quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
So, daily Mass and offices with Benediction weekly, and full Catholic privileges.

Out of interest, do they use the Roman Rite?
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Have you been to look at Westcott? It is a good place for lots of reasons, not least its diverse and inclusive community.

I think the problem for female ordinands at St Stephen's House is formation in a setting where some of the staff and some of the ordinands don't think they (the women) can be priests. Theological college is tough enough without that sort of baggage.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by uncletoby:
Thanks Thurible.

quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
So, daily Mass and offices with Benediction weekly, and full Catholic privileges.

Out of interest, do they use the Roman Rite?
Not for college services - other than for borrowing propers, on occasion. It is often used for the Saturday Mass, but that is at the celebrant's discretion. There's also a (half-?) termly BCP Mass. It's probably reasonable to point out that, whilst the Offices are compulsory, Mass isn't - other than on Sundays and for evening Solemnities. Things may have changed but on one day a week, there are two Eucharists celebrated - one by a woman, and one by a man. (A significant minority went to both.)

In terms of offices, it's CW in the morning and BCP in the evening - always.

There is now an ordained woman on the staff and there really is a sense of cohesion, despite views on OoW. Tied to this, there is a real sense that one's views are to be respected whatever they are - unlike the impression one gets of "more inclusive" places, which might actually be significantly less diverse.

Thurible

[ 26. February 2013, 11:11: Message edited by: Thurible ]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Interesting. Mirfield makes mas compulsory 6/7 days and one of the staff is a woman (our former curate) and that has created tensions for some students when she is presiding.

I always thought Mirfield was more 'liberal' than The House.

The House tends to offer better placements because Oxford has more variety in places to go than West Yorkshire.
 
Posted by uncletoby (# 13067) on :
 
Thanks all of you, this is very helpful indeed. I've provisionally booked a visit to St Stephen's House in May.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:

I always thought Mirfield was more 'liberal' than The House.

The House has always been the most "trad-friendly". That hasn't meant it is "lib-unfriendly". (Whereas I think there are very few 'trads' who would feel welcomed at, say, Westcott.)

It's the fact that the 'trad' can happily coalesce with 'lib' that is Staggers' strength.

And, uncletoby, I'm pleased you'll have a look round. Prayers as you discern where the Lord wants you.

Thurible

[ 27. February 2013, 10:28: Message edited by: Thurible ]
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Interesting. Mirfield makes mas compulsory 6/7 days and one of the staff is a woman (our former curate) and that has created tensions for some students when she is presiding.

Two now I believe.
I stayed with the Community a couple of weeks ago and was impressed by the variety of the student body. I know it includes a number of evangelicals. It seems very family-friendly, too: there was one father (student's partner, presumably, as opposed to Father) whose 6-ish son sat with him throughout mass and evensong without a twitch or a fidget.
I would have thought the only sort of placement parish rare in the Mirfield area compared to Oxford would be traditional rural villages. There is everything else from inner city to suburban to small towns.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
In our corner of the world we have had four recent imports from St Stephens.

Very high church (not my tradition, I'm MOTR) but all of them are lovely.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
I would have thought the only sort of placement parish rare in the Mirfield area compared to Oxford would be traditional rural villages. There is everything else from inner city to suburban to small towns.

The House is able to offer industrial chaplaincy placements in more abundance that Mirfield because most traditional industry has died out in W. Yorks
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Industry in Oxford? Well, we've got a bit left, I suppose.

In my time, there were placements in:
college chapels
parish churches
hospitals
prisons
schools
homeless shelters

I can't think of any in an industrial setting but that doesn't mean there never are.

Thurible
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Hi all,
Just thiought I would pop in to say that my parish priest has now refered me to the diocesan vocaations time and hopefully I will find out who my vocations advisor will be in the next few weeks. It's taken a long time getting this point and suddenly it's all starting to seem very real and frigthing. [Help]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Well done Orinoco, I hope that you hear soon and that you have a fruitful relationship with your vocations advisors.

I'm still chuntering on, hoping to re-BAP next year. Just found out that a friend is about to start along the path too so we can hopefully bounce ideas off each other.

[Votive] for everyone, it's been a bit quiet on this thread recently, how are you all getting on?
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
Things are going well for me right now. I'll be graduating with my M.Div in May and I was approved just last week by my community's superior general to profess final vows. (See explanation of our stages that I wrote earlier on this thread.) It's a nunc pro tunc approval, as I haven't yet been in temporary vows for three years (the minimum before they can become permanent). We'll celebrate my perpetual profession in early September and then I'll be ordained deacon the next day. Priesthood will follow Easter Saturday 2014.

Right now, I'm still awaiting word as to where I'll be assigned. It'll probably be one of our parishes, but could be campus ministry at one of our schools. Wherever it is, I'll report on July 1st, so the people there will be able to see me go from seminarian through deacon to priest within a year. They've had some initial conversations with me about what I'm interested in doing, and I've got another meeting booked for a couple of weeks time where I'm hoping to hear something about what they're thinking. The decision will be made at our provincial council meeting at the end of April.

It's an odd kind of waiting: not anxious, but a little restless. I've come to a point of trust where I'm not anxious about a bad decision being made; but I'm getting sufficiently excited about next year that I am feeling somewhat restless about not knowing where I'll be spending it.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello again,

Just realised I ignored a question upthread - sorry! I plead paperwork as an excuse.

But...it's all in!

[Big Grin]

I have never seen so much admin and never described myself so many times but it's done. Woo hoo. I bought a packet of Veggie Percy Pigs to celebrate. Living it up...

I'm going at the end of May so let's see how I get on. I'll let you know!
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
I now have a date for meeting with my vocations advisor. Does anyboby know what questions they are likely to ask?
 
Posted by Ceannaideach (# 12007) on :
 
For your first meeting, most likely questions to get to know you a little better and to get to know your faith and your sense of calling.

It can seem terrifying to contemplate, but just relax, the vocations advisor is there to help you discern what God may be calling you to do.

In other news I've been recommended for Lay Reader training as a result of my diocesan panel interview. [Smile]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
As Ceannaideach said, they want to get to know you.

They might also ask 'Why?'

As in, why do you feel this is right? Why this particular expression of ministry? That sort of thing. But I suppose that might depend on the process. I only saw a vocations adviser once and then was referred to the DDO because that seems to be how it works here! I've heard of people doing a lot of work woth advisers elsewhere in the country so...

Hope it goes well for you. I've found the process thus far to be really good and enjoyable. Except the paperwork.

Well done Ceannaideach! That's very exciting. A friend of mine is training to be a Reader and she is loving it.

As for my process and impending BAP:

WAAAAAAHHH!

Ahem.

That is all.

[ 06. April 2013, 19:39: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orinocco:
I now have a date for meeting with my vocations advisor. Does anyboby know what questions they are likely to ask?

I came from a big diocese where the vocations advisors did a lot of the early work with often quite vague vocations. I think I saw mine about 4 times over a year and then I was passed onto the DDO. From memory the only question she asked at the first interviews was 'would you like tea?' and then all she had to say was 'tell me your story' and the hour was gone! There was some stuff about data protection and the process but that was it.

It is very scarey putting your head above the parapet but all the VA and DDOs I've come across are genuinely trying to help discern a vocation which may be to reader ministry or ordained ministry or something else.

Unless your story is one like this of course where details have been only slightly changed:

You have recently been converted to Christianity and during the recent interegnum used every opportunity to get your mitts on the keys of the vicarage, seeing off the church wardens, PCC, the retired clergy and the flower guild who have been part of the leadership team for years. Now you now want that calling to leadership confirmed by the national church so that you can get back at the new priest in post who has to the great relief of all concerned shown you the door.

You can tell this is an exageration as no one gets past the flower guild who all have the archdeacon/bishop/dioceasen enforcers on speed dial as they knew them when the were young Kenneth/Sue/Monty in Sunday School.

I hope the interview goes well.

[ 08. April 2013, 08:53: Message edited by: Poppy ]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
This thread is a bit quiet at the moment.
Does this mean that all shippies in the discernment process are deeply introverted, paranoid or technophobes?
Or are we all just too busy to post?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Hello aig
I am plodding on waiting to re-BAP next year. Just keeping my hand in with the DDO and being indispensable in the parish, ha ha ha.

How is everyone else?
[Votive] for us all
 
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:

In other news I've been recommended for Lay Reader training as a result of my diocesan panel interview. [Smile]

I have been a lay reader or lector in two different RC parishes for several years. I really enjoy it.
 
Posted by malik3000 (# 11437) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sir Kevin:
quote:
Originally posted by Ceannaideach:

In other news I've been recommended for Lay Reader training as a result of my diocesan panel interview. [Smile]

I have been a lay reader or lector in two different RC parishes for several years. I really enjoy it.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to do this at a couple of parishes in the past as well as my current one and i too really enjoy being able to exercise this ministry.
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by aig:
This thread is a bit quiet at the moment.
Does this mean that all shippies in the discernment process are deeply introverted, paranoid or technophobes?
Or are we all just too busy to post?

I'm veering between attempting to practise the virtue of patience and being relieved that I haven't heard from the Bishop in almost a year!
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
I am entering the last term at college meltdown - due to essays, dissertation(which would be OK) - but then there are forms for many, many people, and houses and meetings with incumbents. I trust at some point it may slow down a bit?
 
Posted by Codepoet (# 5964) on :
 
I have not posted on here for a while, and wonder if I am still welcome on this thread (tell me if I am not, and I will start another one!) but at the root of my situation is a struggling with a deep sense of calling.
So I think I first posted on this thread in 2006 when I started the discernment process. Others on this thread have supported me through to BAP, the struggles of college and the pre-ordination excitment. Now towards the end of my curacy I am looking for a "proper job".
I have discovered that this is a very difficult thing to talk about. There are now people with whom I have active pastoral relationships who would be hurt if they heard that I was looking to move on, and yet the training post is time limited so I have to move on by a certain time. I have looked at and considered lots of options, and now am at a stage where I am preparing for my first interview. To get to this point requires a huge investment of time and energy - carefully reading profiles, trying to understand parishes, and decyphering what sort of person they are looking for. Obviously it is a very self reflecive exercise too, and ultimately is about being part of a group of people discerning the will of God.
Like many, I do not much enjoy competitive interview situations, and am troubled by the fact that this is the first time in the process of ministerial discernment that what I believe to be a sense of calling to a particular role can only be affirmed if others are to be told that they are not considered to have such a call. This is where all this vocations stuff meets the hard reality of pounds and pence.
I have been moved to write this on discovering that I will be interviewing alongside 5 others next week. I had hoped that I might be one of 4 at the most and if I was lucky 3 even, and am now wondering how I will cope with the likely outcome of having to come to terms with accepting that what I thought was a sense of calling was wrong, potentially several times over before the next chapter of ministry becomes clear for me.
Do please pray for me.
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
We will.

(....and i'll leave it to others to impart more words)
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
[Votive]

Does it help to think of it as group discernment rather than competitive interview?
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Codepoet:

I have been moved to write this on discovering that I will be interviewing alongside 5 others next week. I had hoped that I might be one of 4 at the most and if I was lucky 3 even,
Do please pray for me.

Does this mean you will be actually sitting alongside others or will you be touring the parish whilst one other is being interviewed and another one is hiding in the church office?
 
Posted by Codepoet (# 5964) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by geroff:
quote:
Originally posted by Codepoet:

I have been moved to write this on discovering that I will be interviewing alongside 5 others next week. I had hoped that I might be one of 4 at the most and if I was lucky 3 even,
Do please pray for me.

Does this mean you will be actually sitting alongside others or will you be touring the parish whilst one other is being interviewed and another one is hiding in the church office?
My point is there are 5 other candidates. Obviously interviews are seperate, as are parish tours I believe. However the (in)famous "death by quiche" is everyone in together. There is also an (inappropriate in my opinion) involvment of partners. I understand that my partner might want to be involved in looking around the parish (or at least the house) - as it is she is working that day and trusts me to make important decisions, however I do not understand why the church wardens' partners and the selectors' partners need to meet the candidates.
I am not looking forward to a room full of around 25 people all trying to find out if I will support their personal religious fetish or not. "Are you married? Is your wife good at children's work? Will you keep the parish pantomine going? Can you play guitar? etc etc"
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Don't be afraid Codepoet. Trust in the God we pray to, and be yourself. It wouldn't matter if there was one other candidate or 21, if God wants you there the door will be opened. Another door will open if this one doesn't. The Holy Spirit will guide you. Hold on tight and don't be daunted.

The people there will be your parishioners, potentially. Treat them as you naturally would, engage with them, love them. Everything else is of lesser importance.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
I am feeling more and more called to this, but having a mental health setback. My body is being an arse. Prayers appreciated.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Prayers for you, Jade Constable, for God to give you the peace that passes all understanding. [Votive]
 
Posted by SyNoddy (# 17009) on :
 
My only experience is from the other side of the parish interview situation and I've only been involved twice. The first was similar to how you describe, Codepoet, but without the partners thing. However it wasn't simply wardens and the parish reps but the entire PCC at the 'trial by quiche'! We couldn't imagine a scenario where we didn't at least lay eyes on our potential new shepherd before he or she was presented to us by the Bishop.
The other occasion was one where my involvement was as part of one of a number of interview panels set up in various locations across a group of parishes. That event was more of a 'challenge Anneka' affair with the various candidates navigating themselves around a rural area armed only with a map and a timetable of which church or village hall to be in at any set time. Then everyone, and I do mean everyone, sat down to lunch in an old estate school house!
Both occasions had moments of pure surrealism but I'm confident that God put the right person in the job despite our best man made efforts to confound His plans for both the person and the parish involved. Please try not to stress too much. It's rather like a marriage, it has to suit both partners so be yourself, and daft as this may sound, try not to take any of it too personally. All will be well.
 
Posted by Dormouse (# 5954) on :
 
I know very little about BAPS (save when filled with cheese and pickle!) and VAs etc. but I'd like to say that I pop in on this thread from time to time to read where you are up to, and to throw a little prayer upwards for you all.
Before coming to France I was a LLM (the Oxford diocese name for a lay reader) but I've kind of lost my way a bit now. But for you all, and somehow especially for Codepoet, I put you firmly in God's hands.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
I don't see how not getting this parish is a challenge to your sense of call or the other candidates sense of call codepoet.

I'd see it rather as a challenge of navigating the menagerie that is job interviews. [Biased]

Or are you concerned that you're not called to parish ministry?

quote:
Originally posted by Codepoet:

I am not looking forward to a room full of around 25 people all trying to find out if I will support their personal religious fetish or not. "Are you married? Is your wife good at children's work? Will you keep the parish pantomine going? Can you play guitar? etc etc"

Lord have mercy neither would I.

Be yourself. Be firm. There's only two types of people in the world after all: clergy that try and change their parishioners and parishioners that try and change their clergy. [Big Grin]

I had an interesting chat with an experienced clergyperson a few nights ago that was asked by his bishop to take over an inner city parish that had only 14 ppl remaining in it. The parish has grown and is now doing well. I asked him how and why.

He said the secret to successful ministry in a particular place is when the leadership style of the clergyperson gels well with the leadership style of the parish.

And we're all different of course. Neither good nor bad - just different. And I would hope the selection process for clergy in parishes would reflect that.

[Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
Amen

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On a slightly different subject,

Prayers for those now waiting for the results of their BAP
and also
Prayers for those preparing to pack for their BAP.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Codepoet: Are you in the Church of England? Then you should give the Clergy Appointments Advisor a call, and make an appointment with him. He gives very good advice, practical and (assuming it's still John Lee) spiritual. He operates out of the Wash House at Lambeth Palace, but travels round the country meeting with people within their dioceses at different times of the year.

A lot of people think you only go see the Clergy Appointments Advisor when you're getting desperate. This is not so.

Incidentally, I've made some very good friends at those horrible, horrible 'death by quiche' lunches and parish tours. Never with a successful candidate, it must be said. The unsuccessful ones tend to do the bonding. I was one of the unsuccessful ones too---until I came to Summerisle, where they turned out to want me.

[ 17. May 2013, 22:03: Message edited by: Amos ]
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Sorry to double-post: I never brought my spouse to an interview for a post. The life of a clergy spouse is hard enough without being looked over in that way. I did know a number of single clergy who acquired fiancées for the purpose of the interview.

The system can make one very cynical. This is where the CAA comes in. He's seen it all and is still a decent person and a man of faith.

There's a lot more advice I could give you that isn't printable on a public forum. Do PM me if you wish with any specific questions.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
Prayers for you Codepoet.

It's all rather different from the Baptist Union set up (shudders) - interviews with Deacons, 2 Sundays preaching on trial as it were and a weekend (yes generally a whole one) on show to the congregation. In my case I faced an open congregation forum of over 120 people the last time ......
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
A week to go before BAP.

Where is a 'hyperventilation' emoticon when you need one?

Hard thing is: Someone who was a better candidate than me was turned down a couple of weeks ago. On his second time through. Scary. Awful for him, poor bloke. And made me wonder if I should just pull out now!

[ 21. May 2013, 19:51: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Hang on in there, Masha. God will open the right doors.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Go well, Masha. I was there this time last year and I'm going back for a second attempt this time next year!
[Votive]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
[Votive] For everyone who is preparing to go to BAP.
 
Posted by GreenPixie (# 16522) on :
 
I'm finding it very interesting reading about eveyone's experiences. I'm off to my my BAP next month but I'm a bit of an oddity- I've applied for MSE training (Minister in Secular Employment) which would link into my work as a nurse.
 
Posted by Firenze (# 619) on :
 
Welcome to The Ship, GreenPixie.

I hope you find your right direction.

Meanwhile, Board descriptions map what goes where, and Hosts are here to provide extra signage if needed.

Firenze
All Saints Host

 
Posted by GreenPixie (# 16522) on :
 
Thank you kindly!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by GreenPixie:
I'm finding it very interesting reading about eveyone's experiences. I'm off to my my BAP next month but I'm a bit of an oddity- I've applied for MSE training (Minister in Secular Employment) which would link into my work as a nurse.

Welcome to the ship GreenPixie.

How does the MSE training work? What do you have to do and what can you do once you're trained?

We don't have them here but it was mentioned in a mission plan prayer recently....
 
Posted by GreenPixie (# 16522) on :
 
If I'm accepted for training I'll train alongside the other ordinands and readers who are training part time on the All Saints (Warrington) course. This will be immense fun as I work full time!Yay!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] For your BAP and continuing vocation, ministry, and contributions to the ship Green Pixie.
 
Posted by GreenPixie (# 16522) on :
 
Thank you! This is a good place to learn more about MSE and work place based ministry:
http://www.chrism.org.uk/
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
[Votive] GreenPixie and all with BAPs coming up.

I'm still here, still lurking... The feelings don't go away, but I am trying to be realistic. I have been thinking about maybe exploring the possibility of training as a Reader, as I think I could potentially bring something to that role. But I was googling today and found out that the same restrictions apply around people who are divorced and remarried, so I guess that rules that out... (I don't have any excuse. My first husband was a thoroughly nice chap. I was just too young when I married him, and fell out of love with him. I didn't set out to treat him badly, but I know that I hurt him terribly. No excuses. My fault.) So there you go. It's not meant to be...
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Might be worth pressing that point about divorce and remarriage further, Pia. I don't know where you are, and therefore what the current rules are where you are, but I certainly knew at least one Reader who had been divorced and remarried before she was accepted for Reader training (although that was 20-odd years ago and in Southwark, which you might have expected- certainly at that time- to be more open to flexibility about this kind of thing).
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Pia, you should seriously talk to your Warden of Readers. It's quite possible that you would be able to obtain a Faculty under Canon C4 if your situation is as you've just explained it here.
 
Posted by Earwig (# 12057) on :
 
Just a post to say congrats to all ordained priest on Sunday, including one Yorkshire shipmate done at the Minster. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
[Votive] for anyone off to a BAP tomorrow.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Dear Bishop,

Just to let you know, we recommend Masha for training for ordained ministry.

All the best,

Nice BAP advisers.


I may be paraphrasing there but: [Yipee]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Masha that is wonderful! [Yipee]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Wonderful news [Yipee]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Brilliant!!

[Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

...and now the next step...
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Allelulia! [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
Pia I can't find all your previous posts and if there is something I amnot aware of? But have you explored this with the DDO and warden of readers?

I know both readers and priest who are divorced and remarried or married to a divorced person (which is the same thing)
In fact our current vicar is married to a divorcee. Yhough they said it was not easy - lots of discussions and htey ahd to get and archbishop's faculty.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Allelulia! [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Thank you for sharing the excellent news Masha. Congratulations! And thank you God. [Axe murder]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Lovely news Masha - thank you.

Isn't there some other shipmate off to BAP tomorrow? Prayers for you. [Votive]
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Wonderful news, Masha. I am so pleased. [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

[Votive] for anyone off to a BAP this week.

Zacchaeus - sorry for the cryptic post. I have been variously fighting/trying to ignore/cautiously considering a vague sense of call. I did post briefly about this months ago before sticking my head firmly back in the sand again. Part of my problem is that Mr Pia II is fairly vehemently atheist... at the moment I'm scared to raise the issue even with him, let alone anyone else (and if he isn't prepared to be supportive there's no point talking to anyone else, I figure). I thought that Reader ministry might seem less threatening to him, as well as playing to what might potentially be seen as my strengths. I got discouraged when I read the rules around remarried divorcees, not least because, as I said, I don't have any 'excuse' - Mr Pia I was not a monster, far from it (if anything, the monster on that occasion was me [Frown] ). But it looks as if that may not be the total non-starter that I thought it was, so ... err ... I'm back sitting on the fence and wondering how to raise the issue with Mr Pia II again. (Slap me with some wet fish, someone! [Roll Eyes] )
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Pia

I suspect saying "Yes I have a divorce, actually it was mainly my fault and I acknowledge that, I do not want to repeat it" is pretty good reason for being granted a faculty. What they are not wanting is people who have not sorted out the blame issues from their own divorce or treat divorce as the automatic solution to going through tough times in a marriage.

Jengie
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I'm off to my BAP tomorrow! I thought it would be ages -- November -- and suddenly place came up, and now there's only one more sleep before it. Except that I'm not expecting to sleep much tonight...
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] May it go well Niminypiminy.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Praying for you niminypiminy [Votive]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Masha [Yipee]

Niminypiminy [Votive]
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
[Votive] Niminypiminy

Thank you for those thoughts, Jengie. That is a helpful and more ositive way of looking at things. (For what it's worth, I've been with Mr Pia II for over 20 years, so am not a commitment-o-phobe...!)
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thinking of you, niminypiminy. [Votive]

Pia, I agree with others who say that you should not exclude yourself on account of your divorce. The pastoral car crash of the faculty system is much improved and less intrusive than you might imagine. [Votive]

Edited to add: I have just been given the details of the diocesan vocations assessors for my second crack at the process, so will hope to make contact with them soon.

[ 11. June 2013, 12:39: Message edited by: Laxton's Superba ]
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
*positive

(Did preview, just didn't see the glaring mistake. And missed edit window. [brick wall] )

Thank you, and good luck with everything Laxton's Superba. [Votive]
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Pia

I suspect saying "Yes I have a divorce, actually it was mainly my fault and I acknowledge that, I do not want to repeat it" is pretty good reason for being granted a faculty. What they are not wanting is people who have not sorted out the blame issues from their own divorce or treat divorce as the automatic solution to going through tough times in a marriage.

Jengie

What Jengie says.

They will want to know that there is nothing lurking in the woodwork to cause embarrasment to the church. They will also want to know that there are no unresolved issues with past spouse/children from that relationship.

And they will wnat to know the cause of the past marriage break up, what you learned from it and that you are sorry, and won't make the same mistake again.

And yes they may want to see a supportive spouse, even if they are not a Christian.

It must be worth some conversations, as maybe Mr Pia needs time to adjust to the idea
[Smile]
 
Posted by Vertis (# 16279) on :
 
Well, after two years of people suggesting that I have had a vocation, and many frank conversations with various priests who are frankly frustrated with me, I now have an appointment set to meet the DDM in early July.

It would be wrong to say I have no sense of vocation - sometimes it is very strong - but my misgivings about the Church keep wobbling it, so it's in the context of Reader ministry that my first conversation will take place.

If I could become illustrative for a moment, it feels like I'm standing before the Church and, throwing my hands up, saying "Oh guys, I don't know. What do you think?"

Well the PCC know now, and I've been invited to preach in a couple of weeks' time. I've no idea where this is going (though I have my suspicions).
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Welcome aboard Vertis.
I think you have a very sane attitude to the process. If God wants you in his ministry and you open yourself to that possibility, then que sera, sera. [Votive] for you.
 
Posted by Vertis (# 16279) on :
 
Thanks, LS. If you compare my registration with my post-count, you'll see I'm not usually of the mind that my views are worth sharing, so the process will be interesting for me. It's also a comfort: I'm tired of trying to wrestle with the issues all by myself, and there's something comforting about sharing it with the DDM and asking what the church thinks.

Two clear things though: I can't take my career seriously, and that's a sense that's been growing for years. Also, I have a wife and a young child, so whatever happens needs to be right for them too.
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Hello Vertis, and good luck with everything. [Votive] for you...

And thanks to everyone who replied to my incoherent ramblings. I have finally had a conversation with my husband. He is not totally against the idea per se. However, he is against me taking on anything that takes up my (limited) free time and takes me away from the family. He points out that he does far more housework, cooking, and shopping than I do, and probably a good half of the childcare (though the kids are getting older now and that's a lot less onerous than it was). This is all true: we've always had a pretty role-reversed relationship, as I have always been the main - indeed, for almost half our relationship, the only - bread-winner, but I have come to take for granted that he will do all that he does, and that this will leave me free to work more, or - if I can 'manage down' my work, as I hope to do in the next year or so - to do other things. And I see now that that's not fair. So I am feeling a bit sad and sorry and very much aware of the selfishness of my thinking hitherto. And I am putting everything else on hold while I try to work to develop a more balanced home-life. If I can do that, and can still see a way to explore where to go next with these more spiritual things, then I will... eventually (once I've reassured Mr P that it won't impact on him too much). But if I can't... well, I have a duty to my family, and I kind of feel that this has been a salutary lesson in priorities and humility.

I am going to step off this thread for a while, but, who knows, one day I may return. Meanwhile, [Votive] [Votive] [Votive] for all of you, and a huge thank you!
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Pia

This is a wild card but I wonder if there is the equivalent of Training For Learning and Serving which certainly, when I did it, allowed the area of service to be your own family!

It just sounds to me as if spending time thinking about what your faith means within your family context and what you expect of your husband and so on might be really useful whatever the future holds. I suspect it to involve finding ways to talk, not to convert him, but so he knows what is going on. Finding ways to listen to him so that you can hear him; asking questions about how the balance is and whether you and him are happy in it. Yes the challenges you set yourself might be to take greater practical responsibility, tell your husband you love him regularly and perhaps give him space to do something he loves.

I have seen far too many people who have only thought about their spouses response and understanding very late on in the process. It nearly always then occurs that they are not as happy as the individual assumes. This is as true of Christian spouses as it is of atheist.

Whatever your vocation is he is part of it, not separate from it, and therefore needs to be involved.

Jengie
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Good luck Vertis, and all who are exploring.

Hope you find your path Pia.

I'm still not sure I've quite processed the idea that I'll be in formation from September. I'm going to Mirfield, which will be brilliant and I'm looking forward to it. Such a lot to do before then though!!

Masha
 
Posted by Pia (# 17277) on :
 
Thank you, Jengie. Once again that is a very helpful post.

God luck with everything, Masha. It will be wonderful, and Mirfield is such a beautiful place to be...

[Votive] [Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by Fineline (# 12143) on :
 
I have not posted in this thread before, but I am in the discernment process for becoming a contemplative nun, so I guess this is where I post about it. I am wondering if anyone else doing this. It seems to be an unusual vocation nowadays.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
Unusual maybe, but very valuable. Best wishes for your discernment process Fineline.
 
Posted by Fineline (# 12143) on :
 
Thank you, Angloid. [Smile]
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
You are at least the third person I know to go through this process. Of the two prior ones I recall, one did become a nun and one did a novice year before finding it was not for her.

Hope that you find the process of exploring a journey worth making in and of itself whatever the outcome.

Jengie
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Masha:
Dear Bishop,

Just to let you know, we recommend Masha for training for ordained ministry.

All the best,

Nice BAP advisers.


I may be paraphrasing there but: [Yipee]

They wrote something a bit like that for me too.
[Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
Great news!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Great news Niminypiminy! Congratulations. [Smile]


Never met anyone doing what you're doing Fineline. Would love to hear your experiences. I've often thought that if I didn't have a family I'd be in some kind of monastic tradition or order......(only one that sang tho - would have to have lots of singing [Big Grin] )

I have a mid-year catch up interview tomorrow. Third year in the process now! Possible deaconing at the beginning of next year. [Help] Scared shitless about it all but still going with the flow.....
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
NiminyPiminy - that's great news! [Yipee] Where will you be studying?
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Yay!! [Yipee]

Come to Mirfield, it'll be brilliant.

Or go wherever you've got a place...not that I'm biased toward the institution I've chosen or anything..!

Hope all goes well in the next stage.

Masha, fellow ordinand. [Smile]
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
[Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I'd love to go to Mirfield -- or somewhere else -- to train full time, but actually I'm going to train locally and part time. It'll be good in a different way, I think and hope.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Great news niminypiminy!
 
Posted by DaddyPig (# 17732) on :
 
This is my first post on the ship, although I have found reading some of the comments really helpful when thinking about my own vocational journey - I have been spending time with my DDO for a few months now. I have begun to consider which colleges to view (I hope to be full time residential).

Theologically I would describe myself as Open Evangelical, my vocations advisor suggested that Ridley would seem a good fit.

When reading about the various colleges I have felt increasingly drawn towards Mirfield. Do you think that it is best to stay within your own tradition during training or to take the opportunity to explore another?

Masha - what drew you to Mirfield (congratulations by the way)?
O, I should probably mention that I have a young family.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Welcome aboard, DaddyPig!

If you care to post on it there is a specific welcome thread here where you can introduce yourself to the Ship in general. It will certainly be worthwhile for you to read the introduction to it.

Godspeed with your vocation and enjoy the cruise.

WW
All Saints Host
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
I think my first post on a vocations thread on the ship was back in 2006. Today I head off for the ordination retreat, will be priested on Saturday and will preside at communion for the first time on Sunday. Emotions are somewhere between [Yipee] and [Ultra confused] I'm hoping that after 3 days of retreat and some serious sleep [Snore] all will be a bit more serene [Angel]
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaddyPig:
Theologically I would describe myself as Open Evangelical, my vocations advisor suggested that Ridley would seem a good fit.

When reading about the various colleges I have felt increasingly drawn towards Mirfield. Do you think that it is best to stay within your own tradition during training or to take the opportunity to explore another?


Have a look at Ripon College Cuddesdon. The location is lovely and there are always lots of children which is good for young families. What Cuddesdon has going for it is a real breadth of tradition so there will be people who will be of a similar churchmanship and others who are very different. All good grist to the theological reflection mill!
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
[Votive] for you Poppy as you approach your ordination [Votive]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
I posted here for the first time sometime in 2005- and like Poppy I will be ordained priest this weekend. This site has been a blessing and encouragement through all the years. It also introduced me to Poppy long before we met at Cuddesdon! I would echo her recommendation its a very good college with a breadth of tradition which honours your own but helps you understand others. Particularly useful in a 10 church benefice where there is a range of churchmanship [Smile]
[Votive] To all being ordained this weekend
 
Posted by Pearl B4 Swine (# 11451) on :
 
[Votive] for Jante and [Votive] for Poppy.

Almighty God, reveal to us what we do not know;
perfect in us what is lacking;
strengthen in us what we know;
and keep us faultless in your service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
-----Clement, Bishop of Rome

Bless you both [Smile]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Sorry Jante and myriad others

[Votive] for all who are to be ordained this weekend [Votive]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello DaddyPig!

What drew me to Mirfield was the incredible prayer life and the monastic aspect. The placement opportunities are great and the staff are lovely.

It's also offering me a great academic option, if that's your thing.

It's a smaller community than Cuddesdon, but the grounds are huge and lovely.

There are families with young children at Mirfield too, I remember a child learning to climb stairs just outside the Refectory when I was there last.

There are people from different traditions, and a really well-balanced mix of ages. It has a great community feel.

So, the place, the prayer and it just felt as though this was a place to prepare for the realities of life as a priest.

Go and look, and go to one of the CR monks' services. Beautiful. Also, the church is amazing.

Basically, that's it!

Masha

[ 26. June 2013, 17:42: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Mirfield sounds wonderful! I'm a bit envious -- but I know that part time is right for me and my family.

[Votive] for all those being ordained this weekend [Votive]
 
Posted by Vade Mecum (# 17688) on :
 
Best wishes for all engaged in discernment, and prayers for all those to be ordained this petertide.

I'm currently working through the CofE "Yellow Form" (which is sadly only yellow if you print it on yellow paper), which masterfully manages to intersperse the mundane ("What is the date of your baptism", &c) with the mind-numbingly huge ("what is the nature of vocation?"). Genius.
 
Posted by danwalters (# 8605) on :
 
My first post in this thread... excited to see some other people going to or thinking about Mirfield! I'll be starting there in September too... in fact I just moved into college accommodation there last week with my young family (two boys, a 1 year old and an almost-4 year old), but still commuting to my work in Bolton at the moment.

Have you ordered your cassock yet?
 
Posted by GreenPixie (# 16522) on :
 
Hello all! Very happy to report I will be starting my MSE training on the All Saints Warrington based part time training course in September.
Wonderful to read about other folks' good news too.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Yay!

Well done GreenPixie!

Good to hear all this good news!

Niminypiminy, yep, you have to go with what's right for you and for some people that's residential, for others it's not. I got so much advice, most of it excellent, but it still came down to my own sense of what would work for me and where I felt I should be.

Bit scary to think we may well be ordained in a few years.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
Reading and praying for everyone on this thread. [Votive]

And a special huzza for Niminy-Piminy! Your programme of study is a good one--we've had ordinands on it here.

Daddy Pig--I should visit both Ridley and Mirfield: they're both excellent but very different. Both very child-friendly.
 
Posted by GreenPixie (# 16522) on :
 
Hello all! Very happy to report I will be starting my MSE training on the All Saints Warrington based part time training course in September.
Wonderful to read about other folks' good news too.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Daddy-Pig: if you are visiting Ridley, have a look at Westcott as well. I trained with a number of people who had intended to go to Ridley and ended up at Westcott. If you visit several colleges you generally know which one will be right for you.

I am, like everyone else giving advice here, totally biased... [Smile]
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
I've been impressed by the good relationships between all the Cambridge federation--Westcott, Ridley, Westminster, and Wesley House--which last, alas, we seem fated to lose as the Methodists have decided to send all their ordinands to some gloomy bastion in Derbyshire.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
I'll put in a good word for Cranmer - it is a really good place. (If anyone is heading up here, drop me a message!)
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Masha:


Bit scary to think we may well be ordained in a few years.

I know -- I have a very strong feeling of 'who said we were grown up enough to do this?'

I feel excited though about my part-time course - thank you Amos for bolstering my sense that it is a good one.

[Votive] that we all make wise decisions about our paths through training
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
GreenPixie -fantastic news! [Yipee]

And prayers for everyone else here who is exploring their vocation.

Just wondering if anyone else is heading off for Cuddesdon in September?
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
I've been impressed by the good relationships between all the Cambridge federation--Westcott, Ridley, Westminster, and Wesley House--which last, alas, we seem fated to lose as the Methodists have decided to send all their ordinands to some gloomy bastion in Derbyshire.

Anyone who thinks Cliff College is gloomy has not been. However I suspect they are actually moving to Queens Birmingham. Cliff has traditionally been lay and diaconal training not presbyterial. Deacons do not become ministers in Methodism.

Mind you the rumour is Anglicans are moving to Durham.


Jengie

[ 03. July 2013, 10:38: Message edited by: Jengie Jon ]
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:

Mind you the rumour is Anglicans are moving to Durham.


I think the truth of that rumour is closer to Durham University will be validating Anglican ordinands degrees in future. Not that all training will be moving up north.
 
Posted by Angloid (# 159) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
Not that all training will be moving up north.

Much as they would benefit from it. [Smile]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by danwalters:
My first post in this thread... excited to see some other people going to or thinking about Mirfield! I'll be starting there in September too... in fact I just moved into college accommodation there last week with my young family (two boys, a 1 year old and an almost-4 year old), but still commuting to my work in Bolton at the moment.

Have you ordered your cassock yet?

[Votive] For your training and ministry Dan. Welcome to the ship.

[Votive] For all of you, whether exploring your vocation, training, or recently ordained.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Oh my word. I have officially ordered my cassock and surplice.

Excited and still feeling weird!
 
Posted by Hezekiah (# 17157) on :
 
Yesterday I had an interview with an Abbot and I am formally applying to join an English Benedictine house. I would be very grateful for prayers as it's rather daunting!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] For Hezekiah
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Votive] Best wishes Hezekiah. [Smile]
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
How wonderful, Hezekiah! You may be starting out on a wonderful form of life for you. I have very much appreciated the Benedictine houses in which I've taken retreats. Not my vocation, but a vital one.

As for me, I just moved in to my first parish. Physically, I'm settled. I think I have more names to learn than I ever did dates for church history classes... Transition is slow, which is probably good as I'm taking the time to get to know people before I rush headlong into a ton of programming or what have you.
 
Posted by DaddyPig (# 17732) on :
 
Thank you for welcoming me aboard – I will pop over to the thread Welease Woderwick and introduce myself properly.

Thank you also for all of your suggestions regarding colleges, it is great to hear that people are really satisfied with their training institution. I guess that as much as you read literature regarding each one, the only way to get a good understanding of a place is to go and visit. I will start making appointments to view a number of them for after the summer break, maybe I might bump into some of you then!

Poppy and Jante, I was speaking to someone in my diocese who recently visited Cuddesdon as a guest lecturer and was really impressed by the welcome and the way students from different traditions mixed. My DDO has given me a prospectus, he thinks it would be great too [Smile]

Masha, thank you for posting about Mirfield - it does sound like a wonderful place to be. I have contacted the college and will pop up in a couple of months. [Votive] as you and Dan as you prepare for September and for everyone here exploring their vocation.
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Cuddesdon was also great for me - even though the Ordinand was my wife. She lived in college and I joined her at weekends - I was always very welcome, and we made lots of friends there. The chef was good and the common room friendly.

Here we are at the end of curacy looking forward to where God wants us to be next.
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Also if you go to Cuddesdon you get to use the wonderful new chapel.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Except that while I thought it was beautiful piece of architecture I didn't find it wonderful for worshipping in [Frown]
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
That's quite the chapel; knocks spots off St Mike's. It looks lovely and light inside.

I guess a newly-built place of worship has to grow on you somewhat. Interesting to see what people make of it in ten or twenty years' time.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Panda
I think that 'growing on you' is right. I worshipped in it a year after leaving Cuddesdon and so expect there was an element of wishing for the same old chapel we'd worshipped in when I was there. Also even the present students were adapting to the new chapel. It is a beautiful place, and very light, but as I said above I found it difficult to worship in it.
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
We're moving in to Cuddesdon on Monday...not managed to see the inside of the new Chapel yet so excited to see it! [Biased]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
HH
Enjoy your time at Cuddesdon- it really is a wonderful place. I may even make it back for a visit and renew our acquaintance!
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Off to my first residential week tomorrow! I'm full of first-day-at-new-school nerves, but excited too.
 
Posted by pererin (# 16956) on :
 
So I see in Llandaff we have a new DDO at last. [Smile] Really great guy too. If he can't sort out the feeling of being on Franklin's Last Expedition that seems to be the inevitable result of having *that conversation* with one's vicar, then, errrmmm, I'll end up agreeing with the Church in Wales Review that we have too many dioceses.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Bumping this thread up before we fall off the bottom of AS.
I hope that everyone is well.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive]
For those beginning their training this month - whether residential or non residential, and for all still on the path of discernment.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Looking more at Fresh Expressions and therefore more seriously at Ordained Pioneer ministry. There are links to a really good Fresh Expressions ministry via the uni chaplaincy in my town so want to get involved in that once I've moved back for uni. Lots of ideas for more ministries if they let me get involved! Cranmer seems to be the most moderate/catholic-friendly college that does Pioneer training - is that a fair assessment? It seems a shame that only the evangelical colleges are getting involved.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by pererin:
So I see in Llandaff we have a new DDO at last. [Smile] Really great guy too. If he can't sort out the feeling of being on Franklin's Last Expedition that seems to be the inevitable result of having *that conversation* with one's vicar, then, errrmmm, I'll end up agreeing with the Church in Wales Review that we have too many dioceses.

Let's hope he stays in place longer than most of his recent predecessors, to build up a bit of continuity and stability.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Looking more at Fresh Expressions and therefore more seriously at Ordained Pioneer ministry. There are links to a really good Fresh Expressions ministry via the uni chaplaincy in my town so want to get involved in that once I've moved back for uni. Lots of ideas for more ministries if they let me get involved! Cranmer seems to be the most moderate/catholic-friendly college that does Pioneer training - is that a fair assessment? It seems a shame that only the evangelical colleges are getting involved.

Cuddesdon and CMS have a pioneer training course which looks to be a pretty good mix of practical and theory. STETS used to have one as well. The ordained pioneer route is not an easy one as there are two sets of interviews - one for pioneering and then the normal BAP. I'm fairly sure that you need a solid track record of starting and running a fresh expression to be considered for the ordained pioneer route but it is worth checking that out with your priest or DDO depending on where you are in the process.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Westcott House have a distinctive pathway for Pioneer ministry and share a tutor for this pathway with Ridley Hall. One ordinand in my cohort was on this pathway and he did specialised Life and Service with the Ridley ordinands who were sponsored for Pioneer ministry. He attended everything else, in terms of chapel and liturgical formation, at Westcott.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Thanks Poppy and aig, that's really helpful.
 
Posted by wheelie racer (# 13854) on :
 
So, after nearly 15 years of running, I've come to the point where I can't run away from ordination any longer. I am looking at going down the Minister in secular employment route. Anyone have experience of this? Also currently more than a little anxious about the fact that I am disabled and frequently use a wheelchair and wondering very much how the church deals with/ responds to disabled clergy and how much this will come into discussions in coming weeks/ months as part of the discernment process. Mel
 
Posted by Avila (# 15541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by wheelie racer:
So, after nearly 15 years of running, I've come to the point where I can't run away from ordination any longer. I am looking at going down the Minister in secular employment route. Anyone have experience of this? Also currently more than a little anxious about the fact that I am disabled and frequently use a wheelchair and wondering very much how the church deals with/ responds to disabled clergy and how much this will come into discussions in coming weeks/ months as part of the discernment process. Mel

All clergy like all human beings are disabled and impaired in various ways. The fact you show some of your physical needs in a very visible way doesn't change that reality.

The 'wobbly ones' according to a wise man who ministered deeply though technically retired due to a crumbling spine describing those with particular challenges, bring great riches to the church if the church can stop seeing 'them' as recipients of church ministry and instead as participants who give and receive.

Working that out into practice is another matter. Technically not allowed to discriminate but further down the line I can imagine locally based concerns about how an (especially permanent) wheelchair user can visit folk who live up steps etc, and costs of adjusting the church house and access to various key bits of the church for leading and presiding. (usually panic about costs)

But then there are wheelchair using ministers - I know of one who is also a workplace chaplain. People cope, they get over the initial 'oh that's different' (ie can't fit you into the traditional hole)and meet you as the person. And as for visiting people in upstairs flats with no lifts etc - well we have telephones!! Not to mention other technology.

But as I say - everyone has limits, weaknesses and impairments, the problem is lots of people aren't aware of their own. We all come as wounded healers, mine is depression and less so these days but in the past with chronic fatigue.

Go for it, in my experience yes people will wonder about health issues - those who speak it out and those who don't and maybe can't but will think it.

Some will worry about practical doing of the 'job' others worry for you about sustainability of ministry, not wanting to see the demands of the role make someone more unwell. I had to explain at times that my awareness of my limitations makes it easier for me to see trigger points and look after myself to avoid burnout than the person who sees themselves as 'normal' and ends up sucked into the workaholic rut. Also the 'wobbly' leader enables others to feel able to offer what and who they are, and helps the church see the role of all in ministry - others can climb the stairs and visit etc.

Hope these ramblings helpful.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
How's everyone settling in to new colleges/ courses etc?

I've reached the other end of the process, and have applied for a post-curacy post, and am now waiting with trepidation to find out if I'll get an interview. [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by wheelie racer:
... how the church deals with/responds to disabled clergy ...

My only experience of a disabled clergyman was about 30 years ago in Orkney where the (Church of Scotland) minister of Hoy and the South Isles suffered with (I think) Parkinson's disease. He could walk, but in a very jerky and difficult-looking way, and drove an adapted car. I remember being very impressed the first time we saw him - he hadn't been in his post very long, but the elders from his church had already got down to a fine art exactly what sort of help he needed, and when; I'm assuming he must have let them know right at the outset what his needs were.

We couldn't help thinking that his particular parish was probably about the worst one you could imagine for someone with his disabilities (having to clamber on and off small boats, that sort of thing) but it didn't seem to daunt him in the least.

I wish you all the best in your vocation.
 
Posted by Bostonman (# 17108) on :
 
I've been feeling a calling to ordained ministry pretty strongly and consistently for the last year and a half or so, and my partner, her family, my family, and my current community members have been very encouraging. It's only grown stronger as time goes on. I'm taking my first "official step" this week when I meet with my priest -- and all my doubts and insecurities are surfacing! The church couldn't possibly think I'm called, could they? I'm so new! (or young or ...) Anyway best wishes for all of you further down the road, and a humble request for your prayers this week. Let's hope I actually get up the courage to bring the topic up at all.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] For Bostonman.

My God's will be done, and may you be blessed with his peace and strength as you explore your vocation.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bostonman:
I've been feeling a calling to ordained ministry pretty strongly and consistently for the last year and a half or so, and my partner, her family, my family, and my current community members have been very encouraging. It's only grown stronger as time goes on. I'm taking my first "official step" this week when I meet with my priest -- and all my doubts and insecurities are surfacing! The church couldn't possibly think I'm called, could they? I'm so new! (or young or ...) Anyway best wishes for all of you further down the road, and a humble request for your prayers this week. Let's hope I actually get up the courage to bring the topic up at all.

I think you'll be awesome. [Big Grin]

[Votive] [Votive]

How did the meeting with your priest go?
 
Posted by Bostonman (# 17108) on :
 
It was great! He's excited. I'm excited. Couldn't have been better.

Now the long, slow march begins...

Thank you for your prayers.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Glad to hear it went well, Bostonman.

Good luck and [Votive] for you on your new journey.
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
Bostonman

Hope it goes well but DO NOT let them rush you through. I have sometimes seen, that when a face fits, things progress very quickly indeed. This in my experience is often a bad thing as it means a person comes to the next stage underprepared. At worst it can lead to a wrong decision, but even if not it can lead to unhelpful situations. It maybe a long process but you actually need that process to prepare for what is coming.

Jengie
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
How's everyone settling in to new colleges/ courses etc?

I've reached the other end of the process, and have applied for a post-curacy post, and am now waiting with trepidation to find out if I'll get an interview. [Ultra confused]

[Votive] for you in this next stage Rosa
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by wheelie racer:
So, after nearly 15 years of running, I've come to the point where I can't run away from ordination any longer. I am looking at going down the Minister in secular employment route. Anyone have experience of this? Also currently more than a little anxious about the fact that I am disabled and frequently use a wheelchair and wondering very much how the church deals with/ responds to disabled clergy and how much this will come into discussions in coming weeks/ months as part of the discernment process. Mel

An ordinand in his third year of training is on placement with my university's chaplaincy, and is a wheelchair user. Tonight at our chaplaincy discussion group he talked about going for ordination as a disabled person, and to be honest the most shocking thing was that most theological colleges in England and Wales are not wheelchair accessible. Only three colleges were accessible when he was looking at colleges - Oak Hill, St John's Nottingham and one in Wales (don't know which one, sorry, but it's A-C). Now Cuddesdon has had new buildings built, that is also partly accessible, but I was still horrified by the lack of accessibility for disabled people with a calling to the priesthood. I will send you a PM with his details if you'd like to get in contact with him.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
The one is Wales would be St Michael's Llandaff- there is only the one here. It might have looked A-C to him (if he was comparing it to Oak Hill and St John's) but it isn't particularly; as the only college for the Province it works, AIUI very successfully, across the range of churchmanship.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
quote:
Now Cuddesdon has had new buildings built, that is also partly accessible, but I was still horrified by the lack of accessibility for disabled people with a calling to the priesthood. I will send you a PM with his details if you'd like to get in contact with him.


However Cuddesdon have had disabled people in the past- and have done what they can to adapt the old buildings to help them, and as you say have now built new buildings which are wheelchair friendly.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
No interview. Sometimes I really wish God would write things in big letters in the sky.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
No interview.

Not sure of the system in the UK, but I hope you applied for more than one?

Stand Tall. One will eventually come. [Votive]

quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
Sometimes I really wish God would write things in big letters in the sky.

Hell yeah!

I'm up for ordination to the diaconate shortly and all I have running through my head is Psalm 23 - tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me....

Somebody please tell me this is normal.
 
Posted by pererin (# 16956) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
The one is Wales would be St Michael's Llandaff- there is only the one here. It might have looked A-C to him (if he was comparing it to Oak Hill and St John's) but it isn't particularly; as the only college for the Province it works, AIUI very successfully, across the range of churchmanship.

I've known some Con-Evo types who seemed to like it there.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis:
No interview. Sometimes I really wish God would write things in big letters in the sky.

Hang in there. Remember the Persistent Widow. Also, if you haven't made an appointment to see John Lee, the Clergy Appointments Advisor, it's a good idea--he's a good man.
 
Posted by Avila (# 15541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
The one is Wales would be St Michael's Llandaff- there is only the one here. It might have looked A-C to him (if he was comparing it to Oak Hill and St John's) but it isn't particularly; as the only college for the Province it works, AIUI very successfully, across the range of churchmanship.

When Welsh ordinands still had the option of applying to english colleges (before the province realised it couldn't afford to pay for a college and pay other colleges to take students) it was more AC, also more gay friendly than other colleges so that influenced some of the english ordinands I was there with. As a low church Methodist it was a culture shock, and it wasn't that conservative friendly at all.

Now that the full range of church life is part of it the dynamic will have changed a lot - as a lot of the feel of it came from students rather than structure, so turnover means culture shifts naturally.
 
Posted by Avila (# 15541) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jante:
quote:
Now Cuddesdon has had new buildings built, that is also partly accessible, but I was still horrified by the lack of accessibility for disabled people with a calling to the priesthood. I will send you a PM with his details if you'd like to get in contact with him.


However Cuddesdon have had disabled people in the past- and have done what they can to adapt the old buildings to help them, and as you say have now built new buildings which are wheelchair friendly.
The problem with older buildings is a major issue, and will be in the churches served after training - yes there is room for a ramp but in a conversation area or listed so you will have to make use of a portable one. So you can't be the first there because someone else needs to unlock and put the ramp down etc....

Just a reflection of a situation in one of my churches - and thinking about if I or one of the key stewards was a wheelchair user. That and the need to get to toilets in the hall behind when geography means it is a lethally steep lane!
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Just thought I would pop in and give an update, I have been meeting with the Vocations Advisor and I think that seems to have gone well. I am now being sent on a six week placement to a different parish. This is partly to help me reflect on ministry in a different context but also as I stammer they want to see how I get on with speaking to people and forming relationships in a congregation where I am not known.

Wheelie Racer, I know my disability is very different to yours but my expereince is that it has been raised as an issue, and that is part of the reson for my placement but they do seem to be saying OK, you have this issue, but lets see if we can make it work.
 
Posted by deusluxmea (# 15765) on :
 
prayers for you and all on this thread.

I have come back from a retreat with the same irritating sense of calling that has lingered for four years. I don't know what to do. Or, I do know what to do, but I don't think I can do it.

Can I ask for thoughts on how people discerned the difference between a diaconal and priestly vocation?
 
Posted by sospan (# 9609) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by deusluxmea:
prayers for you and all on this thread.

I have come back from a retreat with the same irritating sense of calling that has lingered for four years. I don't know what to do. Or, I do know what to do, but I don't think I can do it.

Can I ask for thoughts on how people discerned the difference between a diaconal and priestly vocation?


 
Posted by sospan (# 9609) on :
 
What I should have said above is.........

I’m going down the diaconate route at the moment – local panel in 2 weeks. Discerning between deacon and priest vocations isn’t easy – not least because a priest is also, and will always be, a deacon.

For me, part of it has been the external call. I have people nudging me to explore ordination for a long time – nearly ten years. However, things have always held me back, until recently. Independently of each other, and within 24 hours, two members of the clergy approached me and said, “Diaconate, not priest, but diaconate”. They were very specific; although they and others have since gone on to say that I should not rule out looking at priest.

The role of a deacon seems to fit with who I am, where I am in life, and where my skills and gifts are. When I look at the words from the ordination service, it’s not so much a “no” from me to being a priest but it’s more a big “yes” to the diaconate – reading the words is a bit like falling in love! If God wants me to do more – well okay then. But at the heart of my calling is the role of the deacon – and it always will be whether I end up ordained or not.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] For you sospan, and for deusluxmea, and for all as you discern your calling.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Sospan, it may be that at the moment the right path for you is the "permanent" Diaconate, but it doesn't rule out eventual priesthood. We've got an Ordination here on Monday: two of the candidates were made deacons earlier this year and the other one has been a deacon for 10 years. There's no reason why one has to lead immediately to the other.

As Raptor Eye said, [Votive] for you as you decide what course to take.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
There are things I want to post but they deal with Dead Horses in relation to ordination - should I post here, or in DH?
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
There are things I want to post but they deal with Dead Horses in relation to ordination - should I post here, or in DH?

This is under consideration, Jade C, a reply as soon as possible.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
There are things I want to post but they deal with Dead Horses in relation to ordination - should I post here, or in DH?

Post away but be aware that if it starts to develop as a DH-type debate we may ask you to take it there - AS is very much for support style posts rather than debating issues.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by deusluxmea:

Can I ask for thoughts on how people discerned the difference between a diaconal and priestly vocation?

My vicar described those as fascinating conversations in our conversation about vocation on Thursday. That was a fascinating conversation in itself (although not on that topic) which has brought up a possible path which at one level sounds good but also scares me rigid.

Carys
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
I think God quite enjoys scaring people rigid then leaving them with the quite distinct feeling that being scared rigid can end as a Good Thong.
 
Posted by Jack the Lass (# 3415) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
... being scared rigid can end as a Good Thong.

Best typo ever. Wodders wins the internet today [Smile]

More seriously, my prayers for all of you who are trying to figure out what, who and where God is calling you to be. [Votive]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
There are things I want to post but they deal with Dead Horses in relation to ordination - should I post here, or in DH?

Post away but be aware that if it starts to develop as a DH-type debate we may ask you to take it there - AS is very much for support style posts rather than debating issues.
Thanks - I wanted to post about experiences of DDOs/BAPs/the ordination process in general, but definitely not a debate on the rights or wrongs of the situation. Just the practicalities, if that makes sense?
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
It makes sense to me - off you go!
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
I think God quite enjoys scaring people rigid then leaving them with the quite distinct feeling that being scared rigid can end as a Good Thong.

I think it's part of letting him be in control, that is scary, but so very right. Heart is actually quite peaceful about the idea but head is going "Noooooooo".

Carys
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
I was talking to a friend who is in The Process and he surprised me by suggesting that, if recommended, he was seriously considering going to a college very different from his own tradition (he too is an FiF, Society of Mary, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament type and is looking at a college renowned for its evangelicalism). I couldn’t decide whether or not I thought it barking and so told him that I’d think about it.

Does anyone have any experience of/thoughts about doing the same sort of thing – in whichever direction?

Thurible
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
A former chaplain of a high ish liberal tradition chose to train at Ridley to challenge her preconceptions. Part of me says that for a FinF person a college fully committed to women's priestly ministry might be more of a challenge than an evangelical one that is unsure about it.

Carys
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Cheers Woderwick.

So, does anyone have experiences of being openly LGBTQ and navigating the process? My DDO is conservative (striped shirts!). I am fully in line with Issues In Sexuality so I can't be caught up on that, but wondering if being open with DDOs/BAPs has brought positives, negatives or no impact at all for anyone?
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
My experience of the vocations process is that you do have to be open about major issues in your life and that will include sexuality, divorce, children, health and all that we bring to the table. But it is more about how you reflect on and find God in a situation and how that impacts on prayer life and ministry rather than the gory detail.

Whether sexuality is the first thing you discuss with your DDO is about boundaries perhaps.

On a side note I'm somewhat surprised that striped shirts are an indicator of conservatism. Round here the conservatives don't wear clericals at all so maybe it is a regional thing!

[ 05. November 2013, 10:49: Message edited by: Poppy ]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Poppy:
My experience of the vocations process is that you do have to be open about major issues in your life and that will include sexuality, divorce, children, health and all that we bring to the table. But it is more about how you reflect on and find God in a situation and how that impacts on prayer life and ministry rather than the gory detail.

Whether sexuality is the first thing you discuss with your DDO is about boundaries perhaps.

On a side note I'm somewhat surprised that striped shirts are an indicator of conservatism. Round here the conservatives don't wear clericals at all so maybe it is a regional thing!

Not sure I've ever encountered clergy who don't wear clericals at all and I've encountered some spectacularly conservative evangelicals - IME striped shirts are a step up from pale blue, although no clericals is probably a step up from that.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
So, does anyone have experiences of being openly LGBTQ and navigating the process? My DDO is conservative (striped shirts!). I am fully in line with Issues In Sexuality so I can't be caught up on that, but wondering if being open with DDOs/BAPs has brought positives, negatives or no impact at all for anyone?

I don't have experience of being such but do have experience of navigating the process in two dioceses. In both, the DDO was quite happy for candidates to be gay (the first was pre-civil partnerships) and, in the second instance, happy for candidates to be partnered. What both were determined on, though, was that the candidate understood and sought to live by the guidelines in Issues in Human Sexuality. If they were able to write that on the reference, it shouldn't come up at BAP.

Thurible
 
Posted by ButchCassidy (# 11147) on :
 
What others have said.

I'm one of that alphabet soup, and so (by common report) is my DDO, but we've never mentioned it to each other. If I did mention my orientation, I suspect she would say 'why should I care', unless it had some bearing on another aspect of my personality. I've never felt the need to raise it - its not a question of not being open, but IME its irrelevant to the sort of stuff they want to know about you. They seem to think your personality is shaped by factors other than your orientation (shock horror I know..).

Did mention it to another vocations person further back in the process, as an experiment, and they were pretty chilled too. Apparently at the BAP you have to tick the Issues box, as you've said, but as said, thats 'ask and move on'.

The only thing could be is that they will want to talk to your significant parner/spouse, if applicable, to check they're behind you, know what being a vicar's spouse entails etc. So there it might obviously come up, and I don't know how people deal with that. But AFAIK you're not in that position (and nor am I praise God).
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
Being a member of the LGBT community is no bar to ordination, is not “a sin” and at every BAP I have been to we are reminded by the Panel Secretary that we cannot discriminate. On any grounds.

That said, there is always “Issues on Human Sexuality.” Any candidate, gay, straight, single, divorced, married, remarried or a widow comes under scrutiny about the quality and nature of their relationships. Rightly so. Being ordained gives power, power can (and is) abused. If a person is not self-aware, is in a period of (or recovering from) crisis, grief or trauma then this is a concern. If a candidate lacks common sense or has shown incontinence or has a flippant, immature attitude then this is a major concern. If any candidate has not shown some reflection of their sexual self in relation to God’s word, the teaching of the Church and the realities of their lives then what the hell are they doing offering themselves in the first place?

It is (in my view) an injustice that same sex stable committed relationships are not seen in the same light as marrieds but this is the institution we are in and people are offering themselves to serve. A person may not agree with 30mph speed limits but passing the driving test and then bombing around at 70mph is never going to be a win friends and influence people.

Fly Safe Pyx_e
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
I was talking to a friend who is in The Process and he surprised me by suggesting that, if recommended, he was seriously considering going to a college very different from his own tradition (he too is an FiF, Society of Mary, Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament type and is looking at a college renowned for its evangelicalism). I couldn’t decide whether or not I thought it barking and so told him that I’d think about it.

Does anyone have any experience of/thoughts about doing the same sort of thing – in whichever direction?

Thurible

No direct experience but I did observe, and at times council, some of my colleagues in substantial stress within my fairly mixed college. Ordination training is a challenging time and if collegiate worship is another layer of stress (rather than a time of fellowship) then I would be concerned.

Going to an open but trending evangelical would probably be OK (Cranmer Hall, St John's possibly). I would suggest that Oak Hill would have the potential for disaster.

I admire your friend's urge to challenge their thinking but you also need to survive The Process.
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
Our vicar trained on a regional training course. Which tend to have a very mixed bag of ordinands and churchmanship on them.

They say that that was one the best things about the experience, learning to understand and get along with people of many different persuasions,FiF, charismatic, anglo catholic.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
^ This is indeed a real strength of regional training courses.
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Bump.
As I am sure there are still many new vocations this thread needs to be kept going.
As for us, we are nearing the end of our curacy, looking to move on soon. Please pray for Rosa G O and me at this time.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Prayers for you and Rosa GO Geroff.

Can I ask for prayers too, coming close to sending an email to start exploring the path that was suggested in recent chat with vicar.

Carys
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I have a new BAP date!
Going through all the forms again.
For anyone who went to a second BAP, how much of what you write before did you use the second time?
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
No advice - but lots of prayers for your BAP. [Votive]
Where and when is it?
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Hi Laxton's Superba - I went through it twice so please feel free to pm me if you'd like to ask any questions! (By the way my second time was lovely [Smile] )
 
Posted by uncletoby (# 13067) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
Our vicar trained on a regional training course. Which tend to have a very mixed bag of ordinands and churchmanship on them.

They say that that was one the best things about the experience, learning to understand and get along with people of many different persuasions,FiF, charismatic, anglo catholic.

It's worth mentioning here that in Cambridge, training takes place to a large extent through the Cambridge Theological Federation, which means that students from both Anglican theological colleges, as well as from URC, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Colleges, are taught quite a lot of their courses together (it varies depending on the academic pathway you take). So you can be rooted in your own tradition, whilst learning from people from different traditions.

I don't know if it works in a similar way in Oxford.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
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!]
 
Posted by Drifting Star (# 12799) on :
 
I hope the diaconate has been well-prepared!

Well done and every blessing on you and your ministry. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Thanks Drifting Star. [Smile]
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
Brilliant news!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Yipee] Well done Evensong!

God certainly knows what he's doing.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations, Evensong (what a cool name for a deacon!) and all the best for your future vocation.

[Smile]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
God Bless, Evensong.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
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...
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[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]
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
Delighted for you Evensong [Smile]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Fantastic news Evensong! [Votive]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
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'.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
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
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
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'.)
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
It certainly isn't an All Saints issue!
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Happy New Year to all considering vocation.
For those in a formal discernment process [Votive] [Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
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...
 
Posted by *Leon* (# 3377) on :
 
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?)
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
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...
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[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.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks raptor eye. Daunting is definitely the word!
 
Posted by Arrietty (# 45) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Clarence (# 9491) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
...Can religious post in this thread too?

As far as I am concerned - Yes.
 
Posted by Sacristan&Verger (# 17968) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
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!
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
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..
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
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 .
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
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
 
Posted by Jengie Jon (# 273) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
*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...
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Glad the meeting went well iamchristianhearmeroar [Smile]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
What Evensong said. At least if the next stage isn't until July, you've got plenty of time to prepare for it. [Smile]
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
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
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Going to BAP on 24th Feb. Anyone else?
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Wishing you every blessing, LS.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
[Votive] for you LS.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] for you LS
 
Posted by harmony hope (# 4070) on :
 
With God go with you LS (candle - my laptop won't let me for some reason!)
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
[Votive] Will be thinking of you, LS.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] For you Laxton Superba.
[Smile]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
All the best, LS. [Votive]
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
As a matter of interest, is anyone visiting Staffordshire on 10 March...?

Thurible
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
An article on a new generation of young vicars in the C of E.

Hope God's will is done tomorrow Laxton Superba. [Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Praying for you tomorrow LS.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Cutting it fine, but [Votive] LS.

Anyone else (still) being pulled by God kicking and screaming?
 
Posted by St Everild (# 3626) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
As a matter of interest, is anyone visiting Staffordshire on 10 March...?

Thurible

Why do you ask, Thurible?
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Laxton's Superba
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thank you all. I had an excellent time. Whether or not that translates into a recommendation, I don't know. But it was a hugely powerful experience.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
So pleased to hear your BAP was a powerful experience- I remember my own being similar. It's good to feel that you have given your all and its now up to God and the assessors. [Votive] as you wait this next week will feel like the longest ( except for the last few days of pregnancy if you go over due date!! [Biased] )
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
[Votive] for you LS as you wait.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I've been thinking of you LS and wondering how it went. I too remember my BAP as a very powerful experience. And absolutely exhausting! It's a hard week of waiting, LS, and I'll be praying for you as you go through it.

[Votive]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
[Votive] LS.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Very many prayers as you wait.

Thurible
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] Continuing prayers at this time
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
It was a No. I am so very disappointed.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Oh LS that is such hard news for you to bear. That is really bloody hard.

[Votive] [Votive] [Votive] [Votive] [Waterworks]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Sorry to hear that, LS. Is the "no" set in stone, or can you try again?

[Votive] for whatever you decide to do next.
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
L.S. - prayers for your next steps
[Votive] [Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
So sorry to hear that LS.
[Votive]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Laxton's Superba, my prayers for you too as you continue to discern God's calling. All will come right, in His perfect timing.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
This was my second time.You can have three, but I don't know anyone who has been a third time. I am having troubled reconciling myself with this decision. Being in church today was so hard.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I know someone who went three times, and the third time was a yes. But it is too soon to think about that. You need to deal with where you are now, and the disappointment and grief you are feeling. It's such a huge thing to go through the whole discernment process again, and prepare yourself for the BAP, and then go through the BAP and the days of waiting, and then to be told no.

I hope your diocese is going to give you support in the next few weeks and months, as you grieve.

[Votive] for you
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
That is shit, LS. Many prayers for you and those looking after you.

I'm at the station waiting for the train to my BAP. I would be very grateful for your prayers.

Thurible
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Prayers for you Thurible.
[Votive] (will be lit for you at S Alban Holborn this lunchtime, as it was for LS)
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Prayers with you Thurible- my Training Incumbent is an advisor on the panel at Shallowford- a lovely man.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Thurible:
I'm at the station waiting for the train to my BAP. I would be very grateful for your prayers.

Thurible

Hope it all goes well.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
[Votive] Thurible and [Votive] LS
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thinking òf you Thurible.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] for you, Thurible
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
[Votive] Thurible.
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
[Votive] LS
[Votive] Thurible
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
How did it go Thurible?
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
Who knows? Well, the advisers and the secretary now and, in a week, the Bishop. It wasn't too traumatic, happily.

Thank you, all, for the prayers. Please continue to hold the candidates before God as we wait.

Thurible
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive] as you wait.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Is it alright for someone to post on here who is looking at licenced ministry rather than ordained? Both my husband and I saw our vicar last night as there is a faint possibility that God might be gently wondering if, no pressure or anything, just a maybe, we could see ourselves as LLMs?
EEEEEEK!
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
[Votive] for you and Mr. B. as you contemplate your new vocations.
 
Posted by Thurible (# 3206) on :
 
I wasn't recommended.

Thurible
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Thurible.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] as you seek God
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
[Votive]

That is really, really bloody hard.

[Votive]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Sorry to hear that, Thurible.

[Votive] for you as you decide your next move.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Thinking of you Thurible, and prayers, I know exactly how you are feeling. It's horrid, isn't it. Hoping that others doors may open for you. [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
So sorry to hear that Thurible. [Votive]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Me too.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
[Votive] Thurible

I am off to meet with the sisters of St John the Divine in Birmingham on the 15th of April - not to apply to be a postulant before anyone gets excited! It's just for general vocation-exploration. I do think that if I am called to be a nun, it will be one who wears a habit.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Hope your visit goes well on the 15th JC. My first meeting with a Diocesan Vocations Adviser is this Friday. It's only an unofficial chat at this stage, as I'm not officially in the process yet, but I don't suppose that will necessarily make me feel more relaxed! It's coming at the end of a very busy two weeks at work, so prayers for strength (and not too much yawning)!
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Good luck, JC and IamChristian. [Votive]
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Prayers for Laxton's Superba and Thurible. A no is hard to deal with. Does the church need to be better at supporting people in asking 'if not this then what?'

Prayers to for Jade in her explorations. Not a community I know much of. Active or contemplative?

Carys
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
Prayers for Laxton's Superba and Thurible. A no is hard to deal with. Does the church need to be better at supporting people in asking 'if not this then what?'

Prayers to for Jade in her explorations. Not a community I know much of. Active or contemplative?

Carys

Active - they are actually the order the nuns in Call The Midwife are based on, although they are no longer midwives and no longer wear the habit. They are based in Birmingham now.
 
Posted by Hezekiah (# 17157) on :
 
I will be joining the novitiate of a Benedictine house at the end of the summer.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Congratulations Hezekiah, my prayers are with you.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Hezekiah (# 17157) on :
 
Thank you. I'm sorry for not giving any details - I'm not sure that that would be quite right for the religious life (hardly humble and enclosed, publishing it in the internet!) - but I'm very grateful fir your prayers.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
All the best, Hezekiah. [Votive]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Can anyone speak about the kind of training that (non-ordained) chaplains receive?

This question comes out of some ideas I'm starting to have stemming from an experience I've been having. At this point it's not about an inkling to any kind of ordained ministry, but a realization that to fulfill well the leadership role that I'm in, discernment and training similar to some aspects of what priests and chaplains learn about, might be in order.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Is there a theological college anywhere near you, Autenrieth Road? The local one here offers part-time and occasional training courses for lay ministers and other non-ordained church leaders (youth leaders, bereavement counselling and so forth) - that route might be worth investigating.

All the best for your searches.

[ 04. April 2014, 02:48: Message edited by: piglet ]
 
Posted by The Silent Acolyte (# 1158) on :
 
AR, you'll probably need a masters degree, either an MDiv or an MA in spiritual direction or some such.

Then, you'll almost certainly have take several deep draughts of the CPE Kool-Aid. Then again I have only an MDiv an a mere sip of a single unit of CPE and I stumbled on a paying gig.

I've met a chaplain who deserted her family once a week to drive from the wilds of Connecticut to get her degree from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. You could do worse.
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Thank you, piglet and TSA. That is very helpful. I'm reflecting on these things and hope to be able to say something coherent once I start to make any sense out of the surprising things people tell me in connection with this. (Pleasantly surprising, yet surprising all the same.)

[ 04. April 2014, 15:45: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Well, I thought there was a seminary near me, but apparently not really, not any more. I'll contact them nevertheless. Also other institutions farther afield. Right now I'm casting my net broadly, finding out the kind of coursework or formation work people take who are heading into pastoral occupations in one way or another. My first step is just finding out what the landscape might include. Later will be figuring exactly where I fit into it.

[Well, I thought I could spell, but apparently not really [Biased] ]

[ 04. April 2014, 16:12: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I am seeing my sponsoring bishop on Tuesday for a debrief about the BAP "no". It's still most painful to talk about, here's hoping I don't blub.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Tears are allowed, surely, LS. What's spiritual is very close to the emotions, and this has been a hairy ride, as calling always is: one which makes the heart leap with excitement and fear, and one which crashes into disappointment and heart-searching too. The discernment process puts people through all of this, but it is necessary. Continue to trust in God, let his will be done.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Votive] [Votive] for you Laxton Superba. I'm glad there even is a debrief session. I hope the Bishop is graceful with you and honest with you.

I hope and pray that if this door closes for you others will open and you will continue to seek your God given vocation - wherever that may be.
 
Posted by Rev per Minute (# 69) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Can anyone speak about the kind of training that (non-ordained) chaplains receive?

This question comes out of some ideas I'm starting to have stemming from an experience I've been having. At this point it's not about an inkling to any kind of ordained ministry, but a realization that to fulfill well the leadership role that I'm in, discernment and training similar to some aspects of what priests and chaplains learn about, might be in order.

St Michael's College, Llandaff has a Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, though AFAICS they are at post-graduate level. I thought that chaplains were generally ordained, at least the limited number that I have met in different areas - what sort of chaplaincy do you feel you are being called to, if that's not too intrusive?
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
Hi Rev per Minute, thanks for the pointer to St. Michael's. I shall read their requirements with interest.

I don't feel called to chaplaincy explicitly. (Oh wouldn't that be funny if this was indeed the start of a call to chaplaincy... if so, y'all can say "we told you so!")

What I feel is that as a co-leader of a group where it turns out that there have been some problems going back years, that I did not fully understand were problems until very recently, I have come to feel like there are whole areas of knowledge and training that would help me lead in the future. I will be the sole leader -- we're allowing the co-leader to choose to retire at the end of this program year.

As part of my working through this situation, I have been talking to a priest about it. He seems to have so much more wisdom and knowledge about these kinds of issues than I have had, that if that comes in anyway from training, it seems that it would be training that it would help for me to have something like that.

Some of the areas are around boundaries; sharing things as appropriate confidences vs. telling people things that you then force them to keep as bad secrets; and group and individual dynamics. Some of the areas are around how to listen to and respect a wide spectrum of theological views, without feeling threatened. Some of the areas are around some kind of deeper understanding of my own unconventional spirituality (that's too simple a word for what's involved in this, but it will have to do for now). Some of the areas I might not even know about -- I didn't realize that the aforementioned were areas where I need more information and understanding until this all blew up -- so being able to look at the whole spectrum of requirements for priests/chaplains I think would help me think through some things.

I suppose the general thinking about chaplains is that they are ordained. But there exist lay people who serve as chaplains, and training for them -- I know a lay person who is an excellent chaplain, and went through a seminary program for it at our local seminary (which is now, sadly, defunct).

So to ask the question here, the easiest way to ask it seemed to be to ask about the kind of training chaplains -- or priests -- get. However that's because I'm interested in that kind of training because of my role as a leader of this group, not because I'm interested in being a chaplain or priest.

I can see this is an explanation I'm going to have to give a lot, because one of the things I know is that church people in official positions get very very VERY twitchy if people start angling that they want to be ordained without going through the proper channels (which means starting by getting called at the local congregation level) -- and very rightly so in my opinion. So I need to find a way to get them to understand what it is I'm really asking about, and then if there are proper channels for that then I'll try to comply. But I don't want to get fobbed off just because they haven't understood what I am asking for.

[ 21. April 2014, 17:59: Message edited by: Autenrieth Road ]
 
Posted by Autenrieth Road (# 10509) on :
 
I should add, the organization that organizes these groups does offer very good and ongoing training for the leaders. I think in normal circumstances that's enough. However, I've just come through a very abnormal circumstance, and discovered that there are a lot of things I didn't know about that turned out to make me a perfect victim for the kind of manipulation I've been facing. So I want more knowledge and understanding.

I'm also entering into on-going counseling and lots of pastoral care, and a renewed role of someone in a consultative position for me as the leader. It's not that I think chaplain course-work is the only answer for this, or the whole answer. It is an area, however, that I think could add a lot to what I can draw on as a leader.

A possibly related anecdote: years ago in my church a workshop was offered for small group leaders. This was before I got involved with this particular group, but after I'd tried lots of small groups at my church and felt that I never quite fit. So I desperately wanted to take this workshop, because I thought it would help me understand how the small groups worked and I'd be able to fit in better as a participant. I was not permitted to join the workshop. Our Adult Ed chair was adamant that she didn't want anybody thinking that they could just weasel their way into leadership without a lot of proving themselves within small groups already, and without her and the Adult Ed committee's approval. I could not convince her that I was by no means trying to weasel my way into anything, and fully agreed with her about the way for leaders to be raised up, and I wanted this leadership training solely for the purpose of making me a better participant.

Sudden thought: perhaps the chaplains I know really learn their stuff in CPE. Now that gives me pause for thought, because whenever I've thought about CPE, from what I know about it, it's something that is all consuming, and I can't see how I could possibly do it. (OK, don't all snicker as you point out "has often thought about CPE" next to "I'm not feeling called to be a chaplain." [Smile] )
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
LS, you've been in my prayers today.

I hope the meeting was as constructive as it could be under the circumstances.

[Votive] for you as you walk this hard bit of your road, and that around the next bend you may see the place God is calling you to.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
**bump**

I'm giving this thread a nudge out of the way of the Hostly Spring-cleaning Broom.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
How did it go LS?
 
Posted by Desert Daughter (# 13635) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hezekiah:
Thank you. I'm sorry for not giving any details - I'm not sure that that would be quite right for the religious life (hardly humble and enclosed, publishing it in the internet!) - but I'm very grateful fir your prayers.

I am not so sure - after all, there's this (very Benedictine indeed) site .

But you'd have to check with your superior.

In any case, this is good News indeed, and I shall pray for what I hope will be a good start into a life that **really** makes sense.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Bishop was very affirming and encouraged me to go back to BAP soon. Critical of the report and how it was written and will let the powers that be know this in no uncertain terms.
Not sure what to do next. Vicar has some ideas, possibility of doing some theological college courses as associate student, but I don't know.
Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. I can't let this go.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
Good to hear the Bishop was so positive and supportive.

Continuing [Votive] for you.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Pleased to hear that the meeting was so positive, LS.

[Votive] Prayers with you that the door will open soon.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Sounds like an interesting meeting LS!

I'd go for some theological studies. Can't hurt; whether you're eventually accepted for ordained ministry or not.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
Without wishing to rose-tint things too much, the priests I know who had to go to BAP more than once were glad of it, in the end. They felt it gave them far more empathy with those were examining their vocation, as well as a stronger sense of learning to trust in God, which perhaps those who got through on the first go didn't experience in the same way.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
Bishop was very affirming and encouraged me to go back to BAP soon. Critical of the report and how it was written and will let the powers that be know this in no uncertain terms.
Not sure what to do next. Vicar has some ideas, possibility of doing some theological college courses as associate student, but I don't know.
Thanks for your prayers and thoughts. I can't let this go.

Can Bishops overturn the decisions of BAP's? They certainly could a few years ago but it may have changed.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
They can, but they generally won't.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
They can. It's a Bishop's advisory panel, after all. But according to my DDO, if they overturn a decision, the diocese is then financially responsible for a candidate at the end of training and must "reserve" a curacy which could have gone to a properly approved candidate. Seems petty to me.
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
/tangent/

LS - I guess this won't cheer you up, but I just noticed I have always read your screen name as 'Laxton's Superbra'. Sounds like pre-war Platex.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
They can. It's a Bishop's advisory panel, after all. But according to my DDO, if they overturn a decision, the diocese is then financially responsible for a candidate at the end of training and must "reserve" a curacy which could have gone to a properly approved candidate. Seems petty to me.

I don't think it's petty: a bishop prepared to overturn a BAP decision should feel strongly enough about the candidate to offer him or her a curacy. Otherwise the candidate is very likely to be left high and dry (or up a creek if you prefer) just a little further along the path.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
I can see the logic of the bishop having to guarantee a curacy if overturning the BAP decision, but when a diocese is a net exporter it probably makes the bishop reluctant to do so. I think there is an issue of there not being an appeals procedure if there are grounds to think that for some reason the BAP decision might not have been fair. The bishop could override in those circs, but a question may remain.

Carys
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Indeed.

Very few dioceses, in reality, give curacies to their ordinands.

In this diocese, churches are now so monochrome that only evangelicals woulsd get a look in.

Liberals and catholics need to look elsewhere or be stultified.
 
Posted by Graven Image (# 8755) on :
 
Best wishes and many blessings.
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Indeed.

Very few dioceses, in reality, give curacies to their ordinands.

All dioceses give curacies to many of their ordinands. London, Oxford, and Cambridge are the three principal net exporters.

The church now generally expects that an ordinand should have sufficient breadth of experience (usually from placements and attachments during training) to be able to serve a curacy in a parish which does not precisely match their preferred liturgical style.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Obviously there need to be jobs for all those who want them but my point about pettiness was that it is post-Bap decision-overturn that the diocese has to guarantee a curacy; AFAIK this isn't done for someone approved by a BAP. And there is absolutely no comeback or feedback process; there is a report, but if there are inaccuracies or errors in it, there is no mechanism for challenging them.
 
Posted by Panda (# 2951) on :
 
No indeed. I was recommended, and the report still infuriated me. My DDO said, 'It did its job; just put it in the file and forget about it.'
 
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
 
I agree about BAP reports; about their faultiness, and the difficulty of questioning anything in them whether or not you get recommended.

The reason why a bishop who overturns a BAP decision has to be prepared to fund training and find a curacy for the candidate concerned is that if, at the end of training, all the candidate has is the letter from the BAP and the fact that the Bishop has overturned it, the candidate won't be a good gamble for another diocese to take on. Meanwhile, candidates who got a 'recommended for training' have been recommended for training for the whole CofE---that's the purpose of the BAP--and so it will be easier for them to find curacies in or out of their sending dioceses.The bishop who wants to overturn a BAP decision really has to believe in what he's doing.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Indeed.

Very few dioceses, in reality, give curacies to their ordinands.

All dioceses give curacies to many of their ordinands. London, Oxford, and Cambridge are the three principal net exporters.

The church now generally expects that an ordinand should have sufficient breadth of experience (usually from placements and attachments during training) to be able to serve a curacy in a parish which does not precisely match their preferred liturgical style.

All the curacies here are in evangelical parishes (with one exception).

All ordinands on part-time courses have to train at evangelical colleges.

All but one of the last batch of deacons were from evangelical colleges.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Has anyone else heard of this scenario - we now have a Deanery Curate. Given the large area of the Deanery and the large number of churches, this is a challenging task. He will gain great experience in working in churches of every type of churchmanship, but he can't possibly get to know people in a significant way - even learning names of all but the staff and main officers will be a challenge. Perhaps this is peculiar to Creamtealand, or maybe the future for other Dioceses?
 
Posted by Ethne Alba (# 5804) on :
 
In our neck of the woods this has only beenmentioned as a possibility. But mentioned with some regularity........
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
I've seen team curates, and quite large teams, but not deanery
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
We have a curate from another parish in the deanery doing an occasional placement with us.

Carys
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Indeed.

Very few dioceses, in reality, give curacies to their ordinands.

All dioceses give curacies to many of their ordinands. London, Oxford, and Cambridge are the three principal net exporters.

The church now generally expects that an ordinand should have sufficient breadth of experience (usually from placements and attachments during training) to be able to serve a curacy in a parish which does not precisely match their preferred liturgical style.

More than that for Incumbent Status. The Ministry in the C of E criteria is clear. They need to be mature enough to lead in pretty much any parish.

Also; Leo I am not sure what you mean by "here." But in the Diocese what you say is not true. And in the Deanery I work in we have 3 evangelical curates working in MoR and Liberal Catholic parishes.

We do tend to farm curates out around the Deanery on extended placement to give them a break from their training incumbents.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Indeed.
In this diocese, churches are now so monochrome that only evangelicals woulsd get a look in.

Liberals and catholics need to look elsewhere or be stultified.

Oh come on Leo - I'm in the same diocese as you and most of the Anglican clergy here are a world away from evangelical - open or otherwise.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
quote:
Originally posted by Laxton's Superba:
They can. It's a Bishop's advisory panel, after all. But according to my DDO, if they overturn a decision, the diocese is then financially responsible for a candidate at the end of training and must "reserve" a curacy which could have gone to a properly approved candidate. Seems petty to me.

I don't think it's petty: a bishop prepared to overturn a BAP decision should feel strongly enough about the candidate to offer him or her a curacy. Otherwise the candidate is very likely to be left high and dry (or up a creek if you prefer) just a little further along the path.
Thought so. I was once (although not an Anglican) a spiritual director and referee for a candidate at a BAP. BAP rejected him, the Bishop rang me and said "we can't let this happen", overturned the result and rest is history. Mind you, this chap did have a post to go to.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
for Incumbent Status. The Ministry in the C of E criteria is clear. They need to be mature enough to lead in pretty much any parish.

I cannot see how a vicar can be such a chamelion re- churchpersonship that s/he can:

believe that the bible is inerrant when working in an evangelical parish but not when elsewhere.

can preach thsat gays are going to hell in an evangelical parish but not elsewhere

can believe in the real presence in one place but put consecrated wine back into the bottle when in an evangelical parish.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
in the Diocese what you say is not true

It is a tangent to this thread about vocations and BAPs and also not right to name names but I could, in a face to face meeting which neither of us have time for:

go through the Dio' Directory parish by parish and show how many catholic and MOTR churches have gone evangelical

go through the last 4 ordination of deacons and priests' service booklets - the candidates' biog. sections, which show that virtually all of them came from evangelical colleges.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Indeed.
In this diocese, churches are now so monochrome that only evangelicals woulsd get a look in.

Liberals and catholics need to look elsewhere or be stultified.

Oh come on Leo - I'm in the same diocese as you and most of the Anglican clergy here are a world away from evangelical - open or otherwise.
See above reply to Pyx_e
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
quote:
B 4: Candidates should show willingness to work with diversity within
the Church of England
Evidence for this may be drawn from a candidate’s capacity to:
• Understand, value and respect the diversity of approaches to theology,
ministry, mission and liturgical practice within the Church of England
• Display a spirit of generosity, respect and flexibility towards those from
different Anglican traditions and perspectives
• Be willing to work ecumenically and in partnership with those from
other Christian Churches and be prepared to relate to those of other
Faiths and none

There are none so blind as will not see. Your subjective opinions only reinforce your outdated concepts.

We have 5 excellent curates in the Deanery. 4 are firmly from evangelical backgrounds and all four of them show more respect, reverence and understanding of sacramental theology and practice than twice as many catholic bitter bags I could name.

Love is not what you say, or what label you wear but what you do.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
This tangent could make a fascinating discussion, but somewhere else, please, not in AS.

WW - AS Host.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
The PCC has agreed to support husband and I if we are accepted to train as LLMs. I was a little concerned about this as it means agreeing to pay out around £6,000 over three years for the two of us and I wondered if they would say that only one was needed.
Applications and PCC resolution now goes to diocese and hopefully we will be called for a selection day in July.
Gosh, this might actually happen. Oh wow, I might have to actually become a member of the Church of England [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
I had no idea that becoming an LLM was so expensive for your church. Do you know why? In this diocese the Exploring Christianity course which is the first step is £50 a unit if you do the assignments (which you have to if you want to be an LLM) and there are 6 of them so that would be £300. Not sure what the third year costs but I doubt it's the difference.

Carys
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
I've no idea Carys, but it is quite clear in the selection process PDF here that the PCC need to commit to supporting the candidate to the tune of around £1,000 a year.
Anyone can join the course for free but not submit written work.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
Given the amount of unpaid work a Reader/LLM will do over many years, £1K is an investment which will be paid back many times over.

However, much of my ministry is outside my parish so they'd have lost out had they paid for me to go on a course. (Which I didn't as i originally trained for something different.)
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Happy vocations Sunday everybody. Didn't get a mention at our shack as we had two baptism families with huge entourages...
 
Posted by *Leon* (# 3377) on :
 
It seems that how training is funded varies randomly from diocese to diocese like everything else. Given that it's (presumably) an accredited undergraduate level course, £3000 over 2 years is a bargain. For reasons that I haven't bothered to understand, accrediting courses is very expensive. However in my diocese the diocese pays the vast majority of the costs (keeping the true price a secret). A somewhat token contribution is required from the parish, but they seem very keen on making sure the student doesn't pay anything.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
Happy vocations Sunday everybody. Didn't get a mention at our shack as we had two baptism families with huge entourages...

That would seem the perfect time to talk vocation to me. The universal call to holiness responded to first by baptism, and then lived out through any number of forms of life all in service of God through serving the Church and the world.

That said, we didn't do any better than two petitions in the Prayers of the Faithful, as doing justice to Good Shepherd Sunday and Mother's Day (in the US) was enough of a juggling act as it was.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Off to consider vocation for a few days. Prayers for discernment would be appreciated.

Carys
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] May our Lord reveal and affirm your calling, Carys.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Votive]
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Today I learned that I hadn't got an internship that I really wanted - to be honest I thought I'd got it in the bag, which shows me!

I am not sure what to do. One idea is to have a real year off to consider things, get a retail job or similar that doesn't require too much thinking and contact what would be my new DDO (I'd be living with my parents so would have to change diocese, though to be honest that might be a good thing). I have been knocked for six a bit though and am struggling to think of what I can do that I'm actually good at.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Relatedly, has anyone had experience of the DDOs (it seems like it's a joint role) for Winchester diocese?
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Sorry to hear this disappointing news Jade Constable.

May God's guidance and will for you be met with open doors.
 
Posted by RevMotherRaphael (# 18102) on :
 
Sorry to hear of your disappointment Jane, I will keep you in my prayers. Some people have a really hard time with DDOs, sometimes even going to a few diocese before someone recognises what God has called him/her to be. Chin up though, He will see you in the role He calls you do no matter how long it takes.
 
Posted by RevMotherRaphael (# 18102) on :
 
Mea culpa, mea culpa, I meant to write Jade not Jane! So sorry. [Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by RevMotherRaphael (# 18102) on :
 
quote:
I wasn't recommended.

Thurible

Am sorry to hear and will keep you in my prayers. It can be soul crushing! Did they give you any decent reasons or helpful suggestions as to where they think God is calling you?
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
I haven't had a hard time with my DDO, just interested to hear of experiences with the ones for Winchester. Current DDO is very much a contrast to me theologically but has only ever been encouraging.
 
Posted by RevMotherRaphael (# 18102) on :
 
Glad to hear your experience isn't rough though don't know diocese. I did, however, know a DDO who didn't agree with me theologically and a lot of friends who don't agree with the ordination of women but we still get on very well. Do I gather correctly from your posts you are contemplating the religious life or is it ordination or both?
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Any teachers of religious education out there that also happen to be deacons?

I'm in an awkward position at the mo. Feeling pressured to be priested but thinking being a deacon and an RE teacher is my vocation....

I have at least been given permission to complete a Diploma of Education which will allow me to teach in schools.

Bit of a weird place to be.
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
Even if you are a Priest, surely you will still be a deacon?
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
At the moment there is only one DDO in Winchester. If you are living in the area you could always send an email introducing yourself and asking what the process now that you have moved.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
RevMother - I was considering the religious life but I don't think so anymore since it was tied in part to me getting the job.

Poppy - I'm not living in the diocese yet, though I probably will email them. I googled and it led me to a page with diocesan staff including two DDOs, but it might be outdated.
 
Posted by Garasu (# 17152) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
RevMother - I was considering the religious life but ...it was tied in part to me getting the job.

That sounds somewhat dodgy...?
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Garasu:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
RevMother - I was considering the religious life but ...it was tied in part to me getting the job.

That sounds somewhat dodgy...?
Sorry - I explained badly. It was about considering the religious life in a particular community, which wouldn't be possible if I wasn't living in the area as this job would allow. Not getting the job has clarified my direction a little, is probably a better way of putting it. I don't mean that I would only consider it if I got a job, it's more that I understand when a door is closed.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:


Poppy - I'm not living in the diocese yet, though I probably will email them. I googled and it led me to a page with diocesan staff including two DDOs, but it might be outdated.

There have been a lot of changes in Winchester and it looks like some of the old information is still online. I've sent you the correct information by PM.
 
Posted by RevMotherRaphael (# 18102) on :
 
quote:

Sorry - I explained badly. It was about considering the religious life in a particular community, which wouldn't be possible if I wasn't living in the area as this job would allow. Not getting the job has clarified my direction a little, is probably a better way of putting it. I don't mean that I would only consider it if I got a job, it's more that I understand when a door is closed.

If you really feel called to the religious life then it will happen. It may take some years and searching but there could well be an order right for you and you are right for the order. Some will allow you to work to support yourself as well as keeping the daily offices with your community while wearing a habit too. [Votive]
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Hi,
Just thought I would pop in with a quick update. I did a placement in a different parish just before Christmas which seemed to go really well. Then I had a break for several months as my Dad died. Have started seeing the vocations advisor again who is recommending that I go to a diocesan selection panel but for various reasons that probably won't be until the end of November.

The view at the moment seems to be they are looking for two things is your sense of call genuine and is it realistic, they seem to think the answer to the first bit is yes but are still having questions with the second bit because of my stammer. I have started seeing a speech therapist again so hopefully that will help, but will just have to wait and see.

Good to see other people on here seem to be making progress.
 
Posted by RevMotherRaphael (# 18102) on :
 
Prayers for your speech therapy and your vocation discernment. [Votive]
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orinocco:
Hi,
Just thought I would pop in with a quick update. I did a placement in a different parish just before Christmas which seemed to go really well. Then I had a break for several months as my Dad died. Have started seeing the vocations advisor again who is recommending that I go to a diocesan selection panel but for various reasons that probably won't be until the end of November.

The view at the moment seems to be they are looking for two things is your sense of call genuine and is it realistic, they seem to think the answer to the first bit is yes but are still having questions with the second bit because of my stammer. I have started seeing a speech therapist again so hopefully that will help, but will just have to wait and see.

Good to see other people on here seem to be making progress.

So sorry to hear about your Dad.
[Votive]

re: your call - I would sincerely hope that if the answer to the first question is "yes" then the 'realistic' part will happen. The fact that you are doing something practical with the speech therapy should be a sign that you are serious about your vocation, and can only be seen as a positive thing. God be with you over the next few months.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
All in God's excellent timing, Orinocco, it will come together. One of the sermons I remember and was inspired by was delivered by someone with a stammer. The Holy Spirit will speak through you, if you are called to preach and teach.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
Qoheleth. if you're reading, I couldn't reply to your post re Winchester diocese as your inbox is full!

Sorry hosts, I have already posted in the full inbox thread.
 
Posted by Qoheleth. (# 9265) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Qoheleth. if you're reading, I couldn't reply to your post re Winchester diocese as your inbox is full!

Sorry hosts, I have already posted in the full inbox thread.

[Hot and Hormonal] Sorted!
apologies,
Q.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Alerting people on this thread to my new sig. if anyone is interested. (The wording on church vacancy adverts interests me hugely, as they are often clues as to churchmanship, outreach emphasis, etc. I've noticed that adverts differ widely in wording used. Perhaps I'll even start a thread on it.) Good luck to you all in finding the place you are meant to be.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
How is vocational stuff going for people? Anyone being ordained at Petertide?

My days of considering vocation were good and the conversation continues (today).

Carys
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] for your continuing journey, Carys.
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Carys:
How is vocational stuff going for people? Anyone being ordained at Petertide?

My days of considering vocation were good and the conversation continues (today).

Carys

Nowhere close to that just yet. Back in touch with the Bishop recently (see posts from 2012) and will see where it leads. Trying to figure out whether I've been practising patience or trying to do a Jonah impression.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Warden of LLMs emailed to say that she had our forms and was now emailing our referees. Please pray that they are kind as well as honest [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
Will do! I'm sure they'll be both.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] For all who are waiting.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Does anyone have any observations / opinions about the difference between or similarity of the work done by Readers and LLMs in their diocese? It seems to vary. Not all LLMs are Readers but are all Readers LLMs or is it just a linguistic difference. Dioceses appear to vary, some license Readers, some license LLMs, some have other "approval" services for non-Reader LLMs. A nearby one has a new Lay pastor nomenclature.
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
LLM is just a different term for Reader.

'Reader' is often misunderstood as 'lector' - someone who reads the lessons
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Chelmsford Diocese is being less clear about that - they are looking to LLMs as part of the new ministry strategy
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Thanks for the positive support. I was serving at Coventry Cathedral for the ordination of priests and at the bit where the bishiop describes the role of the priest, there was something inside me that just seemed to want to respond with yes this is what I should be doing.
Raptor_eye,I don't suppose you rememnber the name of the stammering priest you heard? I have been trying to search for church of England clergy that stammer that I might be able to ask for advice.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
orinocco, I can't speak to the specific issue you ask about I'm afraid, but I can tell you that if you're at Cov Cathedral and you wanted someone to talk to about this your new Canon Pastor is an extremely lovely person and a wonderful priest. I'm a friend of hers, so probably biased, but she really is fantastic.

As for me, I had put "vocations stuff" on the back burner until my vocations forum (first step of the process in Southwark) in September; having been told the forum in July was full. I received an email today, and due to a cancellation I'm now (by choice) attending the July one which is this Saturday! So, I've less than a week to do the prep for the day (which looks like quite a lot), so prayers would be appreciated.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orinocco:
Thanks for the positive support. I was serving at Coventry Cathedral for the ordination of priests and at the bit where the bishiop describes the role of the priest, there was something inside me that just seemed to want to respond with yes this is what I should be doing.
Raptor_eye,I don't suppose you rememnber the name of the stammering priest you heard? I have been trying to search for church of England clergy that stammer that I might be able to ask for advice.

It was a lay C of E minister who was preaching Orinocco, but if you would still like me to give you details let me know, and I'll contact him first to make sure it's OK with him, then pm you.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
orinocco, I can't speak to the specific issue you ask about I'm afraid, but I can tell you that if you're at Cov Cathedral and you wanted someone to talk to about this your new Canon Pastor is an extremely lovely person and a wonderful priest. I'm a friend of hers, so probably biased, but she really is fantastic.

I'd second that.

quote:

As for me, I had put "vocations stuff" on the back burner until my vocations forum (first step of the process in Southwark) in September; having been told the forum in July was full. I received an email today, and due to a cancellation I'm now (by choice) attending the July one which is this Saturday! So, I've less than a week to do the prep for the day (which looks like quite a lot), so prayers would be appreciated.

Prayers. I hope it is a useful day (and that the prep itself is useful and you find the time to do it well)

Carys

[edited to add a missing square bracket]

[ 07. July 2014, 21:31: Message edited by: Carys ]
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Raptor_eye, that would be great, if he is willing to make contact, send me a pm.

Iamchristianhearmeroar and Cary's, I am part at the Cathedral and part at a parish church, I have met our new canon pastor and already had her down as a potentially good person to talk to, but thought I had better give her a chance to settle in first.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
orinocco, that's very good of you! It sounds as if everything's been a bit of a whirlwind so far, as I'm sure it is in any new job.

If you've not discovered it yet, her excellent blog is here.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Praying for you iamchristian
[Votive]
 
Posted by recklessrat (# 17243) on :
 
Does anyone here have experience of hospital or mental health chaplaincy?

Thanks!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
adeodatus, for one, should be able to help you with that.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by recklessrat:
Does anyone here have experience of hospital or mental health chaplaincy?

Thanks!

I did a year's placement of hospital chaplaincy (a day per week). It was a very formative experience in many ways, the most obvious being my level of comfort now in visiting parishioners in the hospital, but in many less tangible ways too. There's an adage we were told that "your patients will present all of your problems to you," which I found to be true. It did as much for my human formation as for my ministerial formation, I think.

It also convinced me that I could never do it fulltime. I'd be totally drained after each day. I occasionally did two days in one week to cover for people over holidays, but I never did two days in a row, and I'm not sure I even could.
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by recklessrat:
Does anyone here have experience of hospital or mental health chaplaincy?

Thanks!

I am the chaplain at a couple of small rural hospitals, though we call it a spiritual care provision.
 
Posted by recklessrat (# 17243) on :
 
Thanks for your replies. Having spent much time in hospital recently (myself plus visiting ill family members), the idea of chaplaincy work has entered my head. I am not sure I'd be brave enough, though.
 
Posted by Latchkey Kid (# 12444) on :
 
I was sure I did not have the right personality, but circumstances (God) manoeuvred me into it anyway. Others were much more convinced of my calling than me.
When people said I was a good listener I would reply that it was because I did not know what to say.
I keep my tag line in mind when I talk with people.
 
Posted by recklessrat (# 17243) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Latchkey Kid:

When people said I was a good listener I would reply that it was because I did not know what to say.

Hmm...that sounds familiar...
 
Posted by ElaineC (# 12244) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Latchkey Kid:
I was sure I did not have the right personality, but circumstances (God) manoeuvred me into it anyway. Others were much more convinced of my calling than me.
When people said I was a good listener I would reply that it was because I did not know what to say.
I keep my tag line in mind when I talk with people.

This resonates with me too. I was half way through my Reader training before I fully accepted that it was the path I was meant to follow.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Today was the selection day for LLM training. I had no idea that talking to other people for 6 hours could be soooo exhausting.
Will hear in a couple of weeks.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
Prayers Tessa

Carys
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Ooer, after the vocations forum I went to the other Saturday I've now been assigned a vocations advisor by the diocese for 3 or 4 meetings to discuss things and decide how best to proceed. It's all starting to feel a bit serious!

(Vocations forum went really well, not least as I already knew two people there - one quite well and one through my wife. Made it feel moderately less daunting.)

I've not really told that many people that I'm in the discernment process, but it's starting to feel like I need to tell quite a few more people. How did those of you who've been through this already do this? Did you tell only a few people at the early stages, and tell more later on, or just tell everyone up front?
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] You'll know who to tell when, iamchristianhearmeroar. It's one of the ways God affirms your calling. It's exciting, it's daunting, it's an honour. There will be elation. There will be disappointment. It's all part of the refinement process. In the end, we're powerless. Trust in God. My prayers are with you.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I told a perfect stranger this week just gone. A barrista in a coffee shop asked me about the book I was reading (The Pastor as minor poet) which I'd put on the counter, so I explained what it was about and when she asked why I was reading it I explained I was thinking about being a priest. She then asked if I believed in God, which I thought was pretty strange given what I'd just said!
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
Did you tell only a few people at the early stages, and tell more later on, or just tell everyone up front?

More the former for me. While you're still feeling things out, and the Church is still checking you out, I'd only tell people that you think will get that. I have one friend who has very open for years with people that he was discerning, but when he eventually applied kept that very close to his chest until he was actually accepted.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
I told a perfect stranger this week just gone. A barrista in a coffee shop asked me about the book I was reading (The Pastor as minor poet) which I'd put on the counter, so I explained what it was about and when she asked why I was reading it I explained I was thinking about being a priest. She then asked if I believed in God, which I thought was pretty strange given what I'd just said!

I was explaining to a nurse, who knew I was a Catholic priest, recently that I can't eat pork. She asked if I was Muslim too...
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, it then transpired that this lady was a recent convert to Christianity (which denomination I don't know, but evangelical protestant I would guess from what she said), and when I said I was thinking about becoming a priest she's assumed I was a Roman Catholic (obviously didn't see my wedding ring then...) and told me so. Clearly that assumption went further than that I was just a Roman Catholic, but because I was a Roman Catholic I was also ripe evangelism material and worthy of an invitation to a meeting her church was putting on in town.

After a brief explanation that I was in fact Anglican, although the book I was reading was by a Presbyterian, and that really I was already very busy with things at my own church, I left with my flat white (which was fantastically good) and bacon roll!
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
[Yipee] Both myself and beloved husband accepted onto LLM training [Yipee]
Now the hard work starts [Eek!]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations and good luck to you and Mr. B, Tessa! [Yipee]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Congratulations! Hope the training goes well. Will you be starting this September or next?
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Starting this September, already got a short book list and ordered them from Amazon. Luckily with both of us doing it we can share the books and halve the cost!
Another member of our congregation will be starting training for LOM with us. Three trainees from the same congregation must be a record surely?
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Exciting times! Which course/college are you attending? Having to make decisions about that all seems a long way off for me, but it's certainly something I've thought about...
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
It's a course run by Guildford diocese and accredited by the Ministry Division of the Church of England and by Oxford Brookes University.
I think it is equivelant to a foundation degree with the option to continue to get a full degree, although that is not necessary for licensing.
 
Posted by Sir Kevin (# 3492) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hart:
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
I told a perfect stranger this week just gone. A barrista in a coffee shop asked me about the book I was reading (The Pastor as minor poet) which I'd put on the counter, so I explained what it was about and when she asked why I was reading it I explained I was thinking about being a priest. She then asked if I believed in God, which I thought was pretty strange given what I'd just said!

I was explaining to a nurse, who knew I was a Catholic priest, recently that I can't eat pork. She asked if I was Muslim too...
I see that you two have encountered a pair of brain-dead monkeys! There's rather a lot of them around in my neck of the woods. Remember the BBC TV programme 'Yes, Minister' a couple of decades ago? I think it was SIr Humphrey who postulated that it was a bonus if the Archbishop of Canterbury actually believed in God, but it was not required for the job!


[Killing me]
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Shortly after his election, our previous Bishop was interviewed by a woman on the local TV channel, and when he made a reference to his wife and family, she expressed surprise that he was married.

I can understand that if she was RC (which she probably was) she wouldn't expect a bishop to have a wife and children, but as a professional interviewer, she might have done a bit of research ...

[Killing me]
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
One of the interesting things about becoming a clergyperson is becoming acquainted with what other people have managed to live successful, happy lives without knowing. My own cousin asked me - after my ordination - if I was a Roman Catholic, seeing as I was hoping to be priested. A churchwarden in a local Church of Ireland church corrected me when I was having a conversation with a reader about being a priest; 'oh, but the CofI has ministers, not priests, doesn't it?'

And throughout my time in the CofE I was constantly being questioned about a) if I was Catholic and b) was I allowed to get married, both by people who did and did not attend church.

It's occurred to me that it's not really other people's jobs to know all the ins and outs of Anglican priesthood - or any other system of ordained or accredited ecclesiastical orders. Yes, there might be a reasonable expectation that some people ought to know. If someone is asking me can I get married, then, and they're standing right next to my male colleague, who they know is married, that can seem an outrageously stupid question. Or if the person asking me 'are you Catholic, then' is a Catholic themselves, that does seem at least a bit strange that they're not aware that their own Church doesn't ordain women as priests!

But it's hard enough - even as one of the initiated - to keep up with the weirdities and idiosyncracies of ecclesiastical investiture, without expecting even otherwise thoughtful and intelligent people to easily know what the rules are for each denomination.

As for never assuming that just because someone wears a clerical collar means they're actually a believer - seems pretty reasonable to me. Though the query may originate more often in carelessness than in discursive curiosity.
 
Posted by Hart (# 4991) on :
 
So, I was woken up in the middle of last night by a bad dream about marriage paperwork. Are you all sure you want to get into this gig?

#didntwarnusaboutthatinfishersofmen

[Seriously, it's awesome, in the truest sense of that word. If I could avoid tedium, Im sure I'd have shirked something important.]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Personally I think the biggest omission of my training so far has been how to swig the leftover blood of Christ from the cup of salvation with grace and due reverence.

*splutter, splutter, cough, choke*

#thingstheyshouldteachyouinseminary

( I know, I know, you shouldn't have so much leftover to begin with but hey - it happens - specially if you're the student deacon doing the pouring and the cleaning up. )
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
At an Ordination in Belfast about 20 years ago, the Bishop had consecrated enough wine for about twice as many people as were actually there, and afterwards D. and I helped the Dean's verger to reverently consume about three chalices of (undiluted) British Port. [Eek!]

As D. put it, "God will understand and won't allow me to be breathalysed". I'm glad to say that He obliged. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Zizioulas (# 18181) on :
 
This is my first ever SOF post!

I'm just starting out in the discernment process and I see my vocations advisor for the first time this weekend. Is there anything I should know before seeing this person? It seems strange to meet a total stranger to talk about something as huge as vocation.

I have found this thread a source of both comfort and fear!
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zizioulas:
This is my first ever SOF post!

I'm just starting out in the discernment process and I see my vocations advisor for the first time this weekend. Is there anything I should know before seeing this person? It seems strange to meet a total stranger to talk about something as huge as vocation.

I have found this thread a source of both comfort and fear!

Welcome to the Ship Zizioulas!

I am assuming you are talking about discernment process in the CofE - please forgive me if that assumption is wrong.

I am a Vocations Advisor in my Diocese, and my role is to accompany people on their vocations' journey. I am very much there to listen and to support, but not as an official part of the discernment process. People tend to come and see me (with the knowledge of their incumbent) at a very early stage, to talk about their journey so far, and to share an idea of what they believe their vocation to be with someone who is outside their immediate circumstances. Although I am a 'Vocations Advisor', I don't really offer advice as such; as I say, I am there to listen, to be a sounding board, and to accompany.

So if your vocations advisor's role is similar, I would say: don't worry! Just be open and honest about your journey and where you feel God is calling you. It is scary, speaking to a stranger about personal things, but I would trust that he/she is in this role because they are the right person to do it. Relax and be yourself! Hope that helps! [Smile]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Welcome to the Ship, Zizioulas.

Trust in God. If you are being called, God will open the doors. This is one of them. We always will be brought together with people whose calling it is to be there for us, or us for them, at any one time. We never travel alone on the Christian pilgrimage for long.

May God's will be done, and may you be blessed richly by the service you are called to.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Zizioulas (# 18181) on :
 
That's very helpful, thank you both. [Smile]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Official welcome to SOF Zizioulas! As you know, the ship has been a place of great comfort for me on my discernment journey so far. I look forward to seeing your contributions!

[Disclaimer: zizioulas and I know each other in real life.] Vienna has given me a taste for the chilled varieties of beers, so let's meet up for that drink soon.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Welcome aboard, Zizioulas! [Smile]

If you click on the "FAQs" and "10 Commandments" links at the top of the page, they should tell you all you need to know; there's also a Welcome thread at the top of the All Saints main board page where you can introduce yourself.

Happy sailing!

Piglet, All Saints host
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
I recall posting on this thread about 3 or 4 years ago regarding a possible vocation to ministry...it's taken me this long to do anything about it! Over the past six months or so the nagging got unbearable, so I've finally spoken formally to my vicar, and seen a vocations adviser for the first time. I'm excited, daunted and very busy reading at the moment!
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
[Votive] as you start this long path of discernment.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Prayers for you moonfruit. May you continue to know God's closeness, love and guidance throughout the process, and into ministry. May God's will be done.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
[Votive] for you moonfruit as you set out on this journey...or rather transition from the private part of discernment to the more public part.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Thank you [Smile]

It's moving to the 'public' part that is freaking me out right now - for some reason, I don't mind telling people at work, but talking to people at church is not happening right now. I'm not sure why it freaks me out so - possibly the vulnerability of it all. Anyone else experienced this?
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I'm the other way round - happy to tell people at church (but need to tell family first) but reluctant to tell people at work until it gets to the stage of a decision actually being made about me by the CofE. I'm a lawyer, and although my firm isn't exactly cutthroat, magic circle type stuff, they have a way of making life difficult for people they want to push out/think aren't totally committed to the business/developing the business.

So, as I discussed with my vicar the other day, if one of the partners asks me any questions about where I see my future with the firm, or where I see myself in five years I need to come up with some form of words that doesn't involve lying and that doesn't give too much away...
 
Posted by Zizioulas (# 18181) on :
 
[Votive] for you moonfruit.

I have taken to telling people quite freely (although I do often use disclaimers such as "if they accept me", or "they might of course just say no").

I saw my Vocations Advisor for the first time at the weekend. It was a good experience, they were very helpful and encouraging! It wash really worth being nervous about, but I suppose that's easy to say now.
 
Posted by Poppy (# 2000) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by moonfruit:
Thank you [Smile]

It's moving to the 'public' part that is freaking me out right now - for some reason, I don't mind telling people at work, but talking to people at church is not happening right now. I'm not sure why it freaks me out so - possibly the vulnerability of it all. Anyone else experienced this?

Yes and I didn't tell most people until I was about to go to the BAP. There is a long history of people training for ministry from that congregation and I suspect this made it easier as I was just the next one to get around to seeing the VA.

You don't have to share unless you want to. Working out boundaries and what you share is part of what you do in church leadership so if you don't want to share, don't but talk to you spiritual director about it. If you don't have a spiritual director you will need to get one!
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Thanks Poppy [Smile]

I've now received a lovely long form to fill in for the DDO...in it's 12 page long glory. Writing my 'life story' is a bit strange.
 
Posted by Gwai (# 11076) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
So, as I discussed with my vicar the other day, if one of the partners asks me any questions about where I see my future with the firm, or where I see myself in five years I need to come up with some form of words that doesn't involve lying and that doesn't give too much away...

Discuss what you'd like to do re the firm without ever implying it's your only option? After all, you can't be sure right now that you'll go into ministry even though you are sure right now that you want to. If you don't go into ministry, your plans re that firm are very relevant. Having a plan B and C is reasonable, and I for one don't think it's at all dishonest to tell your boss one of your plans even when it's not your only plan.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
quote:
I've now received a lovely long form to fill in for the DDO...in it's 12 page long glory. Writing my 'life story' is a bit strange.

yes and you will keep on having to do it [Biased]
so make sure you save it so you can edit and use again:) My one piece of advice having had my first copy disappear off my cp0mputer and having to start again. [Mad]
[Votive] as you continue on this journey
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Whoo. Feeling really weird tonight. Moving house tomorrow. Not far; moving from our flat to a house down the road. Been at our flat five years.

I guess that combined with the uncertainty of how the discernment process will turn out leaves me feeling like I'm entering a period of great uncertainty after a much more stable period. Feels weird. Going to feel weirder...
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] iamchristianhearmeroar. All shall be well, but all shall not be easy, nor will God's service be predictable. It's exciting, but scary. May your move go well, may you settle in happily, and may you be very blessed as you serve our Lord.
 
Posted by piglet (# 11803) on :
 
[Votive] Iamchristian, for both your enterprises - moving house and going through the ordination process.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
*bump*

How's everyone getting on?

I'm doing a bit better now we're more settled into our new house. I also had a bit of a "moment" at the communion service at the Greenbelt Festival this weekend just gone: one of the readings was the call of Peter from the end of John's gospels (Feed my lambs/tend my sheep), which is a reading I'd chosen to speak on recently at a diocesan vocations forum. Felt very moving.

Anyone else at Greenbelt this year?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
I'm still here. Looking to enrol on our diocesan mission and ministry course, and to carry on as some kind of licensed lay worker, possibly to go along to a few courses with the regional training course. I didn't do anything "vocation-ish" over the summer, deliberately to see if things still stirred me when I got back to normal.
Thinking of you all [Votive] [Smile]
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
I was at Greenbelt and met Jade.

Had various conversations about vocation and my exploring continues...

Carys
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
I think the nun thing is maybe a yes. I have never felt so unsuitable for a role ever.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Oh no, oh no, oh no!
Just had an email from the training people at diocese reminding us that we have two assignments to complete before we start the course. Please could we bring them to the Myers Briggs day on the 13th!!! [Eek!]
So that gives me a week and a half to do all the reading and write two assignments (short but still!) and we start back at work tomorrow.
I am dead in the water before I even start.
I suppose I should look on it as a life-lesson. Don't put off that reading because you never know what it may contain. Such as instructions on assignments [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I think the nun thing is maybe a yes. I have never felt so unsuitable for a role ever.

Gideon woz 'ere. And a few others besides.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
Oh no, oh no, oh no!
Just had an email from the training people at diocese reminding us that we have two assignments to complete before we start the course. Please could we bring them to the Myers Briggs day on the 13th!!! [Eek!]
So that gives me a week and a half to do all the reading and write two assignments (short but still!) and we start back at work tomorrow.
I am dead in the water before I even start.
I suppose I should look on it as a life-lesson. Don't put off that reading because you never know what it may contain. Such as instructions on assignments [Ultra confused]

Oh Lor', are they still addicted to Myers-Briggs? Surely it's the 'respectable' equivalent of reading chicken entrails... [Biased]

[ 03. September 2014, 13:19: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I think the nun thing is maybe a yes. I have never felt so unsuitable for a role ever.

Maybe a yes? What does that mean? Sounds exciting! [Yipee]

quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Oh Lor', are they still addicted to Myers-Briggs? Surely it's the 'respectable' equivalent of reading chicken entrails... [Biased]

We do it on the other side of the C of E world too. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by leo (# 1458) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by tessaB:
Oh no, oh no, oh no!
Just had an email from the training people at diocese reminding us that we have two assignments to complete before we start the course. Please could we bring them to the Myers Briggs day on the 13th!!! [Eek!]
So that gives me a week and a half to do all the reading and write two assignments (short but still!) and we start back at work tomorrow.
I am dead in the water before I even start.
I suppose I should look on it as a life-lesson. Don't put off that reading because you never know what it may contain. Such as instructions on assignments [Ultra confused]

Oh Lor', are they still addicted to Myers-Briggs? Surely it's the 'respectable' equivalent of reading chicken entrails... [Biased]
Myers Briggs is an excellent tool.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
I'm sure the augurs used to say much the same thing. This is another of those times when I miss ken, who IIRC had very firm views on this, typically trenchantly expressed. TBF it's not so much the test that I object to- when i took it, I found it pretty accurate, though it didn't tell me anything I hadn't found already from various employment-related things- so much as the rather blind faith that I've found some vocations people seem to place in it as an off the shelf susbstitute for thinking.

[ 03. September 2014, 17:23: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
He did indeed.

Scientific backing for MBTI is poor at best. But I think it can be useful for helping people think about how they and other people function, not in a limiting 'you're an ENFP therefore you'll be like this' way but in a 'different people approach stuff differently and recognising that can help us work together better' way. It should be a starting point for conversations not a pigeon-holing exercise.

Carys
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Thanks, Carys, that is exactly what I meant, expressed much more clearly.
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
I found MBTI useful personally, but I am a less common type - it was nice to know that there are others similar to me out there.

I think I need to go and stay with some more (female) communities - I may go and visit SLG. Sisters of Bethany are also quite nearby.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
[QUOTE]Myers Briggs is an excellent tool.

I think the debate on MBTI has been played on here before hasn't it?

It has no scientific basis and it is founded on the work and world view of Carl Jung, an atheist. At best, it seems to point out what's blindly obvious and the fact that we're all different. Really? I'd never have noticed that.

For me the big issue is being pigeonholed into a type or category: I happen to be a human being. God doesn't do that, why should we?

A good profile of interviews and interviewers negates the need for such "profiling."
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
...I think the debate on MBTI has been played on here before hasn't it?...

Yes, it has - if folks wish to pursue a discussion of the effectiveness or whatever of Myers-Briggs then I suggest they start a new thread, in Purgatory.

Thanks.

WW - AS Host

[ 04. September 2014, 07:19: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Hows this for a brilliant idea!!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] for all facing BAP's, all who are hearing God's call and taking first steps, and all who are in the process of training.

May God bless you with inner strength, patience and peace. Amen.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Another *bump* as the Hosts are wielding their autumnal dustpans and brushes for threads to sweep into Oblivion!

Zizioulas and I had a very pleasant shipmeet for two a couple of weeks back - in true ship fashion there was both excellent beer and conversation.

I know we're a rather scattered group, but has there ever been any thought of a ship's vocations meet? For anyone involved at any stage of the selection process, and those who've been through it. Just a thought.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Totally up for that! Could I ask for prayers please for 'Stuart' who started our course last week and faces his BAP this week?
 
Posted by Jade Constable (# 17175) on :
 
I would love a Ship vocations meet. London is very easily accessible for me and I have a friend I can stay overnight with, FWIW.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] for Stuart, and for R, a friend whose BAP is this week too. May our Lord give them strength and guidance, and send the Holy Spirit to make sure that God's will is done.
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
I'd be up for a ship vocations meet. London is good for me.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Great! Really glad others think a meet is a good idea too. I love the internet, but sometimes meeting face-to-face is nice.

What would people like to do? Just meet up over tea/coffee/beer/<insert poison here>, or go to a church service somewhere first, or neither, or, or, or?

What do people think about inviting others who aren't on SoF? I'm very happy with that, and I've a friend in the discernment process who isn't on SoF who might possibly be interested. Would perfectly understand if others preferred to keep it within the ship.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Well I'm planning on bringing beloved husband, so I guess if that's allright, why not?
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Bump.
Anyone have experience of the "Mission-Shaped Ministry" course?
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Not something I'm familiar with I'm afraid LS.

My first meeting with a diocesan vocations advisor is this evening. It's been a long time coming and now it's here I am a bit nervous. I've done all I know best to steady my nerves - quiet time in prayer in my lunch hour at the church nearest to where I work, followed by Mass. So it's all down to God now!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
[Votive] hope it goes well and that you are able to articulate what you need to get across.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Hope it went well, Iamchristian. [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
It went...OK. I felt it could have gone a lot better though. My main feeling was being a bit rushed through things by the Vocations Advisor, not in terms of how quickly I should progress through the process or anything like that, but when telling my account of what had brought me to this stage. I felt the VA kept wanting to jump ahead rather which meant I would do that, and then have to backtrack to fill in important details I hadn't got to yet; which inevitably meant that there were things I missed out, or didn't explain well. It threw me a bit really as the previous times I've been through my story up to this point have been very laid-back convivial affairs at leisure with my incumbent (over beer!) and the incumbent of the adjacent parish, who is also a Vocations Advisor in the diocese, just not my assigned Advisor.

It's not all bad I don't think, as I've been sent away with another (!) book to read and we've set another date to meet again in December. It just wasn't quite the experience I'd hoped for.

(I don't want to dissect things in too much detail here as all of this is public, and how many people had meetings with Vocations Advisors last night?!)
 
Posted by Niminypiminy (# 15489) on :
 
It's easy to say with hindsight, I know, but my experience of the process is that whether you felt the meeting went well isn't the key thing -- it's whether you are going back for another meeting. You're still in the process, the door is still open. Even though you can't help picking over the meeting and analysing and re-analysing it, the main thing is the next meeting, which always feels as if it is an age away.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
The va is there to help you to discern your vocation, as I understand it, rather than being an assessor. It should be OK to ask for time to spill everything out. Above all, keep praying, ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and that God's will be done.
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Hi,
I had meetings with the vocations advisor which seemed to go well and she was recommending me to go to a local selection panel next month. Then last night I got an email saying that they won't recommend me to the panel. They accept that I may have a genuine calling but feel that I am lacking evidence in a number of key areas namely the exercise of leadership, the practical application of mission and evangelism and the ability to deal with some pastoral situations empathically across a range of ages.
Feeling shocked and crushed [Waterworks]
I have been involved with running a parent toddler group at church, I am a lay chaplain at the cathedral and I work in healthcare all of which involve dealing with people across a range of ages and the first two involve mission and evangelism!
I would love to be more involved in church stuff but working shifts makes it difficult and I have explained this.
I led am Emmaus course last year.
I really don't know what else I could have done.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I am so sorry to hear that. It makes my own minor disappointment at a (what I perceive to be) bad meeting pale into insignificance.

Do you not have any right of appeal over this? I know every diocese does things completely differently, but where we are the idea is to meet with a vocations advisor 3-4 times at the very beginning of the discernment process and by the end of that they will write a report (which hopefully you agree with) about whether they think you should go further or not. By further that simply means going to see the DDO and then as long as it takes from then to get to BAP. But if the VA does not recommend you to go further, then you have the right to appeal, you would have a one off meeting with another VA who could in theory overturn the original decision.

It sucks.
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
My vocations advisor said she would recommend me onto the next stage but it seems that other members of the team on reviewing my file have said no. She has offered to set up a meeting for me with various people involved, but I don't know if it will make any difference.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
It's just bollocks. I don't understand why the vocations process is so often like this. They are so rarely clear and open about what they are looking for, they claim that it is about discrenment but often make their minds up very early, and people who really actually don't know you very well take it upon themsleves, on very limited evidence, to make all sorts of sweeping generalisations about you.
Fuck'em. Shake the dust off your feet. You know who you are: go on being you.
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Thinking about it some more this morning I also feel they've judged me on what I do at church and nothing else. I am a support worker / healthcare assistant and have worked in palliative care, which surely must mean I have some pastoral skills. I am also a school governor which involves leadership, but they haven't spoken to work colleagues or to the head teacher or other school governors.
Mission and evangelism should surely be about being out there in the world, I often end up having conversations in the pub about faith with people, to the extent that someone even asked me if I could marry them! but it seems like because it's not an official thing, it's just random conversations when out having a drink, it doesn't count with the church as mission.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I think that if you want to stay in the process you'll have to have to ask for that meeting to be arranged, and go to it.

I think you'd know in advance what concerns/queries they would have (you've been told as much), so would be well armed as to what to say, and to explain how they related to the various relevant Criteria for Selection (shudder).

What seems strange is that they seem to think you have a calling, but other areas need work. Instead of helping you work on those areas, they're just saying no. Doesn't make sense to me.

"exercise of leadership"
"the practical application of mission and evangelism"
"the ability to deal with some pastoral situations empathically across a range of ages"

We all know vicars who are good at some of the above, none of the above and all of the above...
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
I think that if you want to stay in the process you'll have to have to ask for that meeting to be arranged, and go to it.

I think you'd know in advance what concerns/queries they would have (you've been told as much), so would be well armed as to what to say, and to explain how they related to the various relevant Criteria for Selection (shudder).

What seems strange is that they seem to think you have a calling, but other areas need work. Instead of helping you work on those areas, they're just saying no. Doesn't make sense to me.

"exercise of leadership"
"the practical application of mission and evangelism"
"the ability to deal with some pastoral situations empathically across a range of ages"

We all know vicars who are good at some of the above, none of the above and all of the above...

This. Hold on to trust in God, Orinocco. Sometimes people get in the way, sometimes the timing isn't right. God will ultimately open the way for your calling. When the doors open, it's tough on the other side of them, so the more work you can do in the interim, the better.

[Votive] My prayers remain with you. My pm still stands.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Orinocco, if it helps I lit a real [Votive] for you in the church adjacent to where I work.
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Thank you everyone for your supportive comments.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
[Votive] Orinocco.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Orinoco, I feel for you. I had similar remarks at my BAP. I said that I had limited leadership experience but that I felt this was something I could develop, and that I knew I had (by virtue of complicated circumstance) less practical experience of M&E but that I had taken steps to develop this. Lo and behold, the BAP was a No, based on both these. I was very cross. Despite the blurb all being about having some of the criteria nailed, they still expect you to sail into their offices fulfilling every one, perfecto.

Do go to the meeting. Argue your case (nicely). Stand up for yourself and what God is calling you to.

[Votive] [Votive]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Make notes on their points before you go to the meeting and take the notes with you - you may not necessarily use them but have them there and don't be embarrassed about bringing them out if you wish to - it shows you have thought things through.
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Have had a chat with my priest and with the Canon Pastor at the Cathedral.
From what my priest said it sounds as if the question over mission is due to one blog post I wrote in June on messy church. That no where near represents the whole of my thinking on mission, it was written at a specific time in response to a specific event! my blog post

When they said about dealing with pastoral situations I got the impression they were referring to the fact that I stammer, but without actually saying that. I have sent them various articles written be RC priests who stammer but apparently RC priests view priesthood differently an do less pastoral work [Confused]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
[Votive] orinocco

It all seems pretty baffling from where I'm sitting!

Sorry for my radio silence generally - have been really poorly and busy visiting convents. Would still like a meetup!
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Orinocco, you know how highly I rate your Canon pastor but as a friend I'm rather biased! I'm sure she'll be a great source of support.

Re stutter, that or something similar didn't stop Moses! I often wonder how many of the Patriarchs, Prophets and Apostles would satisfy the criteria for selection... What does that say?!
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:

Re stutter, that or something similar didn't stop Moses! I often wonder how many of the Patriarchs, Prophets and Apostles would satisfy the criteria for selection... What does that say?!

I seem to recall hearing a sermon preached to the effect that St. Peter would have been told to go and get some A-Levels and come back, while St. Paul would have been rejected by a selection conference.
 
Posted by orinocco (# 5083) on :
 
Had the meeting with the vocations team today and their reasons seem a little clearer. The main one seems to be lack of evidence of leadership, of me taking the initiative and doing stuff. I can see thier point in one sense. However for the past couple of years I have been pretty mnuch working on a zero hours contract at only just above minimum wage. The more I commit to having to be around at a cetain time for church stuff, the more more money, that I can't afford, I am potentialy losing by not being available for work.
Also on reflection I think I was more affected by my Dad's illness and death and by some major stress issues at work than I had realised and over the past year have felt very tired and motivation at times has been hard.
It has made me wonder if the vocations system needs to adapt to take into accout modern working patterns and the issue of people in low wage jobs who have to work a lot of hours and therefore may not be able to do all the stuff the vocation teams seem to expect but can still have a genuine calling.
The other issue mentioned was it was felt that I am not prepared to meet people where they are in terms of mission. Not sure what I think about this one. In thinking about this comment in relation to messy church and mission I sometimes think the church is becoming to focused on families and quite middle class in its focus. Most of the people I know on a weekend will be in the pub or at the football (if they are not working), certainly not coming to messy church. I would rather see mission focused on getting out of church and to the pub or doing something at the football!
The basic line seemed to be that many people have a genuine calling but don't meet the national criteria, which to me raises the question do we need to change the criteria?
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
It is good that you have had the chance to find out what their thinking is, orinocco. ISTM that there is a mismatch between calling and the demands of organised church ministry, hence my thread in Purg. That's pretty much what you are saying too, isn't it?

In the end, all we can do is to hold onto our faith in God and persevere. A calling doesn't go away.
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
It is good that you have had the chance to find out what their thinking is, orinocco. ISTM that there is a mismatch between calling and the demands of organised church ministry, hence my thread in Purg. That's pretty much what you are saying too, isn't it?

In the end, all we can do is to hold onto our faith in God and persevere. A calling doesn't go away.

Indeed not. Mine has been hovering around for some time (and had a similar phase to Orinocco) and is now going in an interesting direction...

Carys
 
Posted by Jengie jon (# 273) on :
 
Let me make some Reformed theology clear.

There is Vocation (call on your life to do something specific for God, often delivered in stages and a calling out of your comfort zones)

And there is Vocation to the Pastoral Ministry (the call on your life to serve in the parish/pastoral ministry).

There is a lot of thinking that the first equals the second. It does not! I get the other problem with people seeing the vocation and assuming that I am therefore going to be a minister.

The vocation to the pastoral ministry is a fairly narrow one. There are multiple vocations that are significantly different. The problem is that many people feel that if their vocation can only be acknowledged through the ordination to the pastoral ministry.

The result is a lot of hurt people who think their vocation has not been recognised and also a lot of clerics who are unhappy in the role they have been ordained to and seek ways out of it. Quite often this later is done by extending the areas covered by clerics. This then increases the sense that if you have a vocation then you must be ordained to the pastoral ministry.

There is a third sense within the Reformed tradition which is the purpose that God ordained for your life. In this sense everyone has a vocation.

Jengie
 
Posted by TomM (# 4618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Let me make some Reformed theology clear.

There is Vocation (call on your life to do something specific for God, often delivered in stages and a calling out of your comfort zones)

And there is Vocation to the Pastoral Ministry (the call on your life to serve in the parish/pastoral ministry).

There is a lot of thinking that the first equals the second. It does not! I get the other problem with people seeing the vocation and assuming that I am therefore going to be a minister.

The vocation to the pastoral ministry is a fairly narrow one. There are multiple vocations that are significantly different. The problem is that many people feel that if their vocation can only be acknowledged through the ordination to the pastoral ministry.

The result is a lot of hurt people who think their vocation has not been recognised and also a lot of clerics who are unhappy in the role they have been ordained to and seek ways out of it. Quite often this later is done by extending the areas covered by clerics. This then increases the sense that if you have a vocation then you must be ordained to the pastoral ministry.

There is a third sense within the Reformed tradition which is the purpose that God ordained for your life. In this sense everyone has a vocation.

Jengie

Thank you for explaining the catholic position (at least as understood by this Anglo-Catholic) so clearly! ;-)

(Though substitute priest for pastoral ministry)
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Yes, I don't think most on here would agree with JJ's statement! (whether we are reformed, catholic or whatever)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:

And there is Vocation to the Pastoral Ministry (the call on your life to serve in the parish/pastoral ministry).

There is a lot of thinking that the first equals the second. It does not! I get the other problem with people seeing the vocation and assuming that I am therefore going to be a minister.

The vocation to the pastoral ministry is a fairly narrow one. There are multiple vocations that are significantly different. The problem is that many people feel that if their vocation can only be acknowledged through the ordination to the pastoral ministry.

The result is a lot of hurt people who think their vocation has not been recognised and also a lot of clerics who are unhappy in the role they have been ordained to and seek ways out of it. Quite often this later is done by extending the areas covered by clerics. This then increases the sense that if you have a vocation then you must be ordained to the pastoral ministry.

Jengie, you seem to be saying only parish/pastoral ministry requires ordination or that Deacons and Priests should only service in parish/pastoral ministry. Is that right?

If so, why do you think that?
 
Posted by Jengie jon (# 273) on :
 
My understanding it that ordination to the ministry is to the cure of souls through public worship (both sacramental and teaching) and pastoral care. It is one vocation, but we have extended it to cover lots of vocations.

Let me list a number of roles where you do not need to be ordained to the pastoral ministry

Chaplaincy comes on the borderline as it does involve both the leading of Public worship and the pastoral care of others while outside of the normal pastoral structures. However, I do know of incidences where lay people have fulfilled the role of chaplain. Sheffield University in the early 1990s had a female Anglican Chaplain who was not ordained and she was not the only one. However, you are reliant on colleagues to provide a full diet of worship in such circumstances. This is one of the reason I am religious advisor and not a Chaplain.

Jengie
* There are theologians who have not been ordained even ones who have spent most their time leading seminaries.
** In the UK most sociologists are not ordained but this is wider than that
*** There are a number of senior ones are lay
**** My suspicion is that children of clerics in secular employment would actually make the best pastoral support. They know the role from the inside, but also are relatively free from the power structures. However, clerics from other denominations can to.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Surely lay people are called by God into preaching, teaching, leading worship and providing pastoral care too.

The 'cure of souls' includes both prayer and pastoral support for the community, which may be shared with those called to assist from the laity.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
This discussion of the Nature of Vocation is fascinating - can I encourage someone to start a thread in Purgatory on the subject as it is far more suited to there than it is to All Saints.

Thanks.

WW - AS Host
 
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
Surely lay people are called by God into preaching, teaching, leading worship and providing pastoral care too.

The 'cure of souls' includes both prayer and pastoral support for the community, which may be shared with those called to assist from the laity.

I would broadly agree with this. The 'cure of souls' however where 3-fold-ministry catholically ordered Churches are concerned is a fairly specific thing, referring to their constitutionally organized structure. It is important, I think, to remember that the incumbent legally has responsibility for the parish, and within the authority of the Church organization, ultimate pastoral responsibility regardless of how many others may also be exercising their gifts in that way within the parish. It's quite a frightening thing to reflect on. And it can make 'enabling' others into parish work as much of a gamble as it can be exciting.

One CofE diocese I know of used to operate a scheme for something called a Local Ministry Team (LMT), where local congregations could nominate and elect lay people recognized for their various gifts, to undergo diocesan training and bishop's accreditation to undertake those tasks within their parishes.

One person, eg, might be lay chaplain to local industries; another couple might take out communion to nursing homes, or take assemblies at school. Or someone might lead others in reading morning or evening prayer on Sundays. Where it worked properly it was great. But problems did arise when folks died, or wanted to retire from the LMT. The very specific nature of their ministries could leave gaps, or create inconsistencies in parish pastoral life, when personnel changed. And more frequently and perhaps even more significantly than when the incumbent moves on.

Ideally, the dynamics of an active church membership with many people undertaking parish tasks - of all kinds - should create a successful creative community.
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Welease Woderwick:
This discussion of the Nature of Vocation is fascinating - can I encourage someone to start a thread in Purgatory on the subject as it is far more suited to there than it is to All Saints.

Thanks.

WW - AS Host

Done! [Smile]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Thanks Evensong.
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
Well, whatever it may be, mine seems to be stirring. Increasing numbers of people seem to be asking me to do things, which is both exciting and utterly [Help] and [Ultra confused] inducing.

Short of my retiring under the bed, something is going to happen. Prayers appreciated (!)
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] You've got them Thunderbunk. May God's will be done, and may you be blessed and be a blessing to others in your ministry, wherever it takes you.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, thank the Lord my second meeting with the Vocations Advisor went *so* much better than the first, and that was despite (because of?) having lost my voice after an awful cold.

Everything seemed much more natural than last time, and we were both much more at ease.

Upshot is I have a short written assignment to do before our next meeting at the end of January, and then she wants to send me to the DDO!

Ooer....
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Sounds good, IamChristian - good luck with the assignment and the next meeting!
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Happy Christmas everyone!
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Hello everyone, happy new year. How are we all doing?

I'm in limbo, vocation-wise. My DDO has retired, I don't feel much like starting the whole shebang again with the successor, who has yet to be appointed, and I feel very frustrated and don't feel I fit anywhere really in this whole process. I'm still knee-deep in church stuff, doing all sorts of roles, but I don't know where to go next. No-one really seems to know what to do with me!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Sorry to hear that LS, it's so frustrating having to wait. The next few steps will become clear: trust in God, and in God's timing. Every now and again we receive the joy of affirmation.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
Hello all,

Just checking in to say a prayer for those 'in the process'.

It's good to read about other people's wanderings...

For those who remember me (it's a while ago now), I'm about halfway through my formation at a theological college like no other... That'll out me to anyone who knows me.

It's all going quickly.

Hope the new year brings good things for all.

Masha
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, things are ticking along for me. I had a third meeting with a diocesan vocations advisor who has recommended that I go on to see a Director of Ordinands. I've now had one appointed (the DDO's assistant) and we're meeting for the first time this Thursday. Oo-er.

I'm not actually feeling too nervous about it, but by Thursday that may well have changed!!
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Good luck, Iamchristian! [Smile]
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Piglet:
Good luck, Iamchristian! [Smile]

Seconded [Smile]
Half way through the first of three years training for LLM, brain hurts, eyes hurt, heart is soaring!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] for Thursday's meeting, iamchristianhearmeroar.

Prayers continuing for all of you who are now training, having been through the first hoops and are now fully on the obstacle course.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, the meeting last week seemed to go well. About an hour and a half having a really open discussion about me and what had brought me to this point. It flew by and I felt really energised by it.

Now quite a lot of written stuff to do (including a first go at "the form") before next time and trying to organise a placement. Busy busy!
 
Posted by ThunderBunk (# 15579) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
Well, whatever it may be, mine seems to be stirring. Increasing numbers of people seem to be asking me to do things, which is both exciting and utterly [Help] and [Ultra confused] inducing.

Short of my retiring under the bed, something is going to happen. Prayers appreciated (!)

Now on the train to Alnmouth for a week of silence, rehabilitation after a hideous virus and prayer on this very subject. It remains to be seen what this will produce by way of enlightenment.....

[Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Enjoy Alnmouth. The most beautiful county in the country! (We stay in Embleton every year)
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor Eye:
[Votive] for Thursday's meeting, iamchristianhearmeroar.

Prayers continuing for all of you who are now training, having been through the first hoops and are now fully on the obstacle course.

Indeed. It is an obstacle course, isn't it, from day one of exploring a possible vocation? And it shouldn't be.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
How you would redesign the discernment process is an interesting question. Without really having experienced any other model it's difficult for me to say.

One thing I do think needs to be tightened up is elimination of unnecessary delays in the process. For instance, I was initially told by the diocese that I would have to wait four months before starting the process with the diocese as their next vocations event (in two months) was fully booked and the next one was a further two months. Knowing how long the process takes as a whole, surely if you have people showing active interest in pursuing a vocation you try to fit them in rather than making them kick their heels for a third of a year?!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Yes, that rings bells with my experience of trying it in the CofE (early 1990s) and CinW (mid-2000s). I wonder whether sometimes the authorities don't think this, or other fairly basic points about making it an efficient procedure, matters because 'if it's a real vocation it;s not going to go away, is it?' (not a genuine quote BTW).
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] for Thunderbunk, may God meet you in the silence and make the way ahead clear.

I'm not sure that it would be a good idea to quicken the path of discernment. Time to reflect is a necessary part of the process, frustrating though it is, especially when lives are put on hold while waiting.

If it were made easier, would the candidates be less well formed for ministry?
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
there's time for reflection- with support to help you reflect- and there's sodding people about.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
iamchristian, it's good to hear that things are moving along for you [Smile]

Since I last posted late last year, I've met with the DDO twice, both of which meetings were interesting and gave me much food for thought.

As a result of some of our discussions, she has referred me to see a therapist for "at least 6-12 months", as she feels there are significant issues that need discussing/ sorting before I proceed any further.

Although I was initially quite upset by this, she's absolutely right in what she's said, and the first few months of months of therapy have only confirmed this! So although it looks as though things may take a while longer than I might have anticipated, I'm also immensly grateful to the DDO for her wisdom and discernment - and also for sorting out a referral. The therapist I'm seeing is also a priest, which is ideal. So, a slight pause to the process, but as my own vicar said when I was having a bit of a moment, it's all part of the becoming.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] thank you God for what you're doing in moonfruit's life, in your perfect timing.
 
Posted by geroff (# 3882) on :
 
Hi Masha its good to hear that it is going well.

And here we are, training done, curacy ended, lots of parish profiles read, interviews done, downs and ups, and now thanking God for Rosa Galica Officianalis' appointment as Vicar. Which makes me Vicars Husband, in a new community and country.*
[Ultra confused]
Thanks be to God for this wonderful thread and all the encouragement it gave way back in 2008 etc.

* Oh, well you know its only Wales.

[ 07. April 2015, 19:38: Message edited by: geroff ]
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
geroff, that all sounds very exciting - I hope the move to a new place goes well for all concerned.

Raptor Eye, many thanks for your kind words - my sentiments exactly, although not without a certain amount of initial upset. As you say, though, all in God's good time.
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
Things just got real for me. Discernment plan to be put in place with a view to a BAP early 2016 followed, if recommended, by training in the Autumn. Astonished to discover that this may not be just me deluding myself.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations, Arethosemyfeet, and all the best! [Yipee]
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Arethosemyfeet, that's so exciting! And I should imagine a bit scary too. [Votive] for your ongoing discernment.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Had an interview for CEMES Southwark on Friday (three candidates for three positions so good odds) but as the DDO couldn't be there due to a vomiting bug, I have to wait for another interview (DDO isn't available now under after the 20th of May). I was told I'd know if I'd got the position this week, not that I'd need another interview! The obstacle course is frustrating already...
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Sounds really exciting Pomona. Southwark is a great diocese to be a part of. Let me know where you end up with CEMES (assuming all goes according to plan).

I've had three meetings with the DDO now and preparing for a fourth, and all seems to be (as he puts it) "very encouraging". Possibly looking at BAP at the end of this year or beginning of next. Eek!

Now to work out how on earth training will fit around family life etc... Many decisions to be made in due course.

I had planned last year to organise some sort of ship vocations/discernment get together of current discernees and others who contribute on this thread (whether as people who are now training, or have now finished training, or who are here out of interest, or whatever really! "All welcome" as they say.). I've been very disorganised and done nothing more about it! Are people still interested? If I'm organising it it would probably be in London...sorry to those for whom this is inconvenient!
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well I never. (Sorry for the DP)

No sooner had I posted that reply than I was checking my twitter feed and someone I follow had just tweeted that he had passed the Pomona tram stop in Manchester.

What are the odds?!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Yes, I think you'd like Southwark, Pomona. Hope you get it.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Yes, I have clergy friends in the diocese and they love it. I'd be living and working in Deptford and very excited to get out of rich white people land!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Excellent (but don't forget that rich white people need the Gospel too). One of the churches in Deptford was of course the much-missed ken's place: another was the famous David Diamond's . Is it either of those?
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Pomona, that all sounds wonderfully exciting - best of luck [Smile]

iamchristian - great news on continuing on with the DDO. I hope the discernment process is working out well. A meet-up sounds interesting - for all I'm not the most social of people it would be good to talk to others on a similar journey. There's someone else at my church also 'in the system' as it were, and we've found having each other there to talk to really valuable.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Which was Ken's church? I'd be at St John's, Holy Trinity, and the Ascension Blackheath (it is right on the Lewisham edge of Blackheath, though it is admittedly fairly rich and white). Rich white people absolutely need the Gospel, I was mainly thinking of being able to get a decent curry!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
I think St John's- other shipmates will know much better than I.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Can I ask you all for prayers please? A family member has reacted very badly to the news that I'm in the selection process. (Can't say who on here as there are people who read this who know who I am IRL.) It's all extremely stressful.

Thanks.

[Frown]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Prayers of course. I have family and friends who will react badly to me being in the selection process (well when it happens more formally!) due to Dead Horse reasons - I hadn't thought about it happening to men too! Is it due to being anti-religion or anti-Anglicanism?
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I wish it was as simple as anti-religious feeling or anti-Anglican feeling. It's a reaction at a personal level, which makes it much more difficult to handle.

(As I said, I can't share more on a public forum. I'm happy to share by PM)
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] iamchristianhearmeroar.

There will be those who stand against and remain silent, there will be those who make it known. At least you know who to pray for.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Prayers ascending for you, Iamchristian. [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Pomona, FYI your PM inbox is full!!
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Whoops, thanks!
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
I didn't get the job due to not having enough experience. Given that this was a Ministerial Experience Scheme, this is a bit galling. I do feel that as a low-income person, the church doesn't appreciate that working for the church for free is not an affordable option.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Typical bit of crap that is a cover for 'your face doesn't fit, you've not been socialised in the way that we have, but of course we'd never say that not least because we're so unreflective that we don't acknowledge it ourselves'. Rather like a lot of the rest of the discernment process, actually.
Has this CEMES thing completely taken over from the old-style pastoral assistant stuff whereby your DDO would know of parishes who were looking for someone for a year or so on a board + lodging + pocket money basis? If not, any chance of getting anything that way?
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
CEMES is specifically funded by Young Vocations and is designed to give younger potential ordinands some parish experience. Churches do still advertise for pastoral assistant roles - I tried to apply for one in Borough but unfortunately my laptop died in the middle of applying so I missed the deadline. With the Southwark CEMES it seems like there was a bit of divided opinion regarding my appointment, the DDO seemed very encouraging and positive so I might email her for some feedback.

An issue is that I am in Winchester diocese - I am single and happy to abide by Issues etc, but I'm still a lefty Anglo-Catholic with monastic tendencies in a strongly conservative evangelical area. I will contact my DDO in a few days about it though (although I'm disappointed I'm anxious to not appear like I'm bitterly causing trouble, and also just want to decompress a bit).

At the moment though I'm looking for a spot of retreat with a religious community before going further.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
That sounds very wise. Your DDO will expect you to get back to her to talk about where to go next.
Does remind me though of my being told that they didn't want to take my exploration forward until I had a bit more theological education:

Um, hello? hello? You do realise that if I were to be accepted you would be sending me to a bleeding theological college for three years? [brick wall]

[ 27. May 2015, 18:24: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
I also have quite a lot of pastoral experience, just not in a parish church context. Trying to explain that this is surely a transferable skill was a bit frustrating.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Pomona, that all sounds very frustrating. [Votive]

I hope you're able to find some retreat time soon - and that further conversations with your DDO are useful.
 
Posted by Dormouse (# 5954) on :
 
I am about to have my Licence as a Lay Reader "re-activated" if two Bishops who don't get on can get their acts together (I'm attending an Episcopal church, but my License is Anglican...) While I have been preaching already it will be nice to be made "official" again - I will feel like I can wear my cassock (currently very cat furry as it was discvered to be a good bed in the depths of winter!) and stole again.
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
I remember this thread fondly from my vocational wanderings. I am about to finish my middle year at theological college, literally, I submitted my final essay ten minutes ago and there is one viva between me and my degree.

Onto another one in September, whilst preparing to, you know, potentially be ordained.I'm not expecting next year's workload to be light.

Prayers for all currently going 'through the system'.

Masha
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Dormouse, I hope that licence arrives soon, and that your ministry is all God wants it to be, even though it'll put the cat's bed in jeopardy.

Masha, well done, another assignment under your belt! It's all a bit daunting when the end is in sight, but this is what God has called you to, and God will see you through. You already knew that, but it's worth holding on to.

May you both know God's closeness and blessings as you continue on the way.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Great to hear how things are going Masha
and I expect you will also be in discussions about where next at the end of college! All exciting stuff as I remember well. Prayers please as I start to look to the end of Curacy [Ultra confused]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
I have found an available placement in a CoE church that is Not My Tradition (very much Not My Tradition), as an intern student worker. I've emailed and asked whether my own tradition would be a barrier, they've said no and I'm welcome to apply.

However I'm wondering whether it's better to go for this position, or secular work with parish experience within my own regular place of worship as and when I can fit it in?
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
If you think you can cope with how different it is from your usual tradition, then I'd say go for it - it'll show that you're prepared to gain experience outside your comfort zone.

Having said that, if it's so far outside your comfort zone that it makes you miserable, then perhaps not.

[Votive] that you make the right decision.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
I agree with Piglet and I remember, some years ago now, this discussion happening before. I think doing stuff outside your own tradition can be an excellent thing.

This is said by a Quaker who regularly attends Catholic Mass.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Yes, I'd agree with piglet and WW. It will also, I suspect, help if / when you get to BAP (or whatever they call it nowadays) because it will give you something to reflect on and talk about. I think there needs to be some kind of fit- presumably, knowing you, this is neither some headship ConEvo +Maidstone outfit nor some gin-and-lace wear a bucket on your head if the Holy Father says so and please no women in the sanctuary because they might be bleeding shack. But anywhere broadly within the range of what is recognisably CofE could be good experience. Important thing I think is to be open and reflective.
 
Posted by *Leon* (# 3377) on :
 
Pomona: Also agree with Piglet et al. There's a lot of process to look out for people who only know their own church/tradition and will be shocked when they're expected to treat the rest of the CofE as if they're proper Christians. Being able to conclusively prove you aren't such a person will be very useful. Also, as you've already discovered, there's a tendency to ignore any actually-relevant experience gained in a secular context, so gaining some churchy experience is certainly valuable.

(Although I suspect that what happened with your previous placement application is that you weren't the candidate who was already lined up for the job, and they retrospectively invented the reasons why you didn't get the job)
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Just to add to what I said earlier - if it's only a placement, then it isn't for ever, and you'll still have your original place to go back to.

Also, if you're within hailing distance of a cathedral, you can always go to the odd weekday Evensong, just to clear your head. [Smile]

There was a late gentleman of our acquaintance whose family were stalwarts of the local Baptist church (his wife conducted the choir, and I think he was a deacon) who also used to attend the early-morning Eucharist at the local Episcopal church, and no-one batted an eyelid.
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
It never harms to be able to show open mindedness and the ability to work across churchmanship boundaries and to be able to work with others of different traditions.

It also shows that you have seriously considered why you are what you are and that you are not just sticking to something out of not wanting to change or lack of imagination.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Thanks everyone. Luckily I also have some references from this tradition/more like this tradition which should help. Also it is indeed in the same town/city as a cathedral! And now everyone is playing Guess The Town Or City [Big Grin] And no Albertus, it is neither of those extremes, though it is quite far in the Vineyard-y direction. I can cope with that though, I think? I have a lot of charismatic friends so I know some of the language.

*Leon* actually the previous placement had only three of us applying for three places, so there wasn't anyone lined up for my place.
 
Posted by *Leon* (# 3377) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:

*Leon* actually the previous placement had only three of us applying for three places, so there wasn't anyone lined up for my place.

Then I'm outraged!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Thanks everyone. Luckily I also have some references from this tradition/more like this tradition which should help. Also it is indeed in the same town/city as a cathedral! And now everyone is playing Guess The Town Or City [Big Grin] And no Albertus, it is neither of those extremes, though it is quite far in the Vineyard-y direction. I can cope with that though, I think? I have a lot of charismatic friends so I know some of the language.
..

Sounds like it might turn out to be a very fruitful and exciting opportunity. Go for it!

[ 03. June 2015, 10:29: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
OK, asked around to try and work out how to phrase my pastoral experience with LGBT Christian youth. Turns out that this church is conservative regarding sexuality to the extent that I may not be able to be out. Not quite sure how to phrase things?

Lots of [Votive] please....
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Right, this is a reply off the top of my head so it may not be good advice, but what have you got to lose by being open about who you are? You might not get the job, but then you haven't got it now, and it could leave you free for another post somewhere else. It wouldn't be fair to them to be smuggling your sexuality in, as it were, and it would be pretty rough for you too having to be constantly on your guard for a year. What about (i) asking your DDO how to handle it (does she know about your sexuality?) and/or (ii) speaking informally to the vicar of the parish, explaining your situation, saying that of course you understand that some in the congregation might find it difficult to handle but would s/he still consider an application from you now that s/he knows who you are?
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
I turned it over to my Diverse Church friends and ended up submitting the application - which mentions involvement in Diverse Church but only that it's pastoral support for young Christians, which is true - with a view to bringing the sexuality issue up at interview/in person. I feel much more comfortable with my ability to explain it in a conservative-friendly way in person! I'm happy to submit to Issues which, as far as I can gather, would be the stance of this church.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
That sounds very sensible. Hope you get the interview and, if it feels right for you, the job.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
Many years ago I began posting on the predecessor of this thread, and have read and prayed through it regularly ever since. On Sunday I am being collated and inducted as vicar of three parishes in mid-Wales. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Axe murder] That's excellent news, Rosa Gallica, congratulations!

[Votive] For Sunday, and for your future ministry. May God bless you richly.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Lovely to hear, Rosa Gallica.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations, RGO, and all the best in your new parishes. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
Yes indeed, congratulations.

[Yipee]
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
quote:
Do NOT burst out laughing when someone tells you you're not authorised to preach a sermon because you're female. The uproarious laughter may discombobulate the neighbouring tables in the cafe.
- "The Ordinand's Rule Book. Pg 41, Rule # 774."
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Brilliant news Rosa Gallica
 
Posted by Carys (# 78) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
I didn't get the job due to not having enough experience. Given that this was a Ministerial Experience Scheme, this is a bit galling. I do feel that as a low-income person, the church doesn't appreciate that working for the church for free is not an affordable option.

Ah I remember the not getting LPA posts because I didn't have the experience thing. But that's the whole ... point, I'm trying to get experience. I was hoping the more centralised schemes would obviate these problems...

Carys
(Whose own convoluted discernment process is on hold due to bereavement, which makes sense because grief is hard, but is also frustrating, because it's been long winded enough already. On the plus side there's some interesting stuff going on here, including diocesan synod)
 
Posted by Evensong (# 14696) on :
 
Started a Hell thread for aspiring ministers btw. Plenty of things you learn perdy darn fast in the process. No doubt plenty of you could contribute. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, things seem to be going "well". DDO wants to send me for a BAP before the end of the year, so is setting up a meeting with an Examining Chaplain, and if that goes well the area Bishop.

The downside to this is that I now have "the form" to fill in. For those who have been through this, how much did you write for each section? I wrote really quite extensive reflections for my DDO on the criteria for selection, so have plenty of material I've already written which I can draw on, but I have way, way too much material!
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
I wasn't shortlisted for the charismatic evo job, which is sort of fair enough really, but I would quite like someone to employ me (also looking for a job in the secular realm)! Actually I would love to go and do some alongsiding with a religious community but I need to have some kind of savings/income for that for paying for my prescriptions and so on.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Come and do some alongsiding in a community in Wales, then! Free prescriptions here. Mind you, not many communities to choose from. This place(basically RC but seem to sit pretty light as to denomination) has some job vacancies going, tho' not sure what level of experience/ background they're looking for. Or there are these people, not that I've been there.
 
Posted by tessaB (# 8533) on :
 
Nearly at the end of my first year of LLM training! Today was a day of 'firsts'. My first assessed sermon, the first time I preached at the big church, first time I preached twice in one day (and two different sermons) and the first time I acted as a communion assistant! An exhausting day but oh boy I really enjoyed it. Confirmed me in what I am seeking to do.
Prayers for all those still seeking [Votive]
 
Posted by 3rdFooter (# 9751) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
Well, things seem to be going "well". DDO wants to send me for a BAP before the end of the year, so is setting up a meeting with an Examining Chaplain, and if that goes well the area Bishop.

The downside to this is that I now have "the form" to fill in. For those who have been through this, how much did you write for each section? I wrote really quite extensive reflections for my DDO on the criteria for selection, so have plenty of material I've already written which I can draw on, but I have way, way too much material!

Remember rule number one: Answer the question.
It is easy to drift to stuff that you think you want to say but on reflection, is only peripherally connected to what was asked.

Rule two: Be brutal. Find one, maybe two, really concrete examples or illustrations, then leave it at that. The assessors don't need to see all your great ideas and experiences. They want enough to show where your motivation and heart are.

Once you get to form-filling, I think you are more in a process than being open to the Holy Spirit. You are jumping hoops rather than preparing a sermon. Approach it in this way and it may be easier to filter your material.

Enjoy your BAP. Treat it like a retreat.

[Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks 3rdfooter. I guess the issue I've had is that the Criteria for Selection are so detailed, with so many sub-points, but the BAP registration form asks questions that only seem to focus on parts of the Criteria.

The form would look very different if I do it with an eye on the Criteria, or without taking them into account at all!

Ah well, it'll come together eventually.

While I'm on here, a happy Petertide to everyone.
 
Posted by *Leon* (# 3377) on :
 
iamachristian...:

I'd suggest very strongly taking the criteria into account.

I haven't seen the form for some years, but in my day the questions were actually semi-disguised attempts to ask 'explain why you fulfil criteria one, explain why you fulfil criteria two' etc.

It's worth remembering, the job of the advisers is to determine whether you fulfil the criteria and write a long report justifying their decision with quotes from you or your references. The form is only actually useful insofar as it helps them do that. If you can provide a load of those quotes in the form, your interviewers will start off in a good mood as they know they've got less work to do in the interview.
 
Posted by recklessrat (# 17243) on :
 
Has anyone done the Mission Shaped Ministry course? I'm thinking of starting it in September...
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
Yes, I have just finished it. I really enjoyed it. There is a lot of material and they say at every meeting that you will never use it all, but can use it as a stepping-stone for your own reading and thinking. I most enjoyed being with people from other denominations, and some from Anglican churches totally different to mine, hearing about all the things they were involved with, and having my preconceptions about what "mission" is totally transformed. [Smile]
 
Posted by recklessrat (# 17243) on :
 
Thanks LS [Smile]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, I'm at one of those stages of the discernment process where I should probably be asking you all for your prayers.

I've filled in and sent in (to the diocese) my BAP Registration Form, have a meeting with an Examining Chaplain this weekend and then with the Suffragan Bishop after the following weekend. They will decide between them whether the diocese will sponsor me for a BAP.

Any advice gratefully received!
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
No advice from me except to hold lightly to it all - and lots of upholding from over here.

eta: and to say that any answer is a door to a way forward - in the dim and distant past when it was still ACCM I got a not yet which saddened me at the time but really it was a very wise decision and it allowed me to move forward and explore more of myself and come to [be led to?] other goals.

[ 30. July 2015, 13:55: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Prayers from over here too, Iamchristian, whatever the outcome may be.

[Votive]
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Praying for you, iamchristian [Votive]

I'm currently working on an essay about the Nicene Creed for my DDO - it's rather invigorating to do something so different, actually. I next see the DDO in a couple of weeks, and I'm somewhat apprehensive - she's of the opinion that I have Personal Issues to deal with before I can go much further (and I completely agree with her) - I'm committed to working on my own Stuff, but at the same time I don't want to let go of the work with the DDO entirely either. It's a definite case of having to take a deep breath and really trust God.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] iamchristianhearmeroar

[Votive] moonfruit
 
Posted by daisydaisy (# 12167) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by recklessrat:
Has anyone done the Mission Shaped Ministry course? I'm thinking of starting it in September...

I did the 6 week MS intro course in the spring - it was really helpful, and in September I'll be doing the online MSM course with neighbours to help us as we grow a missional community in the area where we live. The online nature of the course means that we can fit it in around my neighbours' shift working and work with it in our context of 2 established housing estates and a new one.
I look forward to hearing how you get on with it :-)
I'm also linked into various Pioneer networks, and am looking forward to hooking up with some of them at New Wine next week.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, things seemed to go well on Saturday with the Examining Chaplain. We had a very intense (in a good way) 2hr discussion covering a lot of ground and going pretty deep down into various issues. End result is that he'll be recommending that I be sent for a BAP. Meeting with the suffragan bishop a week today who will have final sign-off on whether to send me or not.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Excellent news, Iamchristian! All the best with the Bishop! [Smile]
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
I think you must be mad, iamchristian, to put yourself through the ghastly treadmill that is the CofE's 'discernment' process. But I am very glad that some people are mad enough to do so, because otherwise we wouldn't have any priests. Good luck!

[ 03. August 2015, 17:02: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks Albertus. It does feel a bit mad sometimes. Certainly, I'm expecting a step change up in pressure from the diocesan stage up to the BAP.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Prayers for you
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
[Votive]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
[Votive] for BAP!
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
[Votive] iamchristian. Hope the prep is going well!

I'm off to see the DDO tomorrow, and very unsure as to what to expect. I'm sort of expecting to be asked to take a break from the process, or at least for things to be slowed down. Which is probably the right thing to happen, but not necessarily easy! Prayers much appreciated.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
So...it looks like I'm off to a BAP in November! Major nervousness starts now.

Moonfruit, I do hope your meeting with the DDO went as well as poss and that you came to some agreement about how to proceed next.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations, Iamchristian! [Yipee] And all the best, Moonfruit. [Votive]
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Congrats, iamchristian, that's really exciting news [Smile]

My meeting yesterday went well - both myself and the DDO are in agreement about taking things slowly, to give me time to work on all the personal stuff I've got ongoing. I'm feeling much more positive than I had been, so that's good.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks moonfruit. Really glad you and the DDO came to agreement - I've found it really encouraging whenever that point of consensus can be found.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
So...it looks like I'm off to a BAP in November! Major nervousness starts now.

Moonfruit, I do hope your meeting with the DDO went as well as poss and that you came to some agreement about how to proceed next.

Well done, hooray.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
BAP dates confirmed for 2-4 November in Ely!
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Best of luck, Iamchristian! [Smile] [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Had my first dream/nightmare about BAP last night. Praying this is not the first of many!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
For something which is supposed to be all supportive and non-judgemental and about discerning God's will, it's a bloody grinder, isn't it? I really do think they ought to consider whether the experience can be made less unpleasant. But I suspect the reason for them not doing so is that there's probably a whole slew of at best half-acknowledged socialisation/ rite of passage things going on here, which would leap out at me if I were a sociologist of professions.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] iamchristianhearmeroar.

You've come this far, trusting in God. Hang on in there.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Albertus, I don't think it's made to be deliberately unpleasant. But it is hugely, life-changingly, existentially significant for me, and I think there can sometimes be a tendency amongst people who are already ordained to forget what it was like when they were at my stage.

I see it in my current profession (law) too. In my particular niche there are some incredibly gruelling exams which you do at the same time as holding down your job as an assistant lawyer. It's actually a really grim, highly pressured time. But you'd be amazed at how quickly some qualified lawyers forget that and how badly they treat trainees preparing for those exams.

Once you're in you're in and it's perhaps no wonder that you erase/forget some of your more difficult experiences getting to that point...

"Selectivity of human memory is the foundation for original sin." Discuss!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
I think you're right about all that. I suppose that the big disconnection for me is between the amount of insight that they seem to expect you to have about yourself (and which they sometimes claim to have about you) and the lack of insight and reflexivity which they seem to have about their own way of working.
But of course best wishes and prayers for you as you go forward.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:..."Selectivity of human memory is the foundation for original sin." Discuss!
I think the discussion on that topic could fill ALL the bookshelves in ALL our various houses!

[ 26. August 2015, 13:23: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
I shouldn't imagine it's designed to be unpleasant, but it is presumably designed to discern whether your calling is a true one and you're going to be suitable, which by its nature isn't going to be a walk in the park.

Having said that, you've come so far; with a bit of help from the Almighty* you'll succeed.

* who's getting lots of nudges from all of us on here [Big Grin]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I'm more worried about the dreams/nightmares than the BAP to be honest!
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
I'm sure it's quite common to have odd dreams and nightmares when you know you're facing something important. I remember the week before my Highers results came through (about 35 years ago [Eek!] ) having dreams which alternated between getting exactly what I wanted and ploughing the whole bloody lot.

What actually happened was somewhere in between ... [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
Received letter from Bishop saying no-go on the discernment process. Am strange mixture of relieved and disappointed so currently sitting around neutral mood-wise. Need to do some thinking and praying about what my sense of calling is really about, if this isn't it.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Oh dear. Still, I think that's the right reaction. Have you arranged a debrief with your DDO? Should be helpful.
Oh, and remember that although this can feel like a personaal brush-off, it isn't: actually you know a lot more about yourself than they ever will.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Sorry your discernment process didn't turn out as you'd hoped, Arethosemyfeet.

[Votive] that you'll find the path that's right for you.
 
Posted by Welease Woderwick (# 10424) on :
 
I got a not yet ready from my ACCM [as it was called then] back in the 1970s - it hurt but history shows it to have been the right decision - I'm so glad it happened that way; it gave me an opportunity to reassess and move on.
 
Posted by Arethosemyfeet (# 17047) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Oh dear. Still, I think that's the right reaction. Have you arranged a debrief with your DDO? Should be helpful.
Oh, and remember that although this can feel like a personaal brush-off, it isn't: actually you know a lot more about yourself than they ever will.

I don't think it's about me personally, it's about the role I feel called to. I think it's too much of a gamble in terms of resourcing and doesn't meet an obvious need in the diocese. The reasons are pretty rational and sensible (and ones I knew existed from the start), but I was pursuing it because God's idea of rational and sensible isn't always the same as ours and the idea needed to be tested.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
[Votive] Arethosemyfeet, as you continue to discern God's path for you.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Oh dear. Still, I think that's the right reaction. Have you arranged a debrief with your DDO? Should be helpful.
Oh, and remember that although this can feel like a personaal brush-off, it isn't: actually you know a lot more about yourself than they ever will.

I don't think it's about me personally, it's about the role I feel called to. I think it's too much of a gamble in terms of resourcing and doesn't meet an obvious need in the diocese. The reasons are pretty rational and sensible (and ones I knew existed from the start), but I was pursuing it because God's idea of rational and sensible isn't always the same as ours and the idea needed to be tested.
Oh, well that's good to know.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
*BUMP*

Primarily to avoid the hostly hoover!

Also, how are others getting on?
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Slowly! And listening carefully...there might be a change of direction afoot. Interesting, exciting and scary times.
 
Posted by Laxton's Superba (# 228) on :
 
All gone quiet here, mainly due to some personal stuff. Not sure quite what to do. Have been thinking quite a lot about the idea of God's economy being different to ours, tying in with timings, how situations you find yourself in unexpectedly have an impact, etc etc. Hoping this is not really so much displacement activity but is actually useful thought. [Votive] for you all.

[ 13. October 2015, 18:32: Message edited by: Laxton's Superba ]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
I think all our experiences have an impact. Sounds difficult for you, though. Sorry to read that.

On the timing issue: I waited a while... I had three years between BAPs, and during that time I tried to make the most of every opportunity. I realise that I was very lucky indeed, but I had a wonderful three years and was as ready as I could be by the time I hit my second panel.

Time flies, I'm looking at a potential curacy next week...

[ 13. October 2015, 21:03: Message edited by: Masha ]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
[Votive] for you LS.

Masha, my goodness, it seems only yesterday on this thread that you were starting at college! Time flies (particular at the pace of the Ship).

Well, in three weeks I'll be back from my BAP. Ooer!
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
LS, I can relate to what you say about timing etc. One thought that really helped me, as I wait for things to happen, was that's God's not slow with us, but patient. My experience has certainly been of God using this 'in between' time to shape me, slowly and carefully, in ways that I'm sure will be beneficial into the future.

Good luck with looking at curacies, Masha [Smile] [Votive]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Aaagh, major attack of "the fear" right now. Haven't had anything like this since I sat professional exams years ago.

Prayers would be very much appreciated.
 
Posted by Rosa Gallica officinalis (# 3886) on :
 
prayers very much with you Iamchristian [Votive]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you every step of the way as you yield to his will, Iamchristianhearmeroar.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
[Votive] Iamchristian.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
So. I'm currently training (paid) for a new job which starts at the start of November, and will be very full-on until at least mid-January (a big new branch of a popular retail chain, so going from store opening busyness straight into Christmas busyness).

I don't know whether it's the pressure of the new job, which is scary but enjoyable, or a genuine Divine Nudge, but I am feeling like the religious life might be something I want to look at again. I did take a look at CSF (women's First Order Franciscans in the Anglican church) in the summer but due to applying for my job, it got left by the wayside. I am considering an order I stayed with before which is a 'mixed life' (contemplative and active) order. I will need to work for a bit to pay off a small (few hundred pounds) debt anyway, but I'm also wondering how quickly I should get things going if the religious life is calling me. The company I work for is a great company to work for (famously so in the UK), I feel like I should go and travel a bit etc - unlike ordination, there would be a point at which I couldn't do those things anymore. Is it better to have more life experience first?
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Don't know whether my opinion is worth much, but I'd say yes, do stick with the job and get some more experience. AIUI you haven't really had much in the way of a paid job, at least since you left university, and whatever else you might be thinking of doing with your life this current job is probably good for you. And enjoy a spell of doing a job you like, getting paid for it, at a decent company- with the ups and downs that you seem to have had, I'd say you deserve it!
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Pomona, I'm also 'looking at' religious life at the moment - and feeling like it's a 'soon, but not quite yet' thing. I think there's immense value, for me certainly, of having this time in employment to really think, pray and discern what's right. For all I'm eager in some respects to 'get moving', I know that God has things to do in this time now. It could be the same for you too, perhaps?

If you'd like to talk more about religious life and such, do feel free to PM me.
 
Posted by Zacchaeus (# 14454) on :
 
Pomona - if there are things that you think you would like to do, then do them first. Otherwise the not doing them may nibble at the foundations of your contentment in later life
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Thank you for your responses.

I mean more a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) ie things I feel I should be doing, rather than things I really desperately want to do. Obviously I will have to stay in my job for a while anyway for income reasons, but I meant more that from an outsider point of view it seems odd to leave behind a good job for life in a convent, if that is what I really want.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
It may be- I don't know- that the convent would want to know that you'd had enough experience of 'normal' life outside* to be sure that you wanted to leave it; and that you're not just wanting to join because you think it's an escape from 'normal' responsibilities. In any case I'm sure they won't think it odd to leave behind a good job for life in a convent!

*That makes it sound a bit enclosed- I know CSF aren't like that- but you know what I mean.

[ 25. October 2015, 22:15: Message edited by: Albertus ]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
It's not CSF I'm considering but it isn't an enclosed order. But by 'outsiders' I meant more friends and family and general expectations.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Oh yes, I understood that. But a lot of those 'outsiders' would think that becoming a nun (or a monk for that matter) was a weird thing to do anyway. What matters more is what you think and what the order you're interested in joining thinks.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Approximately 10 years ago I started posting here to ask questions and record my journey of vocation and discernment. Now I am able to post that I have been appointed as Priest in Charge to five small parishes in the south of Derbyshire.


When I started life was difficult, there have been many stops and starts along the journey and this forum helped keep may sane at times- many thanks and prayers for all who are still on this path. [Votive] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Masha (# 10098) on :
 
[Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

Hooray, Jante!

Congratulations.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations, Jante! [Yipee]
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Congratulations, Jante.
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Hello - I'm new here. Can anyone help me with some discernment questions?
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Hello Nanny Plum, Welcome! Fire away, we will help as best we can.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Also very happy to help. Although I'm mid-BAP and you may get a more coherent response after I'm back home!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive]
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Thanks, both!

I suppose what I want to ask is "is this par for the course?" as the discernment process seems a bit strange and I feel a bit lost at the moment.

On the advice of two friends (one a Lay Reader, the other an ordinand) and also my mother (also a Reader), having had some inklings of being called, I approached my Rector to talk about vocation earlier this year. When we met, he immediately asked me "stipendiary or non-stipendiary?" which wasn't what I was expecting at all.

I was surprised but then also flattered, if I'm honest, that he felt I had potential... and then I got concerned at being flattered (if that makes sense). That isn't what this is about, is it? It's about me discerning God's particular call for me - and not jumping to conclusions and certainly not letting pride get in the way!

Or false humility?!

Anyway... things have progressed a little. I meet reasonably regularly with our associate Rector, and am taking the Diocesan 1 year course in discipleship, which I'm finding very interesting, and I've been invited to lead Evensong twice - and will I think be doing it again on Sunday - and have helped at a funeral and two weddings.

So... when my Reader friend and her ordinand husband ask me why my Rector hasn't put me forward for a Vocations forum yet, should I be worried? Or is this normal? Should I be pushing? Or waiting and listening?

All advice (and prayers!) very welcome.

Thanks
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I have some thoughts and suggestions which I'll put down later, but I'm in the car (being driven, not driving) after the BAP!

Without wanting to pry too much, some more context would be helpful such as your age and how long you've been a Christian.
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Ah yes - that was all rather out of context, wasn't it?!

I'm 45 (how did that happen?) and grew up attending a reasonably high Anglican church. Confirmed at 13. Totally committed. Then my big sister died unexpectedly and suddenly just before Christmas (Dec 19th) in 1984. It was a terrible terrible time. Four years later my father died suddenly. I then went to University - and really struggled with my faith. It was always there, but I was very very confused and lost and very sad.

Gradually started going back to church because of choirs... then in 2000 started going regularly again. Then moved house and from 2007 have been a regular communicant at my current church. A few years ago I ended up unexpectedly going through a real grieving process for my sister - something I just wasn't able to do at the time (my 14-year-old friends understandably thought I should pull myself together and didn't "get" it.)

I go to two Bible study groups - one through church and one local to my work - and am part of a prayer network at the office. And I'm now doing the Bishop's certificate - all of which is making me realise just how much there is to learn, but I love it!

So... my Rector knows me pretty well. Aside from the two bereavements mentioned, my husband has a progressive disability and can no longer work, and although I have two wonderful children I have also had two miscarriages. But another clergyman I know mentioned the phrase "wounded healer" to me the other day and that very much resonated.

All of this is poss wayyyyyy too much information - but I hope it's useful!!
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Nanny Plum, a lot of this is fairly historical but just a kindly hostly nod to a newcomer. It is possible to overshare and to forget that these are public boards and once something is out there, then you can't retrieve it. I think what you have said is fine and has bearing on your discernment process. As I said, a friendly word of advice from a host.

I should have said welcome at the beginning of this. So welcome aboard and smooth sailing.

Lothlorien, AS Host.

[ 05. November 2015, 10:26: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Ok - I apologise. Is there no way to delete my comment then? I realise I've overshared and feel embarassed now. Sorry!
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Ah yes - Commandment No. 2. I did re-read, but didn't realise after-the-fact editing wasn't permitted. Oh well.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Hi NPIAL,

Firstly, thank you for sharing what you did, and let me apologise if what I said unfairly jumped you into sharing more than you otherwise might have done. It was just particularly in relation to the timing considerations and whether things were progressing or not, I might have said one thing if you were 21 and another if you were 55!

On the first point you raised about feeling flattered, I think that's a perfectly normal reaction when you receive that kind of response. The issue would be if it led to a sense of pride. However, the fact that you're conscious of your feelings and questioning them would indicate that that's unlikely. It may also be a question of the words you use? You might say you "felt flattered" and that could sound negative; but if you would describe those same feelings by saying you "felt affirmed or encouraged" that could sound quite different.

As to timing, there really is no one rule here. In one sense you need to adjust to the fact that a lot of the timing will be dictated by others - I found some gaps in my journey pretty frustrating.

But you also need to have an idea in your mind about timescale and how ready you feel to discuss your feelings on vocation more widely. Once you get into the diocesan process the intensity kicks up and you'll be asked to talk to more and more different people and dig down deeply into all sorts of things. It could sometimes feel very to the point, quite matter of fact and quite different from the gentle chats I remember with my vicar. So one question to ask yourself is whether you're ready to move beyond discussing things only at parish/local level.

The other thing you can always do is talk to your Rector/Associate Rector about it, and whether they think you're ready to go to the diocese. Broaching the topic may not be easy of course.

You've obviously been getting involved with leading services and things. It may be that the Rector/Associate want you to get some more experience of that before going to the diocese. In the discernment process, one of the criteria they'll be assessing is your Leadership experience (both in church and out).

The other thing is that once some diocesan processes get going they can be super fast - London, for instance, races along at a pace which is too fast for a lot of people. Others are much more reasonable, my own diocese of Southwark for instance. So, it may be that your Rector/Associate is aware that your diocese is one of the quicker ones and thinks you'd benefit from a bit more time before getting on the diocesan rollercoaster.

The idea of wounded healer is important to me too, given some of my past experiences of being hurt (by churches). You may find Henri Nouwen's "The Wounded Healer" a helpful read. The book of the same name by J B Phillips is also good, and comes from quite a different tradition from Nouwen.

Blessings for your discernment journey. You will be in my prayers. [Votive]
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Thank you (. ), for your kind and thoughtful reply. It sounds like this is all pretty much par for the course, which is reassuring.

Your point about being ready to discuss feelings on vocation more widely has helped me, as I realise I'm definitely not ready for that yet. For one thing I'm sure my theology is full of holes... (hence the Bible study and course and so on).

Leadership-wise, outside the church I have significant (successful and happy - ie whilst delivering on objectives my staff do also say they like working with me!) senior management experience in business - but need to gain more church experience. Does secular experience count? My clergy seem to glaze over when I talk about my day job.

I'm sure part of this is learning to be patient, and to listen, and not to pre-empt.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will look them up

Real life name deleted. Please use screen names only.
Lothlorien, AS host

[ 05. November 2015, 22:01: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]
 
Posted by LeRoc (# 3216) on :
 
quote:
Nanny Plum is a Legend: For one thing I'm sure my theology is full of holes...
Welcome to the Ship then, where we'll do our best to confuse your theology even more [Smile]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
I think everyone's theology is always full of holes! Nature of the thing really.

At some stage you'll encounter the delightful "Criteria for Selection", which includes a whole section on "Faith". It's clear from that that you don't need to be a fully fledged theologian to be considered for training. It's more about showing you've thought about it and learned about a variety of Anglican traditions (which I'm sure the Bishop's certificate will cover); thought about how your experiences have shaped your theology; and demonstrated that you can communicate your faith.

Secular leadership experience definitely counts for consideration of "Leadership and Collaboration". They'll ask about both secular and church experience. Not sure why the clergy should glaze over?!

Patience will definitely be required!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
...The other thing is that once some diocesan processes get going they can be super fast - London, for instance, races along at a pace which is too fast for a lot of people. Others are much more reasonable, my own diocese of Southwark for instance. ...

Or you might, in my admittedly limited experience find that it takes forever even to get to talk to somebody, for example because the diocese is between Directors of Ordinands. Remember that dioceses are organisations like any other and that, like any other, they can be prone to administrative problems. If you're unlucky enough to find this is the case, and you and/or your Rector actually have to do a bit of pushing, don't let it discourage you.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend:
Ok - I apologise. Is there no way to delete my comment then? I realise I've overshared and feel embarassed now. Sorry!

I think you will be fine. I doubt it is a problem here but even if you could delete your post, there will be a record generally on internet. It is a bit like the carpenter's rule. Measure twice and cut once.

Posts can be deleted but only in the very short edit time available here. After that it stays.

If you have a query, you can send a private message or email to a host. Our names are at the top of the All Saints board..

There are lots of helpful people here who will probably reply to your posts.

I look forward to your participation here.

Lothlorien, AS host.
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
First of all, welcome Nanny Plum is a Legend (great name!)

I'm making an assumption that you're talking about discernment in the Church of England (it seems likely from what you've said so far!) - if not, then ignore what I'm about to say.

A friend of mine has recently created a guide to discernment in the CofE, which you can read here:

A short guide to surviving 'The Discernment Process' in the Church of England.

I emphasise that this is not mine, nor did I have any hand in its production! But I do think it is an excellent resource for people like yourself who are just beginning the process. Hope you find it useful. [Smile]
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by iamchristianhearmeroar:
Not sure why the clergy should glaze over?!

Partly because they feel threatened by people who are leaders as result of gifting when in most denominations the "leaders" are there by virtue of position. Loads of administrators in the church, quite a few managers but leaders are very scarce indeed.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
Nanny Plum, personally I would be more worried by a candidate who thought they had it all sorted than one whose theology was shot full of holes - which is probably why I will never be an ordained person, but remain one of those awkward people who is always questioning.

Best wishes with working out your calling.

Huia
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Kind-of like an emmental cheese...

Thanks so much, everyone. I'm glad I posted here! I have a catch up with the associate Rector on Sunday, and have my first essay deadline next week. Will keep you posted!
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
I meant to say, Cenobite, that yes, this is Church of England.

Led solemn Evensong again on Sunday. I love that service.

Thank you very much for the link to your friend's discernment guide. Extremely interesting reading!

[ 10. November 2015, 09:24: Message edited by: Nanny Plum is a Legend ]
 
Posted by Cenobite (# 14853) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend:
I meant to say, Cenobite, that yes, this is Church of England.

Led solemn Evensong again on Sunday. I love that service.

Thank you very much for the link to your friend's discernment guide. Extremely interesting reading!

You're welcome - glad you found it interesting!
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Following on from one or two posts in this thread, and the related thread in the Styx, some hostly thoughts.

We all, perhaps, tend to think of vocation, discernment and calling as all being related to the ordained ministry. Certainly I've noticed this in the Church of England (the only denomination with which I'm really familiar) where diocesan communications are phrased in this way, and the same terms are used within the congregations. The Thread title also gives the same impression.

There is certainly nothing wrong in shipmates using this thread to discuss the 'call' to the priesthood - but equally there is nothing wrong in discussing 'calls' to other roles in the Church, or indeed in the secular world.

I may only be a Reader (one of Dyfrig's 'blue-scarfed menaces!), and, when I was employed, a manager in a computer department, but I certainly feel that God called me to both roles,that both were my vocation and that neither was more important than the other.

There has been some suggestion that we might have other threads to discuss different vocations. Although there is nothing to prevent a shipmate from starting another thread, I feel that the width and scope of this thread is to be encouraged, enabling us to discuss all aspects of vocation, calling etc, as they all come from God for the furtherance of the Kingdom.

Yours aye ... TonyK
Guest Host, All Saints
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
This is also posted on the Styx thread...

My only observation here would be that the Ship "Vocations thread" is one of the very few places those of us discerning whether we are called to a specific church-based ministry (be that lay, diaconal, priestly, or the religious life) can come for support and advice, confidentially if need be.

In the "real world" it is much harder to get that sort of support and advice if you don't happen to know the right people. I cannot stress how important this particular thread has been as a source of information and support on my own journey of discernment up to this point.

Whatever happens to the thread, it would be a great shame for this resource to be lost.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
I think it good to have a broad based thread, after all someone who is discerning a call may not have considered other than the priesthood, and God's calling may be into an order as a monk or a nun, a lay ministry, chaplaincy, etc.

It also allows those of us who are not ordained to feel free to contribute, to support those who are being called, and to pray for you. If it were confined to 'priests only' we may feel as if we were intruding.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Well, the BAP said "yes". Now the hard work begins!
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
Hey, great news! [Yipee] and [Votive]
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
Yes! That's wonderful news, iamchristianhearmeroar. [Axe murder] [Yipee] [Yipee]
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Congratulations, Iamchristian, and good luck! [Yipee] [Votive]
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Congratulations iamchristianhearmeroar. Where will you train?

[Yipee]
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks all. [Yipee] is certainly the feeling!

Jante - I think Westcott would probably be number one choice, but I've not been to any open days yet. Plenty of time (although two slight wrinkles):

- First is that I probably won't start training until September 2017. My wife is expecting our second baby at the beginning of next year, and we're a little wary of planning to do too much too soon after the birth. My wife's first labour was not straightforward and it took her a long time to recover physically, so the last thing we want to be doing is to be thinking about clearing the house for a tenant if my wife's not up to it physically. The DDO is very supportive of this, and almost everyone I've spoken to (friends, family, church) say "Oh yes, definitely 2017". I think that's the Holy Spirit saying something...

- The other wrinkle is that I need to go to a candidates panel. I'm being sponsored as a potential theological educator, which means doing a three year rather than two year course. But due to my age (I'm one year too old at 32!) I need to go to a further panel to convince them I'm worth the extra money. Hopefully not as pressured as the BAP itself, but I'll cross that bridge when it comes!

EDITED TO CORRECT TYPO

[ 16. November 2015, 11:00: Message edited by: iamchristianhearmeroar ]
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Congratulations - also I've just realised who you are on Facebook! [Hot and Hormonal]

In which case Westcott is probably a good fit, but do also consider Queens (Rachel Mann is an alum - is that the right word?) and the Methodist presence is I think very welcome. I think Queens gets rather forgotten about! There is also Cuddesdon which I think is very popular with ordinands with families.
 
Posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend (# 18497) on :
 
Congratulations - both on the BAP result and also expecting your second baby!
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks Pomona, I know who you are on facebook too! (Just FYI I'm not putting anything up about this on facebook as my work don't yet know (apart from my referee who I trust). Someone from work could find out who I am through the ship, but afaik noone from work is a shipmate...)

I'd not really thought about Queens, but will look into it. Cuddesdon, I've thought about, and in many ways it's attractive. But my main concern is how isolated it is. The fact that you need to drive to get almost anywhere is pretty offputting to me, and very offputting to my wife who is a real city girl. Environmentally it's not brilliant either!

I tried a year or so ago to see if there was interest in a ship vocations meet-up somewhere, and I think there was interest, including you Pomona! With all the BAP stuff I rather let that all slip, so I'll give it another go and ask who'd be keen for a get-together somewhere?

As I mentioned last time round, if I organise it I'll selfishly say let's do it somewhere in London (as that's where I am), but apart from that I'm pretty easy as to what we do, be that meet in a pub, or go to a service somewhere, or both, or more things as well. Any thoughts/suggestions very gratefully received!
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks Nanny Plum.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Queens is probably a good idea to look into, then. I would actually recommend Cranmer too - it's really very diverse now - but the distance might be offputting to you.
 
Posted by Jengie jon (# 273) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
(Rachel Mann is an alum - is that the right word?)

Having just checked I think "Alumna". It is one of the few words in English which has not just different male and female singular form but gendered plurals as well.

Jengie
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
Cuddesdon is a lovely environment for families- but yes you do need to drive most places particularly with young ones as the bus only goes into Oxford once every 2 hours. That said we had a lot of families and shared lifts is the norm and encouraged. There was a very supportive spouses group for the women- my husband felt out of it as we are well past the baby stage! Theologically it is very well rounded and we had a number of ordinands that were potential theological educators. But then I suppose I am biased as I had a wonderful time there [Big Grin]
 
Posted by aig (# 429) on :
 
Congratulations! Westcott is great - you are in the middle of Cambridge with a supermarkets, shops and a decent park all 5 minutes away. There is some family accommodation on site or ordinands with families live in rented accommodation nearby. When I was there, there was a very active spouses group.
The tradition of the house is broadly Catholic and you will learn how to mutter the psalms - a useful skill for your later ministry - there is also a tradition of good and creative music.
The ordinand experience is very full on - but I suspect it is in any college.
Do what everyone says - visit lots of college open days - and you will know which one fits best.
 
Posted by iamchristianhearmeroar (# 15483) on :
 
Thanks Jante and aig. Both Cuddesdon and Westcott will be on the list to visit. As one of catholic tendencies they're both a pretty natural fit, as is Mirfield of course. Westcott has the advantage that both my wife and I were undergrads in Cambridge (where we met!), so it's a familiar place and we still have friends there. So would make the transition, particularly for my wife, much easier. Whether it's good to be comfortable or not is a good question, but if my wife's not happy where we go it won't work for either of us.

Plenty to discuss with the DDO tomorrow!
 
Posted by Jenn. (# 5239) on :
 
Comfortable is OK. There is plenty of challenge in training for ordination, with theological challenges and practical ones. A comfortable place to say the daily office can be very grounding in that sort of upheaval.
 
Posted by Jante (# 9163) on :
 
And as someone whose spouse hated college ( it wouldn't have mattered which one I went to) then yes the happiness of your wife is very important to your ability to fully enter into life and study at college.
 
Posted by Albertus (# 13356) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jenn.:
Comfortable is OK. There is plenty of challenge in training for ordination, with theological challenges and practical ones. A comfortable place to say the daily office can be very grounding in that sort of upheaval.

That sounds very sensible. Challenges of training, giving up your old life and moving, and the prospect of a new kid who'll be going through the 'terrible twos'- yep, comfort can be a good thing.
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
iamchristian, apologies for the lateness of my comment, but: congratulations! Great news from your BAP [Smile] And all the best with looking at / discussing colleges.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Thread bump! How is everyone getting on?
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Thanks for the bump, Pomona.

How am I faring? Well, I'm currently 'considering' religious life, and have actually got to the point of booking some time at a couple of places.

I'm by turns incredibly excited and utterly terrified...and learning again and again what it means to trust God. Which is, all things considered, never a bad thing to learn!
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
The Archbishop of Canterbury is currently asking for applications for a year at Lambeth palace with the Community of St Anselm from Sep 16 if you are between 20 and 35 Moonfruit, in case that is of interest.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
How exciting moonfruit! I am in a similar position so would be glad to help if I may.

I have some friends in St Anselm and it is a great thing, but it is quite different to permanent vowed religious life (for instance they accept married couples, and it is more for young people with no experience of religious life at all). I'm not saying this to put you off, but it is quite different.

What communities are you looking to visit?
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
Raptor, I've seen about St. Anselm's, and it looks interesting, but as Pomona infers, I'm looking for something a bit more permanent!

Pomona, I'll PM you if you don't mind - it would be interesting to talk more, but there's only so much I want to say 'publicly' as it were.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
New Year bump! I have visited the community I am interested in and the Novice Guardian is happy to arrange a further residential visit to investigate further, in the meantime I am to get myself a spiritual director (the diocese has provided some local people who may be of help there).
 
Posted by moonfruit (# 15818) on :
 
That sounds exciting Pomona, glad your visit went well.

I was also visiting a community just after Christmas, for the first time. Very interesting, in lots of respects. I've got a visit to another community lined up in February, and it'll be interesting to see how that goes.
 
Posted by Pomona (# 17175) on :
 
Moonfruit - will PM.
 
Posted by Evangeline (# 7002) on :
 
Hello,

I am surprised to find myself, relatively late-ish in life working in paid lay ministry and being encouraged to undertake formal theological studies.

I feel that this is what God wants me to do but I'm really uncertain about the nature of the studies I should undertake. The only option if I want to continue to work in my diocese is the very conservative evangelical College that has some particular positions with which I struggle.

My fear is I'll be unhappy and stifled at this College (I will be attending part-time so won't be actually living there or anything which will help). Any thoughts appreciated on studying somewhere that doesn't quite "fit" with one's own theological positions?
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
No chance of being allowed to have qualifications from UTC at North Parramatta? lol. There was a surprising number of closet evangelicals there when I attended. No? I guess not.

I can understand you may feel stifled at the other place. I do know two who studied there from a different tradition. One did degree and Master's then became a Pentecostal pastor. The other was asked to leave in third year as they did not approve of his Pente theology. Brilliant guy. Topped ACT exams in the whole of Australia in several subjects. They asked him back!

I just remembered one of the top lecturers at Southern Cross or Alpha Crucis or whatever they call themselves now. He also did his Master's and a doctorate too, I think, from the college you consider. A good student and a brilliant preacher.

So it can be done, but won't be easy. I can guess areas of disagreement you may well have. As an antidote to the naming/subordination issue, have you read any of Kevin Giles or Muriel Porter?
 
Posted by Evangeline (# 7002) on :
 
Thanks Loth, yeah I think UTC is out of the question.

I have read one of Muriel Porter's books and a couple of papers by Kevin Giles. I liked his points about the subordination of the father to the son
 
Posted by RainbowGirl (# 18543) on :
 
Just wanted to say Hi and join in on the thread [Smile]

I'm in Australia and attempted the discernment process last year. I was told to come back in two years and reapply for a year of discernment then, so I'm just travelling along and working on the areas that they indicated needed improvement.

I'm in the slightly awkward position of being currently located in one of the very evangelical dioceses and applying for discernment in a different diocese (being female I can't apply within my current diocese), so very odd man out on either side. I'm as involved as I am allowed to be in the diocese I live in, and participating on the fringes of the diocese I would like to be living in. One of the areas of improvement raised during my interview process was my attitude towards the evangelical side of anglicanism, so I'm doing all i can to be involved in that side here, but it gets lonely without anyone to talk to about it all. So I stumbled across this thread and thought I'd jump in [Smile] .
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Welcome Rainbow Girl to the Ship. Have a look around and please read the Ten Commandments and the description of each board. It won't take long and is a help in settling in.

I am sure there are others who will be along soon who may have had similar experiences, even though dioceses may be different.
Some of us can easily read between your lines. Bit of a downer, isn't it?

Will PM you.

Lothlorien AS Host
 
Posted by Evangeline (# 7002) on :
 
Welcome Rainbow Girl. Are you keeping silent about your call to ordination in your current parish? That must be quite an isolating experience.
 
Posted by RainbowGirl (# 18543) on :
 
It's kind of a funny parish. Big main church and a very small church of the anglo-catholic persuasion that continues to exist through the grace of God. I have no other way to explain how they have survived for so long. The majority of my time is spent with the small church, who's congregation numbers less than 30 and has reached the average age of 85 and I pick up whatever duties I can there to keep it ticking along (and the lovely old folk off ladders and out of roof cavities *shakes head in wonder*). They all know I'm pursuing ordination and stay up to date on my trials and tribulations, as does the priest (who doesn't actually have a church, being very old and very retired, but everyone knows it is still his church). The other half of my time and my Sunday's is spent at the bigger church, and they don't know about it all. I quite like having communion and I'm here for two more years yet. They've been known to withhold communion and they can also really interfere with everything I do for the smaller church.

It's not the best situation but I've been advised not to move until the diocese I want to live and work in makes a definite decision in two years. I have a career here, and a church, as strange a situation as it is.

I really enjoyed reading through this thread, a nice reminder that other people do exist who are going through all of this.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Being neither ordained or Australian, I can't offer much in the way of practical advice, Rainbow Girl, but I'll add my prayers that you find your vocation in a place and a church that suits you, and also my welcome to you on the Ship.

Piglet, another AS host
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] Rainbowgirl, as you go through the process.

It might be worthwhile to follow the link Cenobite gave here on 6th November. Someone I shared it with found it very helpful.
 
Posted by RainbowGirl (# 18543) on :
 
Thanks Raptor Eye! I've seen that before and have now read it so many times I have it memorized. There is some great advice there!

I've just been formally invited to be a youth group leader with the bigger evangelical church, starting this evening, and it was also noted that they felt it was the best way to continue 'ministering' to me and to 'teach me the way of Christ'. I've accepted as in the general sense it will be good for me, broaden my skills base, and allow me to spend more time learning to accept and appreciate my evangelical brothers and sisters, but I'm a bit flat out terrified.

I'm also not entirely sure on the concept of asking someone to be a youth leader to 10 year olds, when you aren't certain of that person's faith, but I guess it's a risk on both sides. I pray it works out well and I don't accidentally mentally scar 20+ ten year olds [Hot and Hormonal]

I will stop posting in this thread now, I feel like I'm using it as a base for whinging and that ain't healthy. I'm having great fun reading all the other threads on the message boards though.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
Maybe they're hoping the kids will convert you [Biased]

More seriously though, best wishes as you minister in a very challenging environment.

Huia
 
Posted by Cranmer's baggage* (# 4937) on :
 
Evangeline & Rainbow Girl, congratulations on having the courage to respond to God's invitation, despite the challenges of your context.

I'm an ordained evangelical Anglican woman, and have experience in a number of roles in the Metropolitan diocese South of the Murray, and on the little island further south again. I spent a decade or so teaching in an evangelical Theological College, so I have a pretty good understanding of the challenges.

Persevere if you can, and if I can offer any insights or encouragement I'd be pleased to do so.

[ 29. January 2016, 13:19: Message edited by: Cranmer's baggage* ]
 
Posted by Evangeline (# 7002) on :
 
Thanks CB, very kind.

I have no aspirations to the priesthood -which is just as well as apart from being way too old to do something like that, I'd have to change denominations or dioceses. I'm just grappling with theological education that has already made its mind up about my leadership/teaching gifts/calling before they've even met me. Sometimes I shake my head at where God has put me at the moment, trying to hold onto, and respond to the call.
 
Posted by Cranmer's baggage* (# 4937) on :
 
Evangeline,
I think k the shape of the ministry you're called to is of secondary importance. What matters is your obedience to the call. Studying in that environment is challenging, and potentially toxic for women. Not sure where you live, but if it's at all possible I'd encourage you to spend some of your personal study time in the library at Morling, and maybe get to know some of the students & faculty there. They will provide a useful alternative voice. There are also some good people around in your own denominational networks - happy to give you some suggestions in PM.
 
Posted by RainbowGirl (# 18543) on :
 
Thanks CB! I would definitely like to talk to you further [Big Grin] I tend to get myself in a muddle trying to find my own path through it all.

I was raised in the church and first felt God's call as a twelve year old, and like many spent the next decade arguing with God that no, I don't think I really want to do that. So by the time I admitted that fitting it was fruitless I'd drifted out of my diocese and into another in pursuit of a career.

I'm finding like Evangeline that there are a number of judgement calls made by people before I even meet them. Sometimes all I can do is stop and just laugh that my possession of ovaries can cause so many issues. I meant to post back here earlier but ended up in a bit of a mood after a Youth Group training session turned into a monologue by the youth pastor about the importance of women not preaching or leading religious services. He has no idea that I want to be ordained but I am a sub deacon in my own church, which I'm guessing was the trigger for it. Or he was just having a really bad day. Its partly my fault that I got so upset by it, I'm still working on an attitude adjustment but it is something that will take years. Please feel free to pull me up when I get too snarky and disparaging, sometimes I don't even notice I am doing it.

I'm thankful that when I was asked to wait two years before going through discernment I was placed in a position to choose a theological college free from implications or persuasion from either diocese. I'm studying via distance at a college in Melbourne with quite a few Catholics, going by those who I've met so far. There is some pressure here for me to at least consider a more evangelical college, but they tend to drop it fairly quickly as I did look at a few in-depth and can prove that I made my own decision and give reasons why I went with the college I did.

RG
 
Posted by Cranmer's baggage* (# 4937) on :
 
I've sat on my reply to this for a couple of days, but this needs saying:
Rainbow Girl, you may well need to adjust your attitude to evangelicals in general. However, you do not (and in my opinion should never) take it upon yourself to give a pass to people who abuse the power they have because of a leadership role. The guy leading your Youth training thingy had a particular responsibility - to provide training as advertised. He overstepped the line and abused the privilege of leadership. You are in no way obligated to accept that. In a similar situation, I would be standing up, looking at my watch and asking "when do you intend to resume the advertised programme? I'll make sure I'm back by then." and walking towards the door. Id also be lodging a complaint with the organisers of the programme.

I understand that you may not feel that you have the freedom to act in that way, but you can certainly take a mental "leave of absence" while he blathers on.

On the related issue of adjusting your attitude and thinking differently about evangelicals, I'd recommend making the acquaintance of some who engage differently with scripture and tradition on the issues that are of particular concern to you. The organization Christians for Biblical Equality is well worth exploring, and they produce some excellent papers.

There are a couple of other things I want to say, but discretion suggests a PM may be more appropriate...
 
Posted by RainbowGirl (# 18543) on :
 
Sadly, his monologue was 'technically' relevant as we were planning a lesson for the kids on 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. No mention of veils though, just a focus on women not doing mens jobs and men not dressing like women. I particularly liked his comment that he would never preach while wearing a dress. I just hope he tones it down a bit before he talks to the kids, I can't see many kids enjoying being told that their worlds have now been limited because of the angels. I'm still working on my 'relationship' with St Paul, sometimes I love his letters and other times I think they may be driving me insane.

I'll have a look at that group you mentioned [Smile] I am part of a loosely formed group here, which is more ecumenical then anything else, but no evangelicals there, though a few uniting, baptist, catholic and SDA folks who are great fun.
 
Posted by Piglet (# 11803) on :
 
Ah, good old St. Paul - patron saint of misogynistic old gits ... [Devil]
 
Posted by Evangeline (# 7002) on :
 
IME the conservative evangelicals are great believers in "authority" so to disrespect a leader by walking out of their training session would be the end of your ministry in most such churches.

Sometimes I feel like turning up at church in a big hat and greeting EVERYONE with a "holy kiss" just to prove that I'm taking the bible seriously and to show up all those wishy washy liberals who pick and choose the parts of the bible they follow. [Roll Eyes]

I've been to some of the Christians for biblical equality events. This blog/website is good for an evangelical egalitarian approach
new life
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Don't forget to let your hair grow long, too.

A good place for support here for those who need it, squirming under the idea of authority. Good support given and some great ideas, even if some of them are under wraps in PMs.

I am well aware that not all evangelicals are tarred with the same brush. I know quite a few down here. However, there are times when the stifling atmosphere of a couple of dioceses gets almost too much to breathe..

So if we can keep the topic on suport and helpful links as have been given, rather than the poison which is easy to focus on, we will all benefit. PMs are fine to speak what you really want to say.
 
Posted by Lothlorien (# 4927) on :
 
Repeat post deleted.

Lothlorien, AS Host.
 
Posted by Evangeline (# 7002) on :
 
You're right Loth. I'd like to see us step out boldly with a joyful message rather than always defining ourselves in terms of the conservative position.....sometimes it's just hard to do that. I need 2 focus on resilience I think.

[Votive] for all those who are pursuing their vocation in any way, shape or form.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] And for those who are feeling the nudge, and who are wrestling with the elbow.
 
Posted by Dormouse (# 5954) on :
 
I'm being "re-commissioned" as Licensed Lay Minister by the Arch deacon of Europe tomorrow & also being given permission to preach in the Episcopal church. My license lapsed in 2005 when I moved to France, and stopped attending an Anglican church, but since attending the Episcopal church in Clermont Ferrand I have been feeling the nudge to get this restarted.
 
Posted by Raptor Eye (# 16649) on :
 
[Votive] For tomorrow and for your future ministry, Dormouse.
 
Posted by Japes (# 5358) on :
 
[Votive] Dormouse.
 
Posted by Ferijen (# 4719) on :
 
(I cannot believe its been