Your thoughts will be discerned
I am an advocate for worriers. I know that Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow but to concentrate on seeking His Kingdom (Matthew 6:25-34), so worrying about the latter must be okay!
Worrying is a matter of perspective. One person’s worry is another person’s preparation, and so it has been with me prior to each Examining Chaplain meeting I have had. Last week I had my second of three, and it was the one had most reason to worry about and prepare for: the Examining Chaplain I went to see had seen and interrogated me before (see A Tale of Two Storms). She reminded me of Miss Marple as her likeness in age, look and character could hardly be separated from the infamous character. Continue reading
Doors closing or opening?
I’m not paranoid, I know people are watching my every move.
As you try to discern if God is calling you to be ordained it can feel as the Church is watching and analysing your every move: CCTV cameras trained on you, hidden cameras in place to catch you unaware, spies and informers reporting back to headquarters. Of course that is nonsense, there is no need for the church to watch or inform you because you will be informing on yourself, and willingly so.
There is a reason for all this activity
The decision had been made and put into action. All that remained to cement the position and secure the place at a Bishops’ Advisory Panel in mid-May was a report on me by my sponsoring Diocese and DDO.
I am always intrigued by other people’s views about me. Even if they can be uncomfortable to hear they can be more accurate than my own. Seeing myself from other people’s perspectives helps me understand how I am understood, and how to change if I am not. This report on me by my DDO would be a key bit of information the advisors on the panel would use in getting to know me and in working out what questions they wanted to ask.
Unlike my references for the BAP, I was given a chance to read the report. Thankfully I recognised the person written about, but reading it was like an out-of-body experience.
Purple haze all in my brain,
Lately things just don’t seem the same,
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why,
Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
It was time for the Bishop to make his move. Was it going to be checkmate and game over? I didn’t know. I did know that whatever happened following as a result of meeting my local Bishop was going to be significant. Continue reading
Red Dalek, Yellow, Dalek: Articulate, Articulate, Articulate!
The Bible is peppered with suggestions that strength is found in weakness. On the face it sounds counter-intuitive but realign how you consider such a phrase and the truth is unveiled. The trouble is that identifying and addressing weaknesses so that they can become strengths can be a painful experience. Continue reading
God is in the business of making the impossible possible.
It was just as well I had scheduled in some time to reflect at the end of my Grand Tour of theological colleges. 48 hours after returning home I was knocking on the door of a vicarage to start my second meeting with an Examining Chaplain.
I walked right into an Agatha Christie novel.
I started work on Monday with the security of a ‘permanent’ contract (there is no such thing as a truly permanent contract of course). There were important deadlines to meet but they all seemed achievable. For the first time in a while work was not going to be causing me any stress. It was just as well for it came thick and fast from the ordination path. Continue reading
This is the final of 3 posts written for my Ministry Enquiry Form, each on 1 of the issues that I was asked to consider before meeting some Examining Chaplains (they will be given the task of discerning whether I should be sent for a BAP). The first post (Rescued from the darkness) was my thoughts about my spiritual journey so far and considered how my sense of a call to ordained ministry fitted in it. It was followed by my understanding of ordination (Defining Ordination is harder than you think!). In this post are my thoughts on what I see as challenges for the Anglican Church in the future, and my role in it:
Examining Chaplains will want to explore with you the nature of the challenges currently facing Christianity and the Anglican Church. What role will the Church have in the future? What will be your role as a leader in mission and ministry?
Here are what I see important challenges for myself, the Church and the faith (it is not an exhaustive or exclusive list, there are plenty more!).
Last week I posted the first of 3 questions I have been asked to ponder before meeting some Examining Chaplains; they will be given the task of discerning whether I should be sent for a BAP.
In last week’s post (Rescued from the darkness) I thought over my spiritual journey so far and considered how my sense of a call to ordained ministry fitted in it. Next week I’ll be posting my thoughts for the final question on the future challenges for the Anglican Church in the future, and my role in it. They will be collected together as the Ministry Enquiry Form that will be given to the Examining Chaplains to help them in their task.
This week’s post is the second of the questions set by my DDO:
“Please give your understanding of ordained ministry in the Church of England. Anglicans of different traditions may have different emphases and language to describe ordained ministry, Examining Chaplains will be interested to discover what you think and why.”
Here are my thoughts.
As part of my ongoing exploration and consideration of ordination, and in readiness for meeting Examining Chaplains in the new year, the DDO has set me 3 questions which comprise the Ministry Enquiry Form. Over Christmas I have been thinking about my past and my understanding of ordination in the Church of England. The future challenges for the Anglican Church in the future, and my role in it, is something I have to think about too.
This post is the first of those questions.
Please write your own account of your spiritual pilgrimage thus far and how your sense of a call to ordained ministry in the Church of England fits in with that journey.
Here is my account.