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.
“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”, Douglas Adams
There I was: sitting down, contemplating the future. Six months in which to prepare for a Bishops’ Advisory Panel lay before me. Plenty of time to sit back, read a bit, debate a bit and contemplate all that God has to offer. No rush, no pressure.
In the midst of this peacefulness my computer and phone sang out in unison. I had mail.
It was the DDO. She had a surprise. I was being invited to attend a BAP in mid-May.
I didn’t expect that.
The tranquility shattered and, not for the first time on this journey, everything that I had envisioned doing fell apart. Continue reading
As someone exploring the possibility of becoming ordained I am engaging with issues like I have never done before. I am forcing myself to seek to understand things that I could get away with avoiding until now. At times such as they are, with some of the issues that are hotly being debated, it is rather attractive though to stay sitting on the fence.
My exploration of ordination feels like it has entered a new phase.
The first was private and tentative, like a child unsure if the venture is safe. I spoke informally with my vicar, I spoke with friends ordained and not. I had questions, I had doubts: what did I possibly have to offer of worth to the church? Whilst I couldn’t see it myself I knew that God would have good reason in asking me to take a look at it. Continue reading
The Ark of the Covenant crossing the Jordan River
The following, my first sermon, was preached on Mothering Sunday, 30th March 2014 and marked the end of my church’s look at the Exodus story. The reading was Joshua 3.
Sometimes God doesn’t want your prayers for other people, sometimes He just wants to minister to you.
A Pastor once described the church and the life of a Christian to me as a ship made up of three parts. The bow is a battleship where those on the spiritual front line find themselves; it’s the most vulnerable part of the ship. The stern is a hospital ship, where those damaged on the front line go to recover. Finally there is the cruise ship that makes up the midship. Continue reading
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.
Significance in numbers?
Exploring ordination means preparing for a future life that may never happen. There are no guarantees, no certainties. Getting to a Bishops’ Advisory Panel is not a given, nor is a recommendation that I train for ordination. Yet I have to prepare for the possibility that I will be recommended. It means investing significant amounts of time, thought and prayer for something that may not happen. Continue reading