Sunday, 28 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
So that's it, the paperwork is complete I have a friend coming round just to check it all makes sense and then I can lay it to one side. Just in time, now I can go and say goodbye to Jim, watch Jen get Ordained and have a fab Christmas with my family without worrying about Candidating and January's deadlines.
ii. In respect of the contrasting ministry. a. Explain Which aspect of the ministry most interested you and why? (150 words approx).
The Methodist Deaconate appeals a great deal to my pioneering instincts. Often it seems within their roles that Deacons have the ability to be freer from church maintenance responsibilities. I like the idea of being less restrained by the everyday details of running a church, and being able to work more in the community. But what interests me most about being a Deacon is my understanding that their role is about enabling others. Deacons are often involved with pioneering community projects, working alongside people and helping them to discover God, and where He is already working in their lives and community. Deacons work in a world that is a curious mix of being outside the church walls, yet still firmly within them, they are a bridge between church and community, which is a place I often feel strangely drawn to.
b. Which aspect of the ministry most challenged you and tested your sense of call. (150 words approx).
The conference report what is a Deacon says that servant ministry clearly reflects the Servant Christ whose mission involved crossing boundaries, making connections between alienated or fragmented groups, including those beyond the margins, overturning unjust structures, standing in solidarity with the vulnerable and helping them discover their own voice. These words will stick with me a long time, in-fact it was this statement that challenged me most. It not only challenged my feelings about the Deaconate during the discernment process, but challenged the core of my calling as a Christian. It made me determined to remember whatever the future holds, that all Christians lay and ordained are called to a servant ministry. Something we all need reminding of.
c. Which aspect(s) of the ministry confirmed your sense that this was not your particular calling? (150 words approx).
As I have already said being a Deacon appeals to me. It was very hard for me to make the decision that this was not my particular calling. Over my foundation training I have struggled not only with the Deacon or Presbyter question that many other candidates face, but also whether I need to be ordained at all to do what God is calling me to do – which I believe is to some sort of Pioneer ministry.It was a comment during my Deaconate placement which confirmed to me my call to Presbyteral ministry, someone said that in their opinion “Pioneer ministry was about setting up sacramental fellowships, rather than community projects” It was exactly the words I had been looking for to express what it is, that I feel that God is calling me to do and more importantly why I am unable to do that as a Deacon or Lay Worker
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
2.Reflecting upon your observation of two distinctive ministries (either observed ministry may have been a collaborative one, i.e. the work of a team, or that of an individual),
i.In respect of the order of ministry for which you are a candidate.
a.Which aspect of the ministry most interested you and why? (150 words approx).
Presbyters get to meet many people at very different stages of their faith journeys and life journeys, and can enable those people they meet and encourage them to use their gifts helping them to grow in discipleship.
It’s not the same job each week, infact every day is different and can be filled with a huge variety of things that need doing, different challenges and different ways of working. Underneath it all though there is a definite rhythm, and it is working within that rhythm that interests me most. The rhythm of God’s world, the Seasons and liturgical calendar, and how to combine those rhythms with the rhythm of life – Birth, Infancy, Baptism, Childhood, adolescence, Confirmation, young adulthood, Communion, adulthood, Marriage, old age and Death.
2.i.b Which aspect of the ministry most challenged you and tested you sense of call?(150 words)
Church Council, and other meetings would probably one of my biggest dreads of becoming a presbyter. I find the business side of church difficult, especially when people become preoccupied with detail of things that will never advance God’s Kingdom here on earth. During my foundation training I have been working on how I will cope when teaspoon counting becomes the church’s priority, not mission. This is when I feel least called to be a presbyter I discussed my worries both during my Presbyteral placement and with other Ministers on different placements who assured me that church meetings would end up being different from others I have attended because church council runs from the lead of the minister. I felt slightly better, having now witnessed many other meetings on placements run by different people and seen what a huge difference that can make but I know this is an area that I will need to work on
2.i.c .which aspects of the ministry confirmed your sense of call to it
During my Presbyteral placement, I was privileged to be able to share time with three different Presbyters doing different jobs in very different areas. It was very busy and I quickly got caught up in the buzz and excitement of the everyday, ever changing job. Fortunately I was also able to spend time quietly talking and reflecting with each of them about their jobs their calling and the changing role of Presbyteral ministers in a changing world. During my three placements I attended six communion services, one wedding, one baptism and one funeral, I even attended a deacons meeting at which communion was shared. Was this a coincidence? Or was it what I believe, a gentle but much needed nudge from God that it is the role of a Pioneer Presbyter that He is calling me.
The paperwork is taking lots of my thought at the moment and so my blogging has been sparse, I have now finished two thirds of the nine parts of the form - only 3 more 150 word answers to go.
Friday, 28 November 2008
So it came and it went, and actually I slipped easily into the next decade. It was completely painless. Yesterday I had a quiet day with just the family, today a chocolate fondue party in aid of "Stop the Traffik", tomorrow dinner with friends and family and Sunday Handel's Messiah. I am a very lucky woman and planning to enjoy each part immensely!
Monday, 24 November 2008
Q1 Why choose Methodism? Answer by selecting two characteristics (or common practices) of the Methodist church that are significant to Methodist identity and that form the basis for your choice of Methodism as your denomination.(400-500 words approx.)
It was difficult to try and just find two reasons for choosing Methodism, as there are many, but after many hours of thinking and reflection I think these two are the most important.
I have always believed that church should be a community that does not judge a person by how they look, sound or by what they believe, by their race, sex, age, sexuality or indeed for any other reason and for me Methodism is a denomination that truly tries to do this, recognizing that we are all in need of God’s grace.
“Methodists have always been clear that no-one is beyond the reach of God's love. Salvation is there for everyone who turns to God, and not just for a chosen few.” (Quote from Methodist Website)
This quote is the number one reason why I am a Methodist. I am a mother of four and have taught my children throughout their lives, that all human beings are equal, They live in 21st century Britain they have friends and family who are of different faiths and no faith, black, white, homosexual I would not be able to answer their questions truthfully, if my church did not reflect what I had told them, it would compromise my faith and my beliefs.
I don’t believe that God discriminates about who needs to be shown his love, I don’t want my children to and I don’t believe that my church should either.
One of the other things, which attract me to Methodism, is the teaching of the Methodist Quadrilateral.
Methodists traditionally use a fourfold approach to learn about our Christian faith and apply it to contemporary issues and to our Christian practice: we are taught to reflect using scripture, reason, tradition and the experience of God in our lives.
As I have been studying pioneer ministry many of the issues I have faced do not have answers that can directly be found in the Bible and using the Quadrilateral has been very useful.
I believe that if we are to move Methodism successfully into the 21st century there will be many more questions that society will expect us to answer and I think the quadrilateral is a good way of making sure that in every new decisions we make, every new fellowship that is started and every answer that we give, we hold true to scripture and tradition but use reason and our experiences of God, to show the world God’s way for our times and our place and also for the generations to come.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Seems ages since I last had time to write on here, since I've been at the sanctuary I have been busy, I did keep up the writing on the train though and the only reason the next two parts of the candidating answers are not posted yet(5 down, 4 to go - over the halfway stage) is because they form two thirds of a whole question and I think it will be easier to understand if they are read together. At the moment I am struggling to say what I want for the last part in only 150 words!!!
Monday, 3 November 2008
Well actually the second answer.
Q1b How should Methodism relate to other denominations? Answer by citing and reflecting upon your local Church's experience of ecumenical cooperation (400-500 words approx.)
I think that throughout its entire structure Methodism should be trying to co-operate with, work alongside and relate with love and understanding to other denominations. I believe this can be done without forfeiting Methodist identity or compromising what we believe to be important, and know deep within me that each one of us must prepare to be challenged or indeed changed by other people’s perspectives.
I believe Connexion should keep supporting ventures such as Hope 08 and Fresh Expressions and encouraging ecumenism, continuing to train students ecumenically can do this. My Foundation Training has in part been done at an Anglican college and I think that both the Foundation Trainees and the Anglican ordinands have been enriched by this experience. Many false ideas about each other’s denominations have been explored and the way has been paved for future ecumenical co-operation.
At local church level ecumenical co-operation often depends on circumstances such as the area the church is in and the people who are leading it. It is important that ecumenism in all communities is encouraged locally, at circuit, district and at connexion.
My Own Experience.
I live in Chyngton, a housing estate on the outskirts of Seaford. One Anglican and one Methodist church serve Chyngton and the relationship between them shows ecumenical co-operation working near its best.
Why so good?
After careful reflection I think the co-operation between churches on Chyngton estate is good because;
1. It takes place in all levels of the church.
2. There is recognition, that God has sent us to serve one community.
3. There is a good use of shared resources.
I would like to elaborate further on each point.
Co-operation on all levels.
Each church has a member on the other one’s church council; this keeps everyone well informed and able to demonstrate support. Practically this makes sure that details are taken care of, such as checking the Christmas Fairs don’t clash.
Due to the hard work of previous and present clergy, we hold joint services and Alpha courses, have ecumenical house-groups – for me this has meant I have had another church community following and praying about my current journey, which has led to a greater knowledge of Methodism especially confirmation, local preachers training and candidating.
We also hold an annual holiday club together and termly follow up sessions.
Shared resources is about more than borrowing tables
Our two churches have their own strengths and ecumenical co-operation needs to recognise that we will not always be the best at everything. Each church will lead and support. Between us we have;
Talented songwriters and musicians, worship leaders, preachers, cooks tea makers and administrators. People who are gifted at working with children, teenagers, and old people. Counsellors, pastoral carers and a bereavement counsellor. First aid and food hygiene trainers, Health and Safety specialists and much more.
To me it makes perfect sense for these resources to be shared as two churches move forward together to share God’s kingdom with our small corner of the world, and it makes perfect sense for Methodism to embrace this sharing and co-operation in every corner of the world.
The last few weeks have seen me make far more train journeys than usual. Today for instance I was out of the house for 6 1/2 hours for a ninety minute meeting in London. Five hours of that then is travelling and four is spent sitting on a train. I have made a grand decision to make better use of my travelling times, today being the first day for this new resolution. So on the way up to London I answered another candidating question (and one of the big ones at that!) two down seven to go, and on the way home I tackled the first three chapters of Pete Ward's "Mass Culture" which is reading for the next module. I was quite astounded at how much I got done. However it is a bit like celebrating on the first of January that I have kept my New Years Resolutions, so lets see how it goes. Another journey beckons Thursday.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
The Mission and education work is done and posted 12 days before the deadline, my Aunts flat is painted, half term has been a time of great production, some rest and is now nearly over. Tomorrow is busy, the children are on parade in the morning, I have to go to a church council meeting after church and my friend Christine is being accredited as a local preacher in the afternoon. Next week sees the start of my first real pioneer module, I have a meeting with my tutor on Monday and with Jonathan on Thursday to see what I have to do during my time at the Sanctuary, I have been up to visit 3 times now and am really excited about my time there, and especially about having the privilege of leading worship there in December.
Sunday, 19 October 2008
A member of the connexional team came to talk at our weekend away about what training may look like next year for those who survive candidating.
Friday, 10 October 2008
Today(Friday) is seven years since my Dad died. I always think that the anniversary won't be that bad, that as the years pass it will hurt less, then every year I am amazed at how much pain this day causes. I have so much I want to share with him, especially at the moment when things are tough going, he was never judgemental and he had a way of accepting me for who I was that I have never found from anyone else.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Friday, 3 October 2008
Today I re-read the ideas that were passed at conference about the Pioneers scheme within the Methodist Connexion. I am so glad I did, because I realised just what a commitment to pioneer ministry the church are making and just how much I feel called to be part of what they are offering. The plan as I understand it is that over the next four years, five pioneer ministers a year will be recruited and formed into district clusters. Locations will be picked out that the church believes a fresh expression has a good chance of surviving in, pioneer ministers will be given a team of volunteers to help, support and work with them. Each pioneer will then be looking to set up some form of "church community" for young unchurched adults at their given location, as well as mentoring on some smaller local emerging church projects. The Methodist connexion plans to fund each of these 20 projects completely for their first 5 years and partly for the 5 years after that. Hoping that those projects which suceed will become self sufficient after the first 10 years and that the first wave of pioneer ministers and these new projects will provide good training rescources and placement opportunities for future generations.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Today I had a meeting with my Superintendant to start the paperwork that needs to be in from the circuit.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Well actually it's not the first question, but it is the first answer that I've managed.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:
What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been in situations where someone wants you to
GIVE OVER 100%.
How about ACHIEVING 101%?
What equals 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions
If the letters of the alphabet
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
are represented by numbers as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K
8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%
K-N-O-W-L-E- D- G-E
11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%
1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%
THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:
12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%
Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:
While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close,
and Attitude will get you there,
It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
I thought that I would have time during the holidays to write more frequently than I will once college starts again, but I don't seem to have much to spare. This is however a good thing, I have been able to spend some time with my children, including a day at Fort Fun with just the little two,and a very pleasant weekend away in London with my husband - It was a very Methodist weekend, on Saturday we went to Wesley's chapel and museum, Sunday to worship at Central Hall and Sunday lunch with good Methodist friends Adam and Andrew.(will miss Adam when he goes to Cambridege, but there was no need for Keith to tell him!) Also in the past week I have painted an eight foot wooden man to look like a Pirate ready for the holiday club at our church - run with St Luke's ( to which I now have a key!) will post a photo sometime - I have a pirate galleon to do this week (I think it's pennance for going on holiday during the week of the Holiday club!!) I have a service to produce for this weekend and the Lectionary reading is The Feeding Of the Five Thousand so off to get my thinking cap on.
Monday, 21 July 2008
It's been a busy weekend. On Saturday my lot, hubby and all four kids, came to the family day, at the Guy Chester Centre, in Muswell Hill, which is where I go once a month for the Methodist part of my training.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Today I decided to start my blog - It's something that I have had on my to do list for a long time, but other things have got in the way.
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