Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas is over and candidating is upon us!!

I had such a wonderful Christmas with my family. Loads of laughs - during the games "It's a name, can be used for a boy or girl, four letters. Starts with A."  Answer - Adam.  This led to so many spin off jokes about my cousins first born girl being forever known as Adam. the fun will stay with me for a long time as will the look on my young cousins face when he realised how much mileage he will get when the first of my children produces offspring and he can call me Grandma.
So with the fun behind me, now work begins again. I was reminded of this yesterday, with an email from the District Secretary saying that the District interviews are on March the 13th.
There are two 2,000 word pieces of work due in on the 13th of January so that will keep me occupied for the next few days!! Then I have a meeting with my Superintendent minister to make sure we have the right number of copies of each part of the candidating paperwork going to the right places. Then I just have to sit and wait for the date of the Psychiatrist's appointment. Still, one little light at the end of the tunne, there are only five months till the 7th of May and then it will all be over and I will know the results.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

It is Done!!

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.

The Final Answer!

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

Answers to the second question

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. 

Catch up if you can!

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.
On Saturday I had a two hour tutorial with Hillary so he can complete the C4 which is the report from the training institution and I am much happier with that now than I was with the first 
draft. My Superintendent has finished the Ctp1 and C3B form which are about what training I will require if I am accepted and what restrictions there will need to be on that training and stationing (there are at least four restrictions I can think of!!). So everything seems to be on track - I just need to finish the C2ft and the Circuit leadership team are working on the C3 which is their report on what I do and have done in the circuit and their reasons for supporting my candidating.
Now all these forms need to be sent off to arrive on the 15th of January however they don't all need to go to the same place and some of them need more than one copy (not always to the same place as the other copies!) So Chris and I are going to sit quietly on the first week of January to make sure every piece of paper has the right amount of copies and is sent to the correct place - after all we don't want to be turned down on a technicality now, do we?