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.
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