Thursday, September 25, 2008

discernment blah blah

Okay so here's where I am. I'm writing this to help me cause I have a meeting tomorrow and I definitely process things in writing. So FORGIVE me if I sound like a broken record. I know I do. And believe it or not, I actually think about other things besides discernment!! I just tend to blog about it all the time since it brought me to this blogging community which has been a wonderful support.

So...I've been meeting with my discernment committee for about a year. We've had a total of 7 meetings. They feel pretty ready to wrap up. They see a call. They're ready to support me. They now want me to tell them what I want. A good part of the year has been my articulating my hesitation and struggle to "own" this sense of call.

This year has been incredible. A lot of movement and discoveries and it all points to the possibility that ordination is the most fitting place for me to carry out my ministry. This won't surprise any of you who read my blog, but I feel like my discernment committee could meet forever. And I know that discernment never truly ends in life. But regarding this issue, I have to make a decision at some point. I've met with various mentors who all advise me in different ways. One says, "go for it now! Now is the time! The church needs you now." The other says, "you have time and don't give up your autonomy before you have to. Gather as much ministry experience as you can cause seminary doesn't let you do so in the same way." So what do I think?? I'm in a position of leadership (volunteer) at my church and it's a relatively new one and I am learning a ton. It is amazing experience for a future ministry. It's a current, vibrant ministry and I'm learning a lot and giving a lot and it is very joy-filled. And it makes me want to be a priest. If I start the diocesan process (meaning going beyond my committee and interview with the bishop and the commission on Ministry), I have less say. They'll have lots of ideas for my "formation." They could very easily send me to another church for a ministry study year before seminary. And I'm in such a good place right now. But it's a very very progressive church and it's not representative of the whole church.

And as I've written before, I hesitate to put it off any longer cause I'm almost 35. But I think I need to let that one go. If I let go of ego stuff and let go of the need to have a tidy package, it seems to make the most sense to stay where I am and continue discernment as I work in leadership at my church. And it would probably be easier to start commuter seminary once my youngest is in Kindergarten (in two years). And this is a question for my rector, but what happens if I end the discernment committee process and wait a while beforel I start the next official step. When does the committee submit the report so that it doesn't "hurt" me? I know I'm not the first one to have a break between congregational discernment and the interviews.

But then there's the other lightbulb I've had recently. Being a postulant doesn't mean discernment is completed. Being a postulant is only the very beginning. I've been thinking of it as the end. So I could just go ahead and just get all the scary stuff over with (cause it's heavily weighing on me) and then be a "postulant" and then just do what seems to make the most sense timing wise. But I'm not sure how much freedom I'll have as a postulant.

So there is my blah blah blah.
Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the latest

I seem to be beginning all my recent blogs this way, but I can't believe how much time has passed since I last blogged. It is representative of something, but I don't have enough distance to name it. Life is different and new right now. My eldest started kindergarten and woah is this an adjustment. I'm loving it. As is she. But she is utterly exhausted. It's funny, I am a huge believer in NOT over-scheduling and keeping things PEACEFUL and UNHURRIED, but it seems I have done just the opposite. So I'm in a period of re-evaluating and just trying to figure out this new phase, and juggling the needs of my youngest as well. But I'm loving this new phase. Just trying to carve out the quiet and space my older one so needs right now.

My discernment continues along at a steady pace and it seems to be buoyed along by a flow I'm not in control of. As long as I stay out of the way. At least, that's how it feels. I'm at a point where I need to make a decision as to the next step. And because I'm in the Episcopal church, the next step is planned out for me: an interview with the bishop. But my job is to determine when that happens. It happens this fall is when it happens. But I just don't know if I could do it without fainting. Anyway, we shall see. I meet with the rector in a few days to talk about it all. I'm praying. I'm trying to surrender.

all for now.