Monday, November 27, 2006

Dreary Monday

You know what? It's been a sad day and sometimes the sad just wins.

I woke up sad for no real reason, got wave after wave of sad (or in the case of Michael getting married tomorrow, icky) news and continue to feel sad right now. I'll probably feel sad when I go to sleep tonight. I can't tell you the last time I had a truly melancholy day, but it's been a while.

It's the worst sort of melancholy too, because it's bittersweet. So much is changing --today my Harvard grandfather even said he wanted me to go to Yale-- and it's not that I'm unhappy now. I'm actually happier than I've ever been in my life, but there's no security. I never see my friends anymore and I'm having a hard time making new ones because I have to keep an emotional distance from the people I see at church as to avoid the dreaded "prophet in his hometown" mess again

.Also, there's a lot of pressure I wasn't expecting to feel for another few years, like the fellow parishoners who come to me with serious spiritual angst. I don't do any real counseling, but I listen and that's a heavy burden. Today I had an older lady call me during what should have been my dinner time. She's a good lady. I know she wanteds me to invite her over to my apartment, she lives within walking distance, but I didn't invite her over.

I just couldn't stand to deal with more gloom today.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pilgrim's progress

On December 13th I will have my official meeting with the rector to discuss discerning my call to ministry. This frightens the pants off of me which actually wouldn't be so bad since I'm wearing my"cooking jeans" which are two sizes too big, cropped to mid-calf with kitchen shears and never have been outside my apartment.

I expected to have the discernment chat about this time next year. The first pseudo-chat was a year ago with another priest and I didn't think it went awfully well, I was a newcomer to the parish.

At any rate my relationship with the rector is much stronger now so I'm hoping to be encouraged to pursue ordained ministry. It's not that I think any of the other forms of minstry are less important, it's just I feel called to clergy and I think I have been blessed with the gifts to make a good priest.

Still, it's frightening. This is becoming so Real. I'm constantly feeling myself being pulled away from secular life and it's very odd. I don't want to be an ivory tower pastor and I don't think I could be if I tried since I'm such a gregarious goofball. I'd rather be in the work of nuturing souls on their journey to God than do anything else in the world, and I suspect that's exactly what I'm called out to do.

Also, I'm pleased to announce that on November 19th, 2006 I was confirmed as a member of the Anglican Communion in a lovely ceremony by our lovely female bishop. In celebration of that, I think we ought to look at the "to do" list posted and do some line drawing!
  • Get Confirmed
  • Become beloved, loyal and faithful member of church>
  • Graduate college
  • Convince committee on Holy Orders and Bishop that I would be a good priest
  • Go to seminary
  • Graduate seminary
  • Become junior woodchuck priest
  • Get assigned to a church (I think)
  • Fulfill mission from God.

Blind leading the blind

Strange things have been a brewin' and all of the sudden it seems as if things are becoming Real. Much of what is happening I can't talk about because it involves other people and their struggles. I always knew it was a burden and a gift to care for people, but I don't think I understood what an awesome responsibility it is when someone places their spiritual well-being or troubles in your hands and says "help."

Here's the thing though, I can't help. Not yet, not the way they want or need me to. I'm not a trained therapist, I haven't been to divinity school. I'm just another yahoo who is muddling through.

and yet.

And yet I think I will be able to help these people someday, and I think they see that. Next semester I'm taking a psych course for those who are in spiritual care-giving occupations and boy howdy do I need it. I want to be a good pastor, but right now I need to focus on doing what I can to help these folks, but also getting through college, not slacking off at work and really taking care of myself. I don't want to burn out, and I could see how that could happen.
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