I can never complain that my life is boring.
As I come to the desk every morning, I sift through the "to do" list. With all the hats I wear, there is always something to do, sometimes several things at once!
It may be time to prepare the Angel Ladies' newsletter or make sure wedding ceremonies are organized for the day. It may be that websites need to be updated or a blog needs to be written. Perhaps I need to send out a note to the clergy or finish an order of crosses or angels that has come to deadline. Maybe I can broadcast a podcast. Yes, it is busy but I love it all.
Always on the top of the list is looking for ways to promote my wonderful little church. Over the past year, I have been writing and teaching a course to train candidates to be ordained as Deacons in November. We have four great candidates and I am so excited at how everything is coming along.
I can't believe that it has been more than 10 years since I left the Anglicans and joined the CCCC. It has certainly been a journey in faith with some twists and turns along the way, but I have never been happier.
For many many years I tried to stay inside the lines, follow rules that others seemed to break with ease (with no repercussions), live up to other people's expectations... you know the drill. I put my head down and did the nose to the grindstone thing, but that wasn't good enough either. I have since learned that I am absolutely A-ok with God and that is all that matters. You are too, you know.
The course with the deacons-in-training has been exhilarating and challenging. We do not profess to be Trinity College but we can offer people who have felt a call to serve in holy orders a way to honour that soul purpose.
I have spoken with so many people who felt a tug to go to seminary or school to become deacons or priests but were unable to go forward because of sexual orientation, gender, family commitments or finances. Some people had a strong desire to be a worship leader but found that the doctrines or beliefs of their church no longer expressed what they had come to know in their hearts.
Deacons can officiate at weddings and other life celebrations and play a very special role in the church community. Deacons are the worker bees, going out into the community and working with the poor, the sick, the infirm bringing the love of Christ wherever they are. They are the healers, the voices calling for justice and equality, the do-ers who are moved by Love, the ones holding the lantern to shine a light on the path. Candidates can stay as Permanent Deacons or move on to train as Priests.
The six-month (mostly) online course covers general Church background, history and the window through which we minister in the world. Folks are trained as a wedding and funeral officiant as well as prepared for the role of being clergy in our progressive faith community.
I didn't mean to go all promotional but it is a big part of my life right now and very exciting for all involved. Ordination is coming up in November on All Saints and there is much buzz around invitations and getting clergy clothes and vestments.
Sound interesting? I have just added a new session beginning on Nov 15 with an introductory day here at our home in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Because it will take place over the winter the front part will be online and then when the weather gets nicer we'll gather to get practical work done. I am working on the schedule and will have it up on the website soon. It will follow the order that is there already - just a change of dates.
For details, please visit the website http://www.stfrancisseminary.com/diploma-in-pastoral-ministry or contact me if you have any questions.
Whew! I had better get to it.