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Retreating To Roslyn

This weekend, I'll be away at the Roslyn Episcopal Conference and Retreat Center just outside Richmond.  I'm attending a Priesthood Postulancy Formation Retreat which is mandatory.  My friend J, another postulant for Holy Orders and a fellow parishioner from Grace, is going also so we're riding down together.  It will give us a chance to compare notes regarding classes at the Big Old Seminary starting in September. 

The retreat leader is the rector of the church in which I grew up.  Although she wasn't there during my time, we have met.  As a 'test seeker', I helped a discernment committee there to form for work with their candidate pursuing a call to the vocational diaconate.  I later joined that committee, and was thrilled recently to hear LM is moving forward, having already completed half the requirements of this new ministry formation process.  Besides SG leading the weekend, the soon-to-be-diocesan Bishop will be there at least part of the time.  Yes, there's a little of that "out of the pan and into the fire' aspect to this weekend.  I'll be meeting peers in the process along with the authority of our church and diocese.  But it is what it is.  Or will be what it will be.

Something becoming more and more a conscious thought for me is field work parishes.  During the first year, seminarians visit parishes other than their own as possible work sites for ministry training in the second and third year.  It should be a place that is different from what I already know and have grown comfortable in at Grace.  We actually visited one during the installation of the new vicar, but I may have to rule that out since a family member worships there.  But the preacher of the service, a former assistant at Grace, said she would love to have me at St. F's.  Last night, I realized a neighborhood parish I walk by each day could be a possibility.  And there's always St. C's.  But more importantly, this serves as a reality check that tent pegs are beginning to be pulled up as changes loom in our future.  As much as I protest when O Rector my rector talks of our leaving Grace, he's accepting the change, releasing me in his own way, and preparing us to go out.

I'm excited about this weekend.  And just a bit nervous.  But that's because there's so much of me that God still needs to work on and through.  Saying 'yes' by no means says I'm ready for any of this.  But I believe "the Lord does not call those who are fit; the Lord makes fit those who are called."  And one thing I do know in my heart:  God called me, Grace is sending me, so I'm going.   


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
If you want to work with
the Rev D and St P's...
Let's work on ways of avoiding this as a problem. If it's an issue, I can start doing Sunday worship at Good Shepherd or CTR.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )