Ordination 9 – Bishops’ Advisory Panel.

Well, there should be a whole host of Ordination blog posts between Ordination 8 (written almost a year ago) and Ordination 9, written tonight.  But there aren’t.  If I ever get around to writing them, they’ll just have to be 8a, 8b, etc…

Once again, the title of this blog post contains a bit of a spoiler.  I’m going on BAP – part of the national selection process.  It’s the ‘real thing’.  And it’s starting tomorrow after lunch and finishing Wednesday late afternoon.  It’s a full-on, residential, gruelling (apparently) process.  It involves a pastoral letter to write; an hour to respond, in writing, to a whole host of questions; three hour-long interviews, each covering three of the nine selection criteria; and a presentation (by me!) and facilitation of group discussion.  And meals, and communal worship.  And, hopefully, lots of sleep.

Am I nervous?  Yes.  Am I ready?  I hope so.  The diocese clearly think so, otherwise they wouldn’t have sent me.  I read ‘Becoming Reverend’ last weekend, so I figure I’ve pretty much nailed the preparation bit.

Should I be myself?  Well, given that that’s pretty much all I’ve got to offer, I figure that’s the best policy.  Of course, I’ll try to tone down the crass humour (which sometimes gets ‘funnier’ when I’m tired or nervous.)

But mainly, I just want to get on and do it now.  Sadly, I’m going into it tired, which probably isn’t ideal (don’t worry, I’m going to bed after this!).

Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has been wonderfully supportive and encouraging (thanks everyone!).

There are, generally speaking, two possible outcomes.  First, they could write to the bishop and recommend me for training.  Second, they could write to the bishop and recommend that I don’t start training yet, and this would generally be accompanied by some reasons, and things to do to prepare for another BAP in a year or two (more likely two).

I’d really appreciate your prayers in the coming days.  Here are a few specifics:

  1. That I’d make sense.  I don’t mind if people don’t immediately agree, I just want people to understand what it is I’m trying to say, and that rather depends on me 🙂
  2. That I’d be able to rest well as well as to engage well.  I’d love to be an encouragement to others there, and to be well involved in the very brief community that is formed on BAP.
  3. For Anna and the boys.  Mum and Dad are staying here in Repton to deal with the boys, but Anna and the boys are heading back into another busy half term, and this is a big change from our normal routine.
  4. That, whatever the outcome, I and others would be able to deal with it.  Although I’m flattered by the number of people, both inside and outside the church, who say I’d do a good job, it does concern me that, if I’m not recommended for training, there will be a whole load of people who end up annoyed with the church for its decision.  If this is the case, I’ll need grace and wisdom to handle it.

 

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1 Response to Ordination 9 – Bishops’ Advisory Panel.

  1. Pam says:

    Will be lifting you up in prayers as often as I remember. I hope you really enjoy the experience – I did. There was something very special about being on a ‘MinDiv’ (as they were known when I went in 2004) after all that preparation and exploration, it was a unique gathering of people with some fascinating stories of how they’d got there.

    How you will feel afterwards if it’s a ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ is sometimes one of the questions – I was happy to be able to say, truthfully, that having explored all the way up to the conference, if the answer at this point wasn’t a recommendation, I would feel at ease about continuing to seek what the calling I was experiencing was.

    And, just for once, let other people look after their own reactions! Yes, people who have been in it with you all the way do have strong feelings, but the main one is of concern for you.

    Look forward to hearing how it goes.

    Pam x

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