Well, the exiting news from the household is that I have been recommended for ordination training in the Church of England!
I have felt that God was calling me to ordained ministry for many years. It has been a long and, at times, quite difficult journey. The process of discernment is long and thorough, and deeply searching. Those who were with me 8 years ago will know that this is not the first time that I have been an ordinand (i.e. someone preparing for ordination), but for various reasons we had with withdraw from the process last time.
If I’m honest, I think much of the Church of England is not in a great state. As has been said before, we generally put ecclesiology before missiology – or in other words think “The God of the Church has a Mission”, rather than “The God of Mission has a Church”. To my mind, the role of the church (any church) is to advance the Kingdom of Heaven, and as soon as buildings, committees, or structures start getting in the way of this, we need to take this very seriously. But I am also very excited about the other candidates who were at the same Panel – almost universally I came away thinking “Wow, you’d make a great minister.”
One of the interesting and exciting elements this time is that I will be staying on in my “day job” while I train and minister, at least at first. This gives an unique opportunity to work out theology and ministry in the context of a 9-5.
I’d also like to that this opportunity to say that I firmly believe that God has a specific calling on each of us who follow him, and the call to the cloth is no more or less a vocation than His other callings. It is, I conceed, a bit more public than most!
An exciting road lies ahead – the next 3 years (pre-ordination training) seem fairly clear, but after that.. Well, God knows!