Saturday, July 31, 2010

Transitions . . .

in the next month I will move across the River to begin a new adventure in ministry . . . a one year residency in Clinical Pastoral Education . . . it is an exciting time for me . . . a time of challenge, growth and above all discernment . . . discernment about where God is leading me in my next phase of ministry.
In a way this is a return . . . a return to the vision that called me away from a career as a clinical social worker to seminary . . . a vision which grew out of working with women, men, children and families who were broken and hurting . . . who were either on the fringes of the Church or outside the Church . . . who were in desperate need of the healing and life changing power of Jesus Christ . . . who the Church, for the most part, were ignoring.
The journey thus far and especially in the last five years has been instrumental to bringing me back to this vision . . . even though parts of the journey have been extremely painful God has used these experiences to bring me back to that original vision and to open doors to help focus this vision.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29: 11

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Long silence . . .

I am not sure why the long silence . . . well, yes, it is Face Book . . . another venue for a cyber presence . . . but one that does not allow anonymity or at least how I set it up . . . here I have this so can share more fully.

I am no longer at the smaller membership church where I had served for five years . . . few probably would have noticed that my last Sunday was my 5th Anniversary with the church. What happened? I guess there could be many answers to that question . . . bottom line is it was time . . . as one of the Elders said to me on 2 occasions misquoting Scripture -- if they don't accept you shake the dust off your feet and leave . . . after three years of working with a church consult it was obvious that our understanding of church and what God calls the church to be and do were entirely different . . . and there were "controllers" . . . one who was not happy -- of course the church exists to make her happy . . . the other "I" offended when it was decided by the co-ordinator of the CE Program that her daughter should not continue to teach Sunday School as she was openly involved in an extramarital affair (the Sunday before my last I learn she is pregnant by this man -- this will be her third child born outside of marriage).

I am now in therapy, again -- third time since being associated with this congregation . . . it is powerful stuff . . . one of the amazing insights is that being in this dysfunctional congregation surfaced for me many family of origin issues leading me to be less effective than I could have been . . . however, out of this I am dealing with these issues . . . learning about myself and working to change behaviors that for the last five years have not served me well . . . so out of chaos has come hope and renewal.

God is good . . . the church negotiated a very generous settlement knowing that it takes 6 to 18 months for a person to find a new position . . . God is good . . . on August 30th I begin a year long residency in Clinical Pastoral Education in the Metro New Orleans area . . . a new position with a move across the River . . . it is an exciting and busy time . . . what happens after this year? . . . I don't know, but I know that God will provide as I partner with God in living within His plan for my life.