Friday, August 22, 2008

Always Rethinking

I am told, by someone who claims to know, that Methodist Probationer Ministers will be required to attend two years of residential college from next year. This is a thought that troubles me. I know there is a lot to learn - but I don't think I can survive two years of undergraduate theology and 'spiritual formation', along with the lack of active involvement in church ministry that residential college requires. I have dreaded even the thought of one year in college which might have come my way. I am too old. Too interested in practical ministry. I read too much.
Phase 1 - which I do next year - is a sort of church ministry boot camp. It is meant to be hard. And although I know that it is going to be tough at times, I am sort of looking forward to the challenge. But to see that I am likely to spend the next three years being essentially unproductive is very hard for me.
Maybe I should be looking for a job as a lay pastor. The time to pull out is now. I won't, I know. But I will think very hard about it. Trust God.


Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

Jenny - who saya that "college" does not mean involvement in church? You will be in a semonary setting that requires pastoral engagement and theological reflection on that engagement.

If you are wanting to be ordained to the ministry of "word and sacrament" then you need to prepare for the "word".... which means study. If you do not believe that you are called to "word" then go and do something else (and tell all those who have helped discern this call to word that they were wrong).

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Part of the difficulty in the Methodist Church is not knowing what is going on. How do I know what college means? When will I find out what my future looks like? How do I plan around my family?
But - I am not in a position to fully understand the system from where I am. I have to see everything from a new angle as I take a step forward.
Perhaps at some stage the sense of isolation will end. Perhaps I have misunderstood my call (though I don't think so).
But the day I stop asking questions or start mindlessly going with the flow then I might as well give up.
It's nice to hear that you have a positive take on college. Helps me to be more optimistic.

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

What is the purpose of "college"? That's the interesting part. God will see you through the call. :-)

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks Thomas. I am counting on God! I will find out what 'college' is for in due course! But now we see through a glass darkly . . .

Thomas O. Scarborough said...

Hello Jenny,

A more personal note, this. I've been waiting for broadband, nearly 70 days now! Among other things, blogging was becoming technically near-impossible for me, but I'm hoping to be back. I just completed (another) final draft of my M.Th. I'll be reading it through once more, then submitting, probably within a week. It all started in LA in 2003. Phew.

God bless you,

P.S. I carry a map of the heavens in my pocket, on my Palm computer. It's very good.