Monday, 28 May 2012

Two weeks today!

Two weeks today- we will have moved out of this flat and be staying the night at my sisters before moving into the new house on the Tuesday! its all happeiong very fast now. This last week and for the next two weeks we have the Leavers course- with such delights as clergy tax, child protection and other useful things. Along side the course its time for sorting and packing. Last time we moved I had 6 weeks from finishing work until we moved. I spent the last two weeks with very little to do. This time we have far less to tackle as 2/3 of our things are in store, and so except for books there is very little we can pack until the last moment. As a result we have enjoyed a couple of days out, revisiting places we have enjoyed here in Oxfordshire. I'm also busy sorting out insurence and other practical details. Spiritually its a strange time. I have now particular church to belong to now placemetn has finished so I can 'shop' around a little though I mainly worship in a near by large evangelical church. It's a friendly church but large enough that I can be anonymous. There's a strange sense round college of being ever so gently pushed out, no longer needed and the community already reforming behind us. It can feel sad, annoying and difficult at times, and at other times, I feel free and isolated from what has been our life for so long. I'm sure it's the normal experience, rather like a mother bird pushing the fledgling out of the nest. It's time for us to try our wings, be set free and fly. we leave behind security, friends and support, but will learn to be upheld by the wind of the spirit. Life is so exciting, nerve racking and strange but in the centre is God and his love and strength.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

And handed in!

Today I've printed off the dissertation and had it bound by the college library. Its been handed in to my tutor and that's it! Books have been returned to the library and my own books brought back from the spot in the Journal Room where I've worked for the last 2 terms. Now I can make headway in packing the rest of my books. I've also taken part in my last services. I led Morning Prayer yesterday- and it was lovely to have so many people come and tell me how much they enjoyed it. Its great to be affirmed as I prepare to leave. But then this morning I served at the Eucharist and rather muddled the introduction to the Gospel. However a tutor rescued me by saying the response anyway.This evening I read at Evening prayer and that's it. I shall not lead a service again until in parish. It's a weird feeling and yet so exciting to look forward to beginning the task that I've been wanting for so long. It will be 8 years in October since I first approached my Vicar and said I felt God was calling me to ordained ministry. The journey from then on was quite a winding one and at times very fraught. Nut now I've made it. Now the real work starts. Reading other blogs and books I know that the future will be exciting, and at times daunting. But as wer apporach Pentecost my prayer is HSpirit of the Living God fall afresh on me". because only with the power of the holy Spirit can I be the priest God wants me to be.

Monday, 21 May 2012

It Is Finished

the dissertation is finished. Although I need an hour to print two copies off, the actual work and editing is done. Today we started the leavers course- an oppportunity for the college to give us all the lessons they haven;t so far- such as pension and tax information. Later this week we will have the Curates from last year return and tell us what it's realy like! Then next week we have our Incumbents visiting to learn what we have been taught and to spend time getting to know us. After that it will be the final weeks count down!! Can't belive how fast the time is passing. I'm beginning to realise how many people I will miss but at the same time we are returning to Derbyshire where we have many friend and family so there are many plusses. Well off now to babysit and do some sewing, nice not to have to take soem serious reading.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hail the day that sees him rise

Today began with a 7.30am Eucharist for the Ascension. We normally begin the day with Morning Prayer in the chapel, but on feast days and festivals such as today ( if they aren't a Wednesday!) we begin with a Sung Eucharist in church. I love walking down to church in the sunshine with the birds singing and today was just such a day. My menories of Ascension day before last year go back to my childhood when we had a day off school to celebrate. Our Sunday School always organised a day out by coach after the morning service in church. One year when I was 9 I was asked to do the reading in church. So, in a large Victorian church I stood in the Ambo and read - I'm convinced the reading was John 1- but can't think why it would have been that and not Luke or Acts! To practice for it my mum had me stand at the top of the stairs and read in a loud voice while she stood outside on the street- we did this until she could hear me, no microphones in those days! Now I am preparing to spend most Sundays leading services and preaching from the pulpit. I wonder if the desire to serve God in this way began that Ascension day as I stood looking down on the gathered people and read the word of God? The Ascension marks the point at which Christ's work on earth is fully finished- accomplished. This week should see my dissertation finished! I must get back to it now. Only 3 weeks until I leave college- where has the time gone?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Friendship- again

When I was moving here 2 years ago I found myself reflecting and therefore blogging quite a bit about friendship. Then I seem to remem80ber that last year as the 2nd years prepared to leave I blogged again! now its my time to leave and it has me thinking again about the nature of friendship. When I looked at our Christmas card list it numbers 80+ , I culled that number to 40 to send Ember cards inviting friends and family to the cathedral and after party, while sending one to everyone in college. However I sent those and 20 of the friends ones by email to save on paper and postage. But it got me thinking about who we call our freinds and how we assess our friends for different events etc in our lives. I have friends all over the country- and even a few abroad. Some of my friends go back to my school days, others are recent friends made while here at college. But one thing I've learnt over the years is that good friends are there when ever you need them. When I found out about my first husbands affair, the friend I turned to was an old college friend who I hadn't seen for about 4 years but who I had kept in touch with.I have friends I made after that through a divorce support group who we'll be meeting up with this weekend- 10 years after first meeting. These days we don't see each other very often but the friendship is still important to us all. Today I spent a few hours with a friend from college who left last summer, She lives on the south coast and I shall be living in Derbyshire but we will still keep in touch and meet up when we can- knowing that we will be able to empathise and support each other in this ministry to which we have been called. but on earth two people are extrmeely special friends- they are my husband and my sister. Yet how aoften do I tell them how special they are? Something to ponder and work on!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Four Weeks Today

Four weeks today we will have had our leavers service! I can't beieive it's so close. My dissertation has been approved by my supervisor and though she has recommended aa few changes its up to me whether I do them. I shall make the changes and then print it and hand it in. I've arranged with the phone company to have this flats phone cut and the new one 'switched' on. Its all getting very exciting. Tomorrow is the village church summer fete which is the main fundraiser and which all college students are helping with. Because I was one of the sacristans for the last year it has fallen to myself and fellow sacristan to organise the college side of things. This has been made more difficult with the Themed Study week this last week. However by tomorrow evening it wioll all be over and my offical duties finished. At least I'll have an idea what is involved in the future! The TSW or me was Financial leadership- it was more interesting than it sounds. I now feel I have some background for the accounts in a church. Well non of this is very reflective but that can follow

Monday, 7 May 2012

It is Finished- wel nearly!!

Today I handed in the first draft of my dissertation. I'm hoping that it will come back with very little changes or additions needed. I have to finish the theological reflection and conclusion but otherwise I'm hoping its all going to be done by the end of next week. I've got the boxes to start packing and hope to have some time this week to do some of it. This week we have a themed study week and I've chosen to do Financial leadership. its an area I feel unprepared for and so far the course is proving a very useful and informative use of time. I finished my role as sacristan at easter but have still to co-ordinate the collges role at the Summer fete which is happening on Saturday. Another steep learning curve but we are nearly there. Life is getting very busy and it feels as if we will be moving very soon- well 5 weeks today we will have left the flat so it is coming soon! I have just received my rotas for July and August for my curacy which is exciting and daunting by equal measure, especially as I;ve been put down to be in two places at the same time on one date!!! I'm sure that this is an error and I'll be given just one to do.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Significant countdown begins

A number of my friends from college are seriously beginning to countdown to the Leavers service and moving out. Someone suggested 40 days but another who has a countdown clock going on his Blog suggested it was just under 38 days- depending on what time you plan to actually move out. So it seems its 37 hours until the service and in my case 41 days to moving!! That feels rather like a lenten excercise - with 40 days to prepare. On a more serious note I did go to the Eucharist yesterday afternoon and was very glad I had done so. I was able to come to terms with what had happened in the morning, to ask forgiveness for my own emotional response to the situation, and to feel God's forgiveness. Today is a new day and I'm making a real effort to write up my dissertation. Blogging being a short break after hours of trying to tabulate information on 11 churches! Now its lunchtime and then I'm back to the grindstone. ps Seem to have lost the ability to spellcheck with the new blogger look and so please excuse typing errors.