Thursday, 16 August 2012

Funerals and other aspects of curacy.

Well the funerals continue to come into our team office and so next week I shall be priveldged to lead one. One thing I've learned above all during this time is that its by the grace of god I will be able to lead- and the power of His Holy Spirit. While at college I did the death Dying and Bereavement course but had almost no funeral experience while on placement. It is of course very dependant on people dying so in one way I'm pleased that I didn't get the expeirience. However when I arrived in my parish I warned my Training Incumbent that I'd had little experience. He assured me that come winter I would get experience. However that experince has come rather quicker. I have been slowly inducted into taking a funeral- allowed to read the scriptures , say prayers etc. Today I worked with a retired priest, which gave em another outlook on funeral ministry. One thing I'm certain of, its an important ministry we offer to anyone in the parish and gives us an opportunity to be Christ to the grieving around us. Next week i am also to inter some ashes on my own- another new thing for me. Its all very exciting and humbling at the same time. And I am always conscious that this work is to be along side those who are suffering and grieving. Other aspects of curacy have included home communions, sick visiting, the planning and taking of services including a family service, this Sunday I shall sing Evensong!( ANd how I wish I'd been brave enough to lead while at college when I had the chance) However we have a very good organist who has patiently helped me prepare. On the more personal friont having become a grandmother 2 weeks ago I've enjoyed spending tiome with my son, his girlfriend and new granddaughter who is beautiful. we have also had chance to meet up for dinner one evening with friends who were at college with us and also starting their curacy in this diocese. that was a great evening of sharing our stories and encouraging one another. Now its time to try and sort out a holiday for the end of September- have been so busy and have left it rather late!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

On being a woman, a priest and a grandmother!

I have never considered myself a feminist. no one was more surprised than I was when I felt called to oprdained ministry - because I was a woman and for years I didn't believe women should have a role of leadership in church. Bt God very gently buit very firmly changed my views, and when He called I responded with all my heart. Te long years of preparation have felt well worth it as I've settled into my new role over the last few weeks. I have been welcomed and made to feel wanted. My dog collar as I mentioned in my previous post has been a means of commnunicating with people and I love it. Then today I came up against the reality of being a woman in what is still considered by some to be a male role. We have a spate of funerals and my Training Incumbent has been very gentle in easing me into the taking of funerals. So far I have gone on funeral visits with him and also helped in funerals but not led. With another one on the horizon it was decided I should take the lead. however the family didn't want a female priest. I accepted their decision and my Training Incumbent will take the funeral. I wasn't particualrly upset about it- perhaps havign an uncle and Aunt who feel the same way had prepared me, perhaps I was able to think back to my past. My only concern waas that the family should have a funeral they need at a difficult time. I'm not sure if my views will change but at the moment I'm not angry just sad for the family. I'm sure my turn to take a funeral will come and all I want to do is do my best for God and for which ever family has sadly lost someone. On a much happier note I became a grand mother yesterday when my son and his girlfriend had a little girl. To say I'm thrilled would eb an understatement. It was strange holding this lovely little girl and looking down to see a female child looking so like my son did at a few hours old. She is beautiful and I'm looking forward to many more cuddles. I feel so blessed- to be fulfilling gods call and to be a Grand mother all in the same month. life can't get much better than this.