Monday, January 02, 2006

Any suggestions? in which the Curate fishes for an invitation.

I probably mentioned earlier in the year that our diocese has a new Officer for Ministry, who is responsible both for ordinands in training and the newly-ordained during their training years as curates. Rather startlingly he isn't named Michael, as nearly all my clerical bosses have been (bishop, placement vicar during training, previous Director of curate training plus my utterly wonderful training incumbent), but he has risen above this potential handicap to orchestrate some very good training days, and was a hugely helpful presence on our ordination retreat as well. Now he has come up with a very exciting idea, which might just mean that I can get to meet one or two of my transatlantic blog friends irl.
As from now, the diocese would like all curates to undertake a placement away from their home turf at some time during their curacy...and it can be anywhere in the Anglican Communion (though the diocese is not offering to help with air fares).
Having served as a Reader for 10 years in a very rural context, undertaken my pre ordination placement in one of the few urban priority areas that this diocese boasts, and having also worked for some time as a lay member of the chaplaincy team at the local hospital, I really do think that I'd probably learn most by stepping out of Gloucester diocese altogether. I have no leaning towards chaplaincy work in education or industrial chaplaincy...and suspect, for all my excitement and delight in emerging church, that I'm very much part of a both/and style of ministry, so would probably not derive too much benefit from a purely emerging context (even setting aside the "Anglican Communion" stricture).
However, I'm constantly fascinated and excited by the feeling that congregations on the far side of the Atlantic are ready and willing to engage in constant learning about their faith, as I've never been part of a church community in which this was the norm, and I'd love to see how it feels to be part of a non-established church, in a country where the "C of E default button" doesnt operate.
The expectation is that I would spend about 4 weeks as part of the staff wherever I end up...sharing the tasks of ministry and widening my experience in as many ways as possible. Bed and board would be helpful, but beyond that I'd be an extra pair of ordained hands at no cost...An exchange could work too...With DarlingDaughter departing for university in the autumn, there will be a spare room available at the Curate's house, if anyone would enjoy experiencing suburban AngloCatholic ministry here.
So, how about it?
I'd love to hear any suggestions, recommendations, do's, don'ts...things you wish you had been able to experience before running a parish yourself...anything, really. Clearly, I dont have to go to the States...if you think there's a huge gap that I should fill by a different area of ministry in this country, or anywhere really, I'd love to hear thoughts on that. Please, everyone! This feels like such an amazing opportunity to be given, before I find myself transformed into a Real Live Vicar. Suggestions many as you like.


silverfish said...

You could try South Korea. Although not sure you'd learn much because you wouldn't be able to communicate easily. It is an incredibly Christian country though.

brother terry said...

Amazing, Kathryn!

The whole world open before you!

Good luck!


Emily said...

I don't have a "real" position at the moment, but I will nose around here in the diocese of Oklahoma and see what might turn up!

cheesehead said...

Hm. I don't suppose helping out a pal in the Presbyterian Church (USA) counts, does it? Even with our Scottish roots? No? Didn't think so...sigh...

I hope you find an amazing placement. I do think it won't be in my overwhelmingly Catholic/Lutheran part of the world, though. Rats!

Caroline said...

what about trying a different tradition? Not an in-your-face-like-it-or-lump-it sort of a place but a place that would be more thoughtful, offer different perspectives and so different pastoral possibilities to add to your experience to date?


St. Casserole said...

What about a placement in the Diocese of Mississippi for the EPCUSA in a diaster area? The cultural context is quite different from yours and the need is great.

Anna said...

My goodness-- I come back to the blog world and I see something as cool as this!

I feel awful trying to tempt you away from St. Casserole, but I think you'd love the Diocese of Washington, DC and I know we'd love you. My parish's associate rector is leaving and I know we'll be filling his place with interims through most of 2006-- would you like me to put you in touch with Susan, our rector? Or anyone else in DC? Kathryn in Washington is too tempting a proposition to pass up!

Merry Christmas, and a happiest of New Years, by the way!

see-through faith said...

ooh ooh ooh ...

the Anglican church in Helsinki? They come to our city once a month (3rd Sunday)

actually cos of the Porvoo agreement could you do it in a Lutheran / Anglican parish. In which case Turku cathedral would be JUST the place

what's more you could come help with a youth camp in the UMC church (ecumenical work! - grin) or with Russian teenagers in Estonia.

Finland comes under the bishop of Europe ... I saw a GREAT job advertised in the anglican communion of the Canary Islands - but no women priests to apply. sigh. Not that I'm Anglican!

hugs this WILL be great!

enzgrrl said...

(I'd be delighted to have you here, Kathryn, but my Baptist church might not be ready for you, nor you for us.)
Sara at has written recently about changes at "St Ned's" in California. That would certainly be a cultural exchange!

Wendy said...

Hi Kathryn
I am a Methodist Local Preacher and Minister's wife in Potters Bar, Herts. I just thought you might be interested in the exchange scheme that the Methodist church has between here and the USA. The idea is that you swop jobs, houses, cars for 8 weeks, the middle 4 weeks are spent ministering to the host church and the 2 weeks at the begining and the end are to spend how you like. The American minister does the same in your church. My husband and I are thinking about doing it but as we are also ENFP we may never get around to it!!!
You could enquire of the Methodist Church if they will take a C of E curate?....

Kathryn said...

You are all lovely and have given me heaps of exciting things to consider. I get to see the Officer for Ministry this Sunday, so will take your ideas along with me and see what he reckons. Rest assured,this will certainly be something I blog and blog about!
Can't really believe it might happen :-)

Dr Moose said...

Sorry I missed this, but "Kent's newest village" can't really compete with places far-flung can it?