I’ve just received a slightly scary package through the post…the assorted paperwork I need to complete (and ask others to complete about me) before my first ever official Ministerial Review.
As I’ve only been ordained 3 years, the first question or two are relatively easy
The most significant experiences in my ministry over the past 3 years?
That would be my ordination and first Eucharist, for sure!
Have I managed to achieve the objectives identified in my last ministerial review? What review??
Then I remembered that, during our very last residential at vicar-school, we were told to settle down and dream dreams about where our ministry might be in 3 years time...The exercise was labelled "The Miracle Question".
Atypically, I knew where to find my thoughts…and was really interested in what I’d written. I’m not in any way saying “Wow, look at me…super-priest has met her personal goals” but I was struck by the similarities between what I’d dared to hope for and where I feel ministry really is right now. I suspect this says more about my self-knowledge in terms of what I might reasonably expect to do/be than about any real or imagined success criteria…Still quite interesting, though. Overall, there is a pretty good match of "achievements" (to my amazement, I’d actually thought I might do a spiritual direction course- had totally forgotten about that) – with, of course, one or two heroic failures.
For example, whatever happened to the alt worship that I was hoping to see as a regular part of my ministry?
And the regular writing?? Maybe this blog is it,- but perhaps I should try and do something more focussed....or revisit the question of an M Phil (Help! I need a topic…aaarghhh)
Church re-ordering isn’t really something I have any control over. No surprises that it hasn’t been achieved yet – for somewhere like St M’s, this is HUGE.
But the things that I really envisgaged mattering most…Presiding at the Eucharist, work with pre-school and school-aged children, funerals…those truly are the places that I feel most at home.
I’m intrigued that I thought I’d need to “learn to relate to those on the fringes of the community”. Here in CK, the fringes are often where I feel most comfortable…
I had no idea about the real pressure points for me….Time management when there is no fixed timetable…Boundaries of all sorts…those are the things that bring me up short again and again.
Perhaps, after all, this ministerial review won't be too daunting at least in the preparation. Always assuming, of course, that I actually get the paperwork done! If I manage that in good time for the deadline, I think I'll have to award myself the Curate's Medal of Extraordinary Achievement...it'll be a first.