Monday, March 08, 2010

Seeing the wood for the trees

Today was my first session with the rather fantastic work consultant that I have somehow been blessed with (I still find it very hard to believe either that  
a) I managed to ask for help or
b) that she happened to have space and time to take me on)

I talked an awful lot as I outlined the journey so far and tried to give her a sense of the landscape of my life and ministry...In true ENFP I didn't realise some of it til I heard myself speak it aloud - but that was good and useful.
I talked about the energy needed and expended in frantic plate juggling and together we identified some of those plates
  • Sunday worship - with a special focus on my longing to pull the liturgy together and to build a children's choir at Church in the Valley
  • Messy Church
  • Schools work - assemblies, governor work, pastoral support, "being there"
  • Occasional offices - with the wealth of extra opportunities that they present but also the equivalent volume of extra work
  • Trying hard to be a "good enough" training incumbent in a situation that is so utterly unlike my own experience of curacy
  • Working towards our community project, to connect assorted agencies with those in the parish who most need access to them
  • Youth work - building on the embryonic Youth Emmaus group but looking for ways to continue their nurture beyond Confirmation
  • follow on work with our First Communion group
  • building pastoral relationships with care homes, sheltered housing, individuals...those beyond the Sunday congregation
  • shedloads of awful awful admin - the stuff of open churchyards, busy wedding lists, and non-existent parish office staff
I failed to mention spiritual direction, diocesan synod and Board of Education, deanery pastoral committee etc etc but just trying to identify the headline concerns made it abundantly clear that the feeling that sometimes it is all way too much for one person is actually quite justified!

Even rather fantastic work consultants can't make things vanish just like that, though it's possible that she may persuade me to let go of some of them....but she wisely suggested nothing of the sort today! Instead she asked me, interestingly, which thing I felt I most "had" to do, and which one I most "wanted" to do.
The answer to both?
Messy Church!

Over the next few months, I guess we'll work out how to arrange plates, put them down safely, hand over the juggling poles to other people...It's going to be interesting, I think, but a huge blessing to have someone wise and wonderful to wade through the tides with me.


Songbird said...

I'm glad you have someone to help with this. I often listen to your schedule and want to lie down just hearing it!

howard said...

Totally applaud all the list of things, but in order to achieve more than one or two surely you need to add another one...getting some Lay folk to share responsibility for initiating and bringing things into being, sadly the result will be exhaustion and a culture of dependency.

Take care & God bless

howard said...

Whoops. Can you spot where the word 'otherwise' should have fitted in to that last comment?

Anonymous said...

So glad you love your job, otherwise all the plate juggling would be truly miserable for you. I'd love to work with you but fear that if anyone were to take even the smallest bit away from you, you would fill it the redeemed time with more stuff.

Kathryn said...

Howard - yes, couldn't agree more. Building up the confidence of the people here after a very long stint of clerical dependency is part of the underlying task in all of that. There are green shoots...will try and blog them later.

Song in my Heart said...

I'm so glad this went well.