Monday, September 12, 2005

Greek et al

Tonight's our first Koine Greek class at church. I've been studying on my own, using a computer program, but I think I'll progress faster with the stimulus of a class. Our rector was a classics scholar while in college, and it should be a good group.

He's also lined up my parish discernment committee (the next step in my discernment process) and will nominate them for the vestry to approve next week. Can't wait to get started! Nine sessions. One organizing meeting, five sessions with me, one with PH, one to vote on whether they'll support my move to postulancy, and an optional last one to review my writeup of the process.

On the "Oy vey" front, StrongOpinions says that Useless Boyfriend, who will leave for school in the Midwest next week, has pledged his undying love. They're thinking of living together when he's done with school in two years. She will then be a sophomore in college. All I can hope for is that Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears, or someone of that ilk, will spirit him away before the die is cast. Ah, well, StrongOpinions is a smart girl and a beautiful one, and hopefully a better life choice, or even better, a better temporary choice, will appear on the radar screen once Useless is out of the way. She is too young for anything like this. Do I sound like a scheming mom? You betcha!


reverendmother said...

I LOVED Greek. Even worked as a TA one summer. Have a wonderful time.

Absence sometimes makes the heart grow fonder, but much more often, it's out of sight, out of mind. Especially with young ones like that. I know from personal experience.

Sophia said...

I agree with reverendmother about the boyfriend. As their lives become more and more different, the most likely scenario is that they will gradually realize they have little in common anymore. Hopefully this will lead to a quiet and not too traumatic decision to "see other people" etc.

Prayers and best wishes as you begin the parish committee part of the process. That step was difficult but very very rewarding and formative for me. One of the issues I had with my committee initially was their treatment of the situation like a job interview. It didn't seem like we were talking about "call" much at all. Thankfully, my rector and I had done an in-depth study of the ordination service prior to the establishment of the committee. This greatly helped me guide my committee to a discussion more related to priestly ministry and less like an interview for an HR director.

mibi52 said...

Reverendmother-I'm hoping you're right. That's been my experience as well.

Steph-our diocese has a very structured PDC procedure, and a lot of the discussion is based upon my autobiographical/spiritual reflection writing exercise. It's also based on "Listening Hearts," and I am hoping it will be spiritual in its focus rather than a job interview. I've got some good people on my committee, and I expect they'll challenge me. We'll see. I'm hopeful...

Did either of you read Nora Gallagher's book "Practicing Resurrection" about her own vocational discernment process? Very interesting and thoughtful book.

Sophia said...

We used Listening Hearts and my spiritual autobiography also. I had a good cross section of the congregation on my committee, and they did an excellent job. However, many of them are business people, and it took a while for them to step outside of that world.

When I went to talk to my rector about that particular issue, he was sympathetic but said something along the lines of "this is what you will need to expect from members of your congregation as a priest." He talked about how hard it is for people to understand the life of a parish priest, especially if they make a living doing work that requires clocking in and out. We talked a lot about how it's difficult to quantify a vocation that is more about presence than about a list of tasks.

One thing I've heard from others who have gone through the process is that being on a parish committee is often a life changing experience for a parishioner. Most committees take their work very seriously and will be your biggest cheerleaders during the diocesan process. My committee members put A LOT of time into their part of the process, and really did their homework. They would look up things we discussed and come back with more information for the group to consider. They took turns finding interesting forms of Compline to say at the end of meetings. In the end, I was humbled and honored to have worked with them.

Sorry for the long post.

Sophia said...

Oh, and I have not read the book you mentioned - I think I will go look it up now.


mibi52 said...

Thanks, Steph. I'm looking forward to the experience, and your insights will help me to process what happens there. One of the people on my committee has a Master's in religion from Yale (gulp!), another a Master's in mathematics from Radcliffe(in her generation women were not allowed in Harvard). A couple of businesspeople, a State Department person, generationally and theologically diverse.

First meeting is supposed to be on Sunday...should be interesting.