I went to lunch with one of my favorite members of Saint Middle School. Because he can afford it, he took me to a very lovely Greek restaurant, and we even had a glass of wine with lunch (how bold of me).
My agenda was to get him to open up about what he thinks SMS does well, and about what he sees as the parish's "growing edges."
His agenda was to get me to come be SMS's next vicar.
Could you hear me tap-dancing on the luncheon table?
There were so many elements of this that troubled me. First, he isn't on the Search Committee. Second, the Vestry and the Search Committee haven't done the bulk of the work they need to do to truly ascertain what kind of vicar they need, so even if they all wanted me right now, they wouldn't know if I was what they needed. Third, there are a number of moving parts to SMS's situation as a mission church that need to be settled out before they can propoerly define the job and the requisite skills.
And yet it felt good to feel wanted, even though I strongly suspect this is not the place God is calling me for my first job out of seminary. Which leads me to the "aha" moment of the day: I've got to be careful to sort out the compliment from the call. By this I mean the lovely feeling of someone thinking I have the gifts to do a good job there as opposed to my visceral sense that the Spirit is leading me to this place. I've also got to keep reminding myself not to freak out if I don't have a job lined up instantly, or next month, or even by mid-April.
That said, tomorrow begins the Diocesan Council, the official starting gate for the job search. While there, I'm hoping to chat with three rectors who are in search for assistants, and to find out what other positions may open up. Please say a prayer that I trust God and not try to do it all myself. And please also send me a great job with a wonderful mentor/colleague in a parish full of sane people and with a budget that can support a decent salary for me....yeah, I know. One thing at a time.