Tuesday, October 24, 2006

new beginnings

In July, I resigned from my position as pastor for various reasons. Primarily, my vision of church did not mesh with the church I was serving. I could work at imposing my vision, but was that healthy? I took a step back and let go. For my own health and the health of the congregation. It happens at times when pastors are called for their strengths to complement the weaknesses of the congregation. However, the strenghts of the congregation are sometimes the weakness of the minister. At times, those strengths and weaknesses are so central to belief and call that to capitulate is not possible. Both are good, but together are bad. It is like lemon juice is good. Milk is good. They suck together.

In the interim, I left the church without a position to move into. So, what do I do.

I told myself that I would have to get a job, but I was scared to get a full time job. I would want to make a commitment to stay in a place for awhile before moving on. My wife and I talked about me doing some CPE work and so in September I applied for a CPE position. CPE is clinical pastoral education. It is a process of learning predominantly in hospitals where a person works on pastoral skills and pastoral identity. I thought that I needed to do both. So, I am doing an extended unit of CPE.

I find CPE pretty neat experience and environment. There is a structure to chaplaincy and also a sense of freshness. I do not know if I want to be a chaplain, but I am searching that part out of my call. It is about 12 hours a week. So, I get to hang out with dead bodies at times and people who are going through trauma. It is interesting work.

So, I have filled my other time with a retail job. I needed something that simpler and had some structure to it. I started tonight at the store. It is a clothing store and I enjoyed the work. Made my first sale tonight, woohoo.

In a way, I am excited about these two developments of my life. It means that I have worth and to be honest I was not sure if anything I did was worthwhile. However, I notice I do have some good skills working with people and perhaps that is what God is calling this time. A time of healing, purification, and perhaps this is my own little diaspora.

God is faithful, so I will continue to trust.

Fearless Joy,