Thursday, December 01, 2005

All the Leaves are Brown . . .

Today I fly out for an interview at the church that has appeared in these blogs intermittently over the last couple of months--the one that wanted at least six signatures in blood from Presbyterians in good standing swearing they thought I could lead a church of more than 50 members. (Okay I'm exagerating). Keep me and all concerned in your prayers--for travelling mercies and clear discernment.

And leave a comment telling a story of the clearest "sign" you ever got one way or another about taking or not taking a particular job/call/opportunity.


Sue said...

Probably the clearest sign of an impending call came to me when I was in a very unfortunate pastoral relationship (my settlement charge) and was really struggling there.

I was serving as the clergy rep on a Search Committee for another United Church in town. One member of that committee (who is now my Ministry & Personnel chair) said, "When are you going to leave this Search Committee and submit a resume for us to look at?"

She was right of course, it was the obvious thing to do. I knew from the start that it would be a good fit, and it was....and it still is. I am truly blessed to have been so graciously plunked into the very place that God was calling me to be.

Quotidian Grace said...

Here's how I became a DCE. My daughter Babs was serving on our session as the youth elder. The church had created a DCE position and a search committee several months before.

Babs came back from a session meeting and said,"Mom, why don't you become the DCE? You've taught Sunday School for years, you're good at organizing."

I'd never considered doing that before, but suddenly it made a lot of sense to me and everyone else. I felt called to do the work--and I'm still here today, almost 5 years later!

Praying for your discernment as you travel...

reverendmother said...

Those are great stories, sue and QG!

For me the clearest signs are when all the logic stuff of discernment (pro and con lists, gathering data) matches up with the gut. It's like this sudden feeling of ZING!!

I ended up at the seminary I attended because I'd done a lot of research on the school, then I went to visit. I got there late at night, so I didn't see the campus until the next morning. I literally stepped out onto the quad to attend an 8 a.m. class and all but heard the words, "This is home."

Traveling mercies to you, PCIT.

Patti said...

I will pray for traveling mercies and an unmistakable sign about what you should do.

When I was applying for graduate school, I couldn't decide between counseling or education. I filled out both applications and decided I would pursue the program that accepted me first. It was education!

cheesehead said...

When I was discerning seminary, we visited several. There were two or three that were logical choices--kinda sorta commuting distance from where we lived. One was very near our families.

But when I stood on Geneva Terrace, staring at a mountain. I turned to OEH and said, "We are so going here." and he replied, "Oh yeah." We knew we were "home".

I have several very bad discernment stories about knowing when a place was a very BAD fit. Most of them involve churches who have already found their dream candidate but COM insists that they go ahead and interview all candidates that they have purchased plane tickets for.

One involved a church that had planned a very nice going away dinner for my spouse and I after Sunday worship of the neutral pulpit weekend, but sometime between the benediction and getting in the cars it had become something akin to Mc Donald's. Their reason:"It's closer to the airport for you." Unfortunately, they had already told me that they were taking us to a place known for its prime rib.


reverendmother said...

Oh revmom, how dreadful.

A young friend of mine did an interview in small southern town, accompanied by his new bride, herself seminary-bound. They greeted him, and even had a gift for her--a bouquet of flowers and a cookbook.

For some other couple, perhaps this would be a sweet gesture, and it was that, but it was also a clear and immediate sense of Not a Fit.

SpookyRach said...

Oh Lord, Revmom! That's awful!

Laughing at the cookbook, RM.

Jackson once interviewed for a job with a big company. The night after the interview, my father met a stranger at a hotel and while chatting he mentioned he used to work for the company. He graciously urged my father to call us that night to ask Jackson to really check out the company before taking the job.

We didn't follow the advice and he took the job. Quit it two weeks later.

cheesehead said...

Omigod, a cookbook???


I should add my very good discernemnt process story, now that I got the negative one out of my system.

I got an e-mail from someone from my CPM (Committee on Prepration for Ministry for all the non-presbies they are the folks in your home area who oversee your process). She was teling me about this church in our presbytery that had been looking for over three years. "What a dog." I'm thinking to myself, then I remember that I was the last one from my class to get a call. Even though they didn't look like a perfect fit on paper, this person who knew my story, and knew their story very well insisted that I contact them. The chemistry was as close to instantaneous as you can get with a conference call!

The moral: be willing to look beyond the words on the CIF.

cheesehead said...

Okay, I'm on Vicodin. Please excuse the typos.

St. Casserole said...

I hope all this goes well for you. I think you'll know if the "fit" is right for you. No point in being too rational about choices here. You are hoping for a grand enchantment and why not? Ministry is both brain and gut. Or, as my Mother would prefer I say, intelligence and intuition.
Thinking of you.

ppolarbear said...


mis_nomer said...

Clearest sign? Not getting the job! :)

Lorna said...

I really wanted something. The door closed. I was devastated because I'd thought it was God's will, but in my heart if I'm really honest, I knew.

Turned out He had something much better planned, but sometimes a NO is the sign. Didn't mean it was easy to accept at the time.

Discernment is a process and your heart and the circumstances (also through others) will be the sign. It might not be the star over the stable, but you'll see it and recognise it. God sees our individuality and uniqueness and His sheep hear His voice. You'll know :)Deep down you'll know!