Thursday, 8 February 2018

LGBT ordinand

A sermon by a bisexual ordinand
 in a school chapel, 
speaking on LGBT history month.*

*including my story, bisexual nuns, Peru, Frida Kahlo, and textiles.

Video has no visuals, just the audio, as I was at a school, so cannot show the footage that includes the children. My audio equipment failed, so the sound is just the inbuilt camera mic - I recommend putting on the subtitles (button bottom right of the video) to follow more easily.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

First term as an ordinand

My goodness look, she’s put up a text post, huzzah! I know, I know, I’ve been a bit lazy and just put up videos for a while.

But in the wake of my first term as an ordinand, I don’t think I can reflect coherently on how I am and how things are in a video. It’s been a packed 11 weeks, busier than I anticipated. I’ve needed to be easy on myself, and not get guilty about the things that I’ve felt I haven’t done well.

I didn’t know what to expect going in. I didn’t know how to organise myself with an academic degree – ‘doing some reading’, lecture notes, the library, ‘pre-reading’. Foreign territory, all of it. And since my last post about the retreat, we’ve had several deadlines for essays, which has been the real meat of the term, academically speaking. I was totally unprepared for that, and I’ve learnt a lot of lessons which will hopefully mean next term will be better.

Amongst that I’ve been struggling the sustain myself spiritually and socially, plus not been able to do exercise, and I even had to give up cooking in the last few weeks, and only eat in the dining hall. I ended up in a bit of a heap by the end. But I feel overall positive about the whole thing, which seems odd, but like I said, I’m being easy on myself. My first term of nine may not have been smooth but there were no disasters, nothing actually ‘went wrong’, and I’m still happy to be where I am.

I’m making friends, getting good marks back from the essays, getting on with my housemates, connecting with various clergy in the area. I’ve been on placement with a great chaplain and I’ve even given a sermon! I had visitors from the south a couple of weekends, there was a fantastic Christmas party to finish term and say goodbye to the deputy warden – trying to summarise the whole term is pretty tricky, but there are tons of positives.

But life has been very full. I have felt a little dragged along with it, getting on with things when I didn’t understand them 100%, didn’t have time to get to grips with them as fully as I would have liked, which for me is a stressful place to be in. I’ve not really acknowledged my underlying stress, and I should. I’m not ‘stressed out’ but I just have not felt grounded.

My tutor pointed out that one factor is not really having a lot of contact with my home ground kind of church – I’m spending most of my time at either much lower, at college, or higher, at my placement chapel; and I think she’s right that it’s had an impact. I was at St James’ on Sunday for the morning service and Nine Lessons and Carols, and there was a relief to be with people ‘like me’. Now I realise that this is partly an evolutionary hang up that we really must get over, but that doesn’t stop me feeling that way.

At least I have actually enjoyed building relationships with evangelicals and conservatives at college, even if it’s been an effort. And it’s not been as bad as it could have been, because said evangelicals have been very open; the way I put it is they may think I’m going to hell, but if they do they don’t seem to hold it against me.

Like I said, hopefully I’ll have more of a handle on my academic work next term, which means I can schedule in down time, exercise, socialising, and other stress release things. Plus some of this term’s stress sources should be a lot less stressful because I’m now more familiar with everything new, and I'll start seeing a spiritual director.

So, first term as an ordinand. Overall positive, lessons learned, hopeful in moving forward. God is with me.

PS How AWESOME that the new Bishop of London, my sponsoring bishop, is a woman!!

PPS watch out for my next adventure - I'm flying to Switzerland next week!