Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Video: DDO 2

I said at the end of this video that I'd put 'everything else' in the blogpost, but there's not much more to tell really. The meeting happened last week, so since then I've filled in the form and the DDO has said that he himself will be my DO for discernment, so we're going to meet again to go over the form and he can get to know my story. He'll request references, and soon he wants to start setting up 3 assessors, a lay person, a priest, and a psychology professional, with whom I will have 3 hour long conversations on which they will write a report each. I've also registered for the London Diocese Towards Ordained Ministry 'course' which is six Monday evening talks/events in Jan/Feb. And I spent an afternoon this week with a lot of other interns and PAs from the diocese, doing a safeguarding overview.
That's all there is for the moment! It's all quite smooth really, I'm just carrying on, doing my job, filling in forms. It's a feeling of forward motion that's like when you're on a train, where you feel simultaneously like you're sitting still.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Video: DDO 1

I went to see the Area Director of Ordinands for Two Cities Area in the Diocese of London. We spent an hour talking, and like I said in the video, it was mostly going over what The Process will look like. There wasn't any expectation that I would actually contribute or say much beyond a little bit about myself, which was quite a relief to be honest.

In the last clip, because it was the end of the day and I was genuinely about to go to bed, I totally forgot to mention the one exciting part of the conversation.

If you've followed this blog for a while, you'll know that I was originally very eager to get going and went through a period of severe frustration before coming to terms with the slow nature of exploration and discernment of vocation. In the last few months I have become content with letting go of planning and just being led without knowing the long term timetable, only expecting that it would be rather a long time.

So imagine my surprise, when I was asked about a time frame, and I replied that I understood that starting the process October 2016 gave too short a time to aim to go for theological training September 2017, that the response was that, in fact, that is exactly what he would recommend! So going forward, that's what my assigned DO and I will be aiming for! See below for the terrifying details.

Scary new information:
- this part of discernment is in two clear cut phases. Phase One is the part I'm in now, first meeting with the DDO, through the conversations with my assigned DO. Eventually, the DO will set up a meeting with the Archdeacon (on behalf of the Bishop, because in London, the Bishop is understandably busy!) who will then recommend or not to the Bishop that I be put forward for selection, and if yes, the Bishop's office will send a letter authorising moving forward. Once I have that letter in my hand, Phase Two starts - getting a BAP date, then putting together the application paperwork, submitting the paperwork, preparing for the BAP, and then of course going on the BAP. Phase Two is a minimum 12 week period

Looking at the BAP dates 2017, the latest one I could go to with the plan to start college Sep 2017, is Jun 26 - 29, so I would have start Phase Two by Apr 3, and submit paperwork by May 15. Holy smokes, that's so soon! Just 6 months away!!

Other new information:
- the DO is well beyond their own doubts about a candidate when they decide to start proceedings to register them on a BAP; they don't make that decision if they are unsure, and they become an advocate on behalf of the candidate, helping them best present themselves to others
- Evangelical churches, certainly in London, have their own circles of support
- after being recommended for training, you don't have to go immediately. The recommendation has a 3 year use-by date.

I'm going to fill in my form, and meet with the DDO again next week. OMG THIS IS HAPPENING. And breathe.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Video: Big news about next steps

That's it, that's the news. That happened Saturday, then Monday I got a phone call from the DDO to arrange a meeting, and suddenly it's happening this Wednesday morning! It's like everything has been calm and serene, then a tidal wave has come out of nowhere and knocked me over and now I can't tell which way is up.

I sort of can't believe it's actually happening. This mysterious 'discernment process' that I've heard others talk about, and imagined what it might be like, is now going to be revealed to me. I'm going to do it, me. This is not a drill people, this is go time, we're going over the top!

I'm a little speechless to be honest, which you might have been able to tell in the video. I suppose it had got to the point that, whilst I had not given up that this day would come, I had at least stopped looking towards it any more.

Blimey charlie. Well, I'll see you on the other side.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Video: Gabriel Collective

Above is a vlog of my day at an event called Gabriel Two. I was there working with the Gabriel Collective who were the team that put on the event. Check out more videos and info at gabrielcollective.org.

I got involved in Gabriel Collective because I vlog on this blog, and I caught wind of them on the Church of England podcast I think, or on Twitter maybe, because they encourage and support young people sharing their faith via online video. Now obviously I'm actually just sharing my personal vocation story here, but that is still a vehicle for evangelism I suppose, and at 24, I count as a young person.

It's been good for me, being part of GC, because Criteria H: Mission and Evangelism is one of the bumps I hit when going through the Criteria for Selection to the Ordained Ministry in the Church of England. You can watch the relevant section of one of my oldest vlogs here (link starts at Criteria H at 27:46 - don't judge me, I hadn't started actually editing the videos I put up at that point!) to see where I was on the subject a year ago. I should do another video (shorter and actually edited this time) going through the Criteria again, thinking about it. It's going on the to-do list!

Anyway, I had a great time at Gabriel Two, and I'll plug the Collective's message for a moment - anyone can do this! Get out your phone and put a faith-related video on Youtube - if muggins here can do it, it shows jut how easy it is. Have a go!

And for those following the story of this blog, things are still going well at St Martin's and I'm seeing the rector of St James' on Saturday, so you can expect the next installment some time after that.