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St. Lawrence Lounge (Vocations, lay-ministries, and discernment)

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by benedictine, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Deegie

    Deegie Priest of the Church Supporter

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    While I certainly know some deacons who have done that, in my part of the world, there are a number of (what we would call "permanent" or "vocational") deacons who have ministries to the community but use the parish as their home base, so to speak. They live out that grand vision of the church as the place where we gather together to be fed and strengthened and then are sent out into the world to do God's work. One of my friends, for example, does this primarily at a homeless shelter. Another works on the streets with primarily LGBT youth who are homeless. I think it requires the deacon finding a cause or a ministry which really excites him or her, and then using it to be an icon of diakonos to the church they serve.

    I am beginning to believe more and more the maxim that the more time the deacon spends in the church building, the less they are actually living out their calling.
     
  2. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    The difficulty with that sort of role, I think, deegie, is that it's difficult to get a license while doing it. If it's not a church role, the diocese seems to think you don't need church authorisation to do it.

    Which is sad, because ideally the church should recognise that this is exactly part of our mission!
     
  3. gordonhooker

    gordonhooker Franciscan tssf Supporter

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    I was told I was too old...
     
  4. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Did you tell them that's what Sarah thought, too?

    Gah.
     
  5. gordonhooker

    gordonhooker Franciscan tssf Supporter

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    Didn't think of that one - in a country of shrinking numbers of clergy I thought it was a little silly...
     
  6. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I do understand why they don't want to, say, pay for full training for someone who's never going to work in a ministry role due to age. But I think the church should be open to discerning and fostering vocations at every stage in life.
     
  7. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    Does the church pay for your training?
     
  8. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Varies by diocese. My diocese doesn't pay for your course fees etc, but they do pay a small allowance which is supposed to help with expenses - to candidates younger than 50.
     
  9. gordonhooker

    gordonhooker Franciscan tssf Supporter

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    My offer was purely as a volunteer and I wasn't the diocese to pay for anything. The extra theological training I have paid for.
     
  10. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

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    You would be unlikely to hear that from a continuing jurisdiction, but I realize we are primarily an American phenomenon.

    Most continuing priests are on a second vocation (ie. 60+). I am the youngest clergyman in my jurisdiction (32).
     
  11. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

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    Perhaps another area where my particular jurisdiction is a bit of an outlier is that in the discernment process, it is not assumed that the aspirant will automatically be transitional. Thus, the calling to the priesthood is not discussed in great depth. The diaconal calling is given space to be pursued and mastered. And we have a high ratio of permanent deacons as a result.

    In fact, even for those who are transitional, it is rare for them to be ordained to the priesthood after only twelve months. There are various reasons for this depending on the case at hand. In my own case, I have been tasked with completing a particular course of study. Perhaps also as a result of this lack of pressure or rush to push candidates through the orders, our deacons typically find much to do. More than a few are in charge of missions and even a parish in one or two cases. Most are licensed to preach. Many work in chaplaincy of one form or another.
     
  12. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    It's not assumed, for us. I can clearly remember the form having four tick boxes - distinctive deacon or priest, and stipendiary or non-stipendiary. But they did make it clear that stipendiary roles for distinctive deacons are not the norm.

    I do think a longer diaconate would be a good thing. Here we're typically deaconed in February and priested in November, and it definitely made for a very intense year.
     
  13. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    So I told my rector that I want to start discernment for orders. Yikes! Pray for me.
     
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  14. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Definitely praying!

    How did your rector respond?
     
  15. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    He was ecstatic and told me to block off my calendar for the next diocesan candidacy retreat in February, so I'm taking that as a good sign.
     
  16. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    That's almost a year to wait; is there any part of the formal process which will happen before that?

    In the meantime, are there ways you can be intentional about preparing, both spiritually and, not less importantly, practically?
     
  17. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    Practically I need to save up money for my psych exam, get all my transcripts together and track down my baptism and confirmation certificates. SInce I'm discerning which order as well, there is going to be praying and conversation about that, and I'm probably going to need to find a spiritual director. And we haven't talked about this in detail yet, but I think you can start the parish discernment process before the diocese gets involved.
     
  18. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    It all sounds very different to here, so I don't know that I can make any practical comment.

    If the discernment process goes well, are you looking at a long course of study? I think I remember that you've already done some theological study?
     
  19. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    I have done some theological study, a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies. If I discern for the priesthood, I will need to go back to school. There is a chance I would need to start over and get a full on M.Div, which I really don't want to do. I also might be fine with a Anglican Diploma, which is still a one year course at a seminary. So I'm talking about a lot of money any way I slice it. If I discern for the vocational diaconate, there is in this diocese a 3 year long Deacon's School where I essentially do a distant study thing and have 3 days of classes one weekend a month. All deacon candidates are required to do that in this diocese, even those with M.Divs from Episcopal seminaries.
     
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  20. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    You'd hope there'd be proper recognition of prior learning, and that you'd be able to just fill in the gaps of whatever your diocese considers essential that you haven't done yet.

    I know in the year or so leading up to my selection conference, I did a lot to get my finances in order so I could withstand the cost/loss of income involved with study. But I'm sure you'll be able to work that stuff out.
     
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