I’ve got a discernment parish!

The call came yesterday during the only 5 minute period I wasn’t at my desk all morning!

I’ve been moved forward in the process and assigned to a “discernment” parish. It’s basically an internship of about 10 hours a week at a parish that is different from my home parish. I will be there every week for the next 6 months.

Church-by-the-Creek is in an area that used to be very rural. The area is now a combination of historic yet economically depressed towns, old farms, and new home construction. They also experienced a very damaging “1000 year” flood within the last year.

I spoke with their rector yesterday. I will be starting there in the next couple of weeks.

My rector has spoken highly of their (all-female!) ministry team.

I had not thought of Church-by-the-Creek before but I am very very excited about starting my placement there.

I have been so overwhelmed, excited, and moved by my experience with the COM last Sat. and now my assignment to this parish and my first conversation with their rector that I don’t even know how to blog about it.

I’ve gone from “can I possibly get through this process” to a point where I’ve begun to appreciate how formative the process really is. I’m also having a bit of trouble believing that I’ve reached the point where they are ready to test my call in another parish…

I cannot describe what it is like to finally be taken seriously and be treated like the person I have always believed I could be. I also cannot articulate my joy at the thought that finally, finally, the days when I do what I love all the time instead of in my spare time are within sight. Those days are not exactly close, but at least I can see them far off in the distance. Let me explain. When I graduated from college, there were not many jobs for someone like me. I had a double major that was an impractical combination of a social science and a humanity. I had to move back into my parents’ home for 2 years. Later I moved out on my own. Eventually I married Computer Guy. Then I started the discernment process.

From the time I graduated from college until now, what I did for a living was dictated by the need to pay bills, not by the need to love my work or use my God given gifts and talents. This meant a lot of work I was overqualified for. This meant working as an admin assistant, scheduling, filing, answering phones, making travel arrangements, proofing other people’s manuscripts, living and dying by a time clock, stuffing envelopes, xeroxing. I dislike doing most of these things. And what I dislike even more is how some people treat their assistants. As if they live to serve, with no will of their own. As if they lack intelligence. As if they don’t have important things going on in their lives. Because of the way I was treated, I was ashamed of what I did for a living. Even though I was working hard for good organizations in order to have health insurance and pay the bills, I always felt like I was wasting my gifts and time and money spent on my college education. It eroded my confidence and made me wonder if I would ever be qualified to do anything I dreamed of.

So although The Process is intimidating, and I am stressed at about all I have to learn, etc. it is with great joy that I begin my next step.

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~ by Sophia on September 21, 2005.

7 Responses to “I’ve got a discernment parish!”

  1. Computer Guy here.I’m proud of you! It really makes me happy to see you reaching for something you care about. It’s also exciting to see other people recognize that abilities and call I’ve seen in you. I knew the COM members would think you were great, even though you were worried. They know they’re lucky to have such a gifted, special person who has heard the call to do something they also care about, just like everyone else you’ve had to meet with (and worried about ahead of time). 🙂Keep it up – and enjoy it while dealing with all the craziness of a very busy schedule. I’ll do my best to help you however I can.Love you!your Computer Guy (husband, for infrequent readers, if there are any…:-)

  2. Isn’t he just the best?I LOVE Computer Guy!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Congratulations. And isn’t it nice to be able to tell people on the COM, “I told you so.”Keep plugging away. And always stay positive.

  4. Great news!

  5. sounds very promising! how exciting to be working with an all-female staff.

  6. oh ho almost missed this one …blessings and love for church-by-the-creek 🙂

  7. Bravo and congratulations, Steph! It sounds like your diocese’s process is very different from mine. We do meetings with presenting priest, evaluations, meeting with COM rep, then Parish Discernment Committee, then big COM interviews, then Bishop interview, then postulancy interview. we don’t do a discernment parish internship, which I think is a great idea. In any case, getting to work in a place like Church by the Creek sounds wonderful. I hope they give you an enriching experience.

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