Skip to main content

Ordination Interviews: Wrap-up

Thank you so much for all of your warm responses and prayers during my ordination interviews last week. I was surprised at just how much the interviewing process drained me of energy for the few days afterward. I felt like I could sleep for a couple days straight. I guess I didn’t realize exactly how much stress/anxiety about the interviews I had been carrying with me in the corner of my mind. When I think about it, I realize that I’ve been in the candidacy process 9 years now, beginning with The Christian as Minister, so that is a third of my life in the process! I guess it’s only natural to react to how much I’d invested in the outcome of interview day!

I do want to share with you a little bit about the process. In my conference, North Central New York, candidates go through 4 sections of interviews: Sacraments, Practice of Ministry, Call to Ministry, and Theology. We had two sections of each, A and B (the “B teams” from the Board kept joking all day that “B” didn’t mean second-string!) so that more candidates could be interviewed simultaneously, moving from section to section without break.

I met first with Sacraments. Three years ago, during commissioning interviews, this was the section I felt most uncomfortable with – just not clicking with the questions, not thrilled with my response. This time, Sacraments was probably where I felt at my best (a good way to start the day!) Maybe this is because administering the sacraments has (for me, at least) such a huge impact on how I understand and experience them. Example: The first time I shared baptism with my congregation, I could barely get through the liturgy, I was so teary, so moved. Baptism binds you forever to the person you baptize – realizing this helped me to communicate better how baptism binds us together as the body of Christ when we share in it as a community.

The Practice of Ministry was my hardest this time around. The questions seemed vague to me, instead of very specific to my experience. The questions in this section focus on growth and experience as a probationer – what’s changed in three years of pastoral ministry? What’s significant about practicing ministry? Some open-ended questions resulted in me struggling for words. But I hung in there!

Call to Ministry focused on sharing my story so far, something I’m very comfortable doing – something I’ve had to do over and over in so many situations, that it comes very easily to me. I’m sure those of you who are candidates in the process know what I mean. I was also asked there about the meaning of ordination – something I’ve struggled with and finally come to a more complete (not fully, though) understanding of – thanks especially to Bishop Willimon’s: Pastor: A Theology of Ordained Ministry.

The last section was Theology. This was a fun section, actually – questions about my blog(!) and the theology of blogging, questions about the theology of paperwork, questions about books I’ve read and not liked, and some scenario questions: what would you do if . . .

Then the waiting, waiting, waiting – the hardest part. But we waited less time than three years ago at commissioning. I got called into a little room with three Board members, including, in my group, the chair of the Board, who said, “I have one more question for you.” (Eek, my tired mind thought.) “What does gospel mean?” I said, “good news.” And she said, “That’s right. It’s good news!”

Congrats also to Laura, who I met at the GBCS Young Adult Clergy forum, who just found out she was recommended for ordination in her conference. And to those of you who’ve mentioned upcoming interviews, please do remind me when it’s your turn, so I can support you too!

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hooray. I'm so thrilled for you. I will say, the more I hear about BOOMs, the happier I am that that part of the process is still a few years away for me. I love the way they shared the good news with you!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing your story. As somone just starting the process( I'm still appying to seminary)it's very interesting to me. I love hearing stories, they make me excited and a little nervous.
Beth Quick said…
:) Really, it was much better this time around than three years ago for commissioning, in terms of knowing what to expect, and in terms of being confident in myself. I think that made it an easier day. Still no relaxing walk in the park though :)

Popular posts from this blog

re-post: devotional life for progressive Christians

I posted this a while back before anyone was really reading this blog. Now that more people seem to be stopping by, I thought I'd put it out there again with some edits/additons since it's been on my mind again... Do you find it difficult to have any sort of devotional time? When I was growing up, I was almost compulsive about my personal Bible Study, devotion time, etc. Somewhere along the way, I got more and more sporadic. In part, I found myself frustrated with the devotional books that I considered theologically too conservative. I find it hard to bond with God when you're busy mentally disagreeing with the author of whatever resource you're reading. My habit was broken, and I've never gotten it back for more than a few weeks at a time. So, a disciplined devotional/prayer/bible-reading life - is it something I should be striving to get back, or something that is filled by other ways I am close to God? This is a debate I have with myself all the time. On the

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been