Why Am I Still Here?

It has not been easy to shake off being Anglican. I’ve tried to move into other groups, but with no success. Either I backed out quickly or it was obvious said Christian group really did not want the likes of me. (And I’m still not so sure if the Anglicans want me.)

Frustrated, I offered the problem back to the Lord. Why am I still here? And the Lord did give an answer, quite clearly: This is where you are called. Your ordination means something.

Problematic as my relationship is with the Anglican church and Anglican tradition, God has dropped me into it and I am to wait, more or less patiently (and that depends on me, doesn’t it) until something happens, or until God and I can make it happen.

I am, according to those who have experienced my ministry, a good priest. I am conscientious, orthodox, and thoughtful. I work hard, I give more than expected. I am a good preacher, a good teacher, and a Book of Common Prayer traditionalist. I live a quiet life these days. I am dedicated to my husband. My idea of a fun evening is a little Charles Dickens in front of the fire with a tiny glass of brandy. I can cook, sew, garden, and shear a sheep. I’m healthy and physically strong. I like staying home and don’t want to go to conferences and workshops and committee meetings. (OOPS! That is not a plus in the Anglican church!)

I can live on very little money, I am a good housekeeper, can cope with old buildings and can mend paraments and vestments. I can sing and chant.

So why don’t I have a church?

Hello? Anglican Church? This is me…still here.

11 thoughts on “Why Am I Still Here?

  1. Oh, I wish we could get you up here. Our ‘priest’ is here only for the money. In fact she complained the other day about not getting enough. Even though she is paid 48K, plus free house, free heat and who knows what else. She’s also very terrible at visiting the house/hospital bound. When my friend’s husband died (very suddenly) they had a hard time even tracking down our priest! But it seems no one wants our parish??

    • I’d like to be up your way, but don’t know what diocese you’re in, or who your bishop is. And for 48K, housing and benes, I would visit each of you in turn! I like visits, as long as they are wanted; some parishes look at the visiting priest as if she’s an alien from Mars. My visiting theology is that those that need them get them first, and I’ll see the rest of you on Sunday, right? I was a hospital chaplain; it’s an important ministry and a needful prayer at the right time has led some back to a closer relationship with God, which is why we are out there.

  2. I’m not sure who our bishop is, we’ve had a few. I think he’s based out of Ottawa. As for parish, it’s the Stafford-Whitewater parish, we’re 6 churches. But of course, there isn’t a service at all six every Sunday :)

    Home visits are very important. Especially those that can’t get out. My friend’s husband got run over by a hay wagon and was wheelchair/housebound. Well you could probably count the number of times he received Communion in the 5 years after his accident.

    I will warn you that you might seem too conservative to most folks around here. But then again, if/when this priest quits we will be pretty desperate. From what I can gather, this priest was the only one to want the job??

    • I think I know who your bishop is – John Chapman; he was dean at Nicholas’s seminary. My last parish was five churches, with four Sunday services (all me.) The only way to do six weekly services is that two have to be Saturday evening, or half need to be with lay readers. Distance between churches makes scheduling difficult. But multiple points and services is just part of rural ministry.

      Quite often, rural parishes do not suit recent seminary grads. They had expected a single point, programme type church of at least one hundred attendees, not ten people in an old Sunday School building, no music, no resources, no lay reader. We all start out with dreams of a cathedral! But the reality is that rural churches are often the most poorly served while in the most need. It takes a rural person to understand the challenges and appreciate the wisdom and spirituality.

      I am too conservative, apparently for anyone! But I’m not evangelical conservative, just traditional. I could define myself as a 16th century Anglican (since I have experience of the Latin Rite as well.)

      Quite possibly, the distant rural parish just didn’t appeal to many; your priest may have had the choice of it or nothing, and wanted to get to work. It’s not the best circumstances, but we must make the best of what God gives us!

      • Yes, that’s our bishop. I will let you know if I hear anything more definite. You never know. I sure wish we could get a priest who cares.

  3. Magdelaina,

    In a twist of irony, our minister announced yesterday morning that he has been offered, and has accepted a promotion to become Bishop of Woollongong. We’re without a successor; don’t know who the diocese will appoint, since the last time, it took the power to choose out of the hands of the parish because the former minister was too ’16th Century’ and not evangelical enough. We don’t have a bishop for Southern Sydney (he retired in July and the spot hasn’t been filled. So, St. Bedes/St. Thomas’s Beverley Hills/Kingsgrove is in need of a new minister, and my friend who’s studying for her Ph.D. in theology told me yesterday that there’s not enough womans’ input into things; So, if you’re able to travel and God willing) the Arch Bishop of Sydney and his cohorts can be convinced, WE NEED A MINISTER LIKE YOU!!!!!!!!!! YOu’d have three junior ministers and would oversee around half a dozen programmes/church plants (Kingsgrove is a chinese church and fairly autonomous and self-regulating/funding), so it’d be St. Bede’s (Beverley Hills) where you’d be based. You’d be a breath of fresh air and with your scriptural straight talk with a deep humility and care for others, would be fabulous! (and I’d not be the only coverer :-) )

    if only God might will it…(I pray the ‘impossible’…

    Blessings,

    Sarah.

    • God bless you, Sarah, yes, I’d move anywhere as long as I can get health coverage for Nicholas! And to say “I have a church in Beverley Hills” would set people back a bit. I will pray over this, I have asolutely no money so would have to be financed, but have next to nothing in household furnishings, so we would be easy to move if this were to come about. I am casually looking overseas, but so far have contacted no bishops. My own bishop would probably love to send me to Australia. Thanks for bring ing this up – I will look into it.

  4. Well, I had a look over at Sydney Media; lots of pictures of men! Are there any women? Is there any easy way to contact the Archbishop? I will try through the internet, but often, that goes awry. Thanks!

  5. Magdelaina,

    hmm……….yes…………..if you were to come, and accepted, you’d be the first woman in most of these anglican churches around here……..

    Anglican Church of Australia
    Sydney Diosese secretariat
    St Andrews House,
    Sydney Square. NSW 2000
    AUSTRALIA.

    In a humourous aside, my hubby has just read the phone book for me, and looked up ‘Church of England’ but under ‘church of’; it started with Church of jesus Christ of latter Day Saints, then the next listing down the page was ‘church of Scientology; he wonders if they’ll do? :-) (but he’s a cheeky so and so :-)

    No, more seriously, we need those like you here!!

    There are only two or three churches in the diocese that would be considered ‘high Church’; Hurstville, Christchurch St. Lawrence, and St. James King Street (though the mob at St. Andrews House would wish they’d go away…me thinks)…

    Southern Sydney has no Bishop and as fallout from the diocese losing $160 Million on debt-bought investments before the crash, they’re not going to appoint one, so you’d report directly to the Arch Bishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen (lucky you_.

    I still pray the impossible!!

    May god bless you abundantly and give you a parish, for His church needs you, and He knows that, even if the church’s hierarchy refuse to acknowledge God’s will in any of this!!…

    Blessings,

    Sarah.

    • Hmm, indeed! I went through all of this in the Diocese of Fredericton, where I was the first woman to preach from most pulpits I covered. That I can stant, having done it successfully, in my own way. And I can deal with low-church, being almost Quaker in simplicity myself. I am a cassock and surplice priest. My theology is still very 16th century, but having spent time with the Lutherans, I guess I could figure it out…I did some reading onthe background of the diocese, very interesting, very old-school mission church, which I can appreciate.

      So I will get a letter off to Bp. Peter Jensen, I really will…Pray for the fulfillment of the Kingdom! No matter what that means!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s