Thoughts, Brief Reflections, Job Search

I have written a new resume/curriculum vitae for my job search, and it comes across as a bit hollow. I remember my years of ministry, lay and ordained, as active and without a spare moment. But how does one distill that down into a two page resume? I didn’t go to workshops, seminars or conferences except under duress. My student and parish years were too full of hands-on work to allow me to sit on seminary or diocesan committees. I wrote good papers, made good grades, and when in the parish, worked eighty hour weeks on the ground. How do you get across the hours of study, carefully-crafted sermons, pastoral conversations over tea in someone’s kitchen, or the deep questions and answers that come up when working with young people, people in grief, people in need?
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Wordpress gives us statistics on how many people visited our blog, what posts they read, and what methods they used to get there. Some of the search terms are funny or puzzling. The funniest one today was “Are Anglican Christians witches?” The short answer is “No.”
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I have about six good books somewhere in my head, waiting to be written. But I never seem to get more than a start on them. I used to write professionally and now I can’t seem to get more than about seven hundred words together! You’d think I had all kinds of time to write, but it takes more than unoccupied hours. It takes undistracted hours, and it takes research facilities I don’t have now. Nonetheless, I am angry with myself for not doing this. Would it be possible to find a parish where writing a book would be a more than a wish? In years past, the old fellas regularly churned out volumes of obtuse theology, sermons, moral tales and occasionally a ripping good novel. But they had curates, wives and housekeepers. No one came to the study door and asked,”When’s dinner?” Or worse, “Do you know where the plunger is?” Those of you who manage to write books or the equivalent, how do you get your family and household and parish organized so they don’t constantly break in on your writing time?

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts, Brief Reflections, Job Search

  1. Magdelaina,

    Hmm; I see your difficulty, but, in a twist of irony, the way you’ve listed the everyday hands-on coal-face work of a dedicated parish priest that has exemplified your ministry is exactly what is required. play to this as your strength. From what I have gathered, at the heart of your vocation lies the wellfare and nurture of your congregation, spiritually, mentally, intellectually, emotionally and physically (being there in your capacity as pastor through home visit, hospital visit, being where your people are… I would say your method of ministry is deeply Christ oriented; following the example laid down by Jesus of Nazareth Himself, reitterated in the Epistles, as well as the Gospels, to guide and come alongside those whom you have been called to pastor. At the very core of this ministry is the ideal of servant leadership, best illustrated in the Gospel of Mark, that informs and shapes the way you live out your priestly role. Firmly founded within the very body of Christ itself, you reach out to, encourage, serve, challenge and provide an example of Christlikeness, imbued with authentic humility, that exhorts each and every paritioner, regardless of their point upon the Anglican path, to be, through the transforming power of the Godhead, all that they can be and more.

    The Pauline calling to be in the world but not of it offers much to the body of believers and wider community suffering under the excesses of secular humanist individualism, moral relativism, and the all too oft maddening struggle of this post-modern age in which we all exist, presenting and genuinely living out the transformative and renewing power to be found uniquely within Christ-centred, Scripturally oriented Anglicanism; a refreshing source of untapped hope and peace for a thirsting world. Your dedication to the Plain path is refreshing and invigorating, presenting a tangible and achievable (and even unifying) model for God’s people to embrace, giving back the God-given dignity that belongs to every man, woman and child, through the gifts of modesty for all and Plainness for those thus called.

    Your ministry does not revolve around self-perfection or seeing self and assumed ‘badges of success’ as important, or the aim of your vocation. Rather, your focus rests upon Christ, and the hope He offers each and every one of us who will accept it.

    Your own circumstances, especially those of the last year or so, have placed you in a position wherein an acute understanding of faith, fidelity, solidarity, suffering and frustrations raised by the latter (whether with the results of significant disability upon those we love, or navigating the medical and social service minefield have been honed and burnished in the refiners’ fire. this can only be of benefit to a minister of God. (please, please, please, don’t take this last statement as trite or flippant, it is by no means intended; I have lived through the horridly sharp end of significant illness and disability upon family and beloved now passed for some years and know the heartache – C S Lewis got it right – how unexpectedly and confronting are the similarities between grief and fear. Please know my heart and prayers are ever with you – this one dimensional world of words can make it difficult to express oneself adequately for the task at hand)

    Just a few thoughts. And, if the church hierarchy are unable to appreciate the tender yet profound advantage of these atributes in its priesthood, God help us all.

    I will continue praying for you.

    blessings,

    Sarah,
    Sydney,
    Australia.

    • If you don’t mind, Sarah, I may paraphrase a bit from you in my CV summary. I like the “coal-faced” imagery, too – someone working down deep to accomplish the mission of Christ! Thanks for the uplifting support! God bless you.

  2. Magdelaina,

    Use all of it as needed, its yours. May God bless you as you search for His calling re parish or mission field.

    Blessings,

    Sarah.

    • thank you. I wish this process could go faster, but with all we have to do in life, it is probably going as fast as it can.

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