Getting lost on the way to my ordination rehearsal...

Dear friends,

The beginnings of ministry in a new place, among new people are very difficult.People are sussing you out, as you are getting to know them. Will you be their kind of curate/vicar? How long will you stay? Will they like you?

Lots of questions.

When clergy move to curacies on ordination the questions they ask include the following:
where's town? where's the supermarket? where am I? where is the cathedral / retreat house? will I look stupid in this clerical shirt? what on earth will I do? will I get on with the vicar? How can I get the house decorated and move in and still manage to go on the retreat and cook for 30 people the day of the ordination?

I remember being in my curate's house before ordination, I didn't know which way was north and south, or where the house was...I didn't know which way Worcester was, nor where the cathedral was in Worcester, so I arrived late, having eventually found it thanks a a local man whose car I followed. And the ordination retreat? I got there, but with no directions or instructions it was a little testing. And did I say I got lost on the way back from the ordination and arrived home an hour after everyone else - so much for preparing a meal for all my family and friends.

Note - send people a map and directions so they know how to get to the cathedral and to the ordination retreat house, or to wherever you want them to go!

And after ordination? A clear desk... on the first morning for the first and last time ever in ministry. Desks gradually get buried then reappear after a concerted effort to clear them. But there is always something which calls clergy's attention, and much of this is administration in multi-parish benefices. Urgent? Important? Desirable? Sadly much is obligatory, but neither urgent nor important. That which is desirable, but neither urgent nor obligatory gets left to the end.

What value do you place on spiritual things? Prayer, bible reading? What priority do they have in your life?
As harvest draws near, say a prayer for farmers as they bring in the crops, and those who work in logistics, distribution and retail.

With best wishes, your friend and vicar,