Thursday, February 12, 2009

Discernment

It is really clear to me that my church will die soon. Very soon. Maximum amount of time 4 years. I will be able to retire in 3.5 years. I don't think the church will last that long. I can actually retire sooner than 3.5 years. So, I'm trying to discern whether to seek another call.

There is one that I would be really, really interested in. An EP (executive presbyter position). But, if I moved, then I'd want to commit at least 5 years. I'm not sure I want to work that long.

It is really weird. I have thought about retirement, but I'm not sure I want to fully retire. I'm not sure what I want to do. I can't imagine not working, though I have spent long periods of time not working. But I want to have long periods to travel. Life is short.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

5 comments:

Magdalene6127 said...

I may be too recent a reader here, Joan. But I think the first question to ask is, do you want to be the chaplain for this dying congregation? If the answer is a clear "no," then... other work, if it's meaningful to you, might be wonderful. But if it's only delaying what you truly want-- retirement, opportunities for travel and enjoyment-- then maybe that should be your polestar.

I don't really have much wisdom here. I think the clarity that your congregation is dying is good to have.

Songbird said...

I like the thought of you embracing life, even if that means the temporary inconvenience of moving. You have so much to give and more places to go!

Sophia said...

You and God are the only ones who know for sure what you should do, and it will take you time to sort out your piece, of course. So mostly what I can offer is prayer for your discernment process.

I would also suggest paying attention to what gives you joy and life in each day and each week, and what drains them. Often that is a clue to our heart's desire and to where God is calling us. That's the heart of the Ignatian practice of examen of consciousness.

His other tips were to imagine what decision you would advise someone else in the same position and what you would wish to have done on your deathbed. Hope some of that helps.

Jennifer said...

Joy in one's vocation is the ticket.
If you feel called to EP work, go for it! My best friend is an EP and LOVES it...and it shows.

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