Spring is in the air, summer is not far away, and changes are afoot.
Some of you may know that this last year has been a year of a lot of change and transition for me. My temporary full-time position came to an end and so I took a two-month leave and ran away to Africa to hang out with my sister in South Africa for Christmas and New Years. I came home to working two jobs on a casual/on-call basis and have been working (nearly) full time hours at that for the last four months. I’m going to keep doing that for the next two months…
…and then I’m moving to London, Ontario!
Let me back up a little bit further. A little over a year ago, I embarked on a fairly intense process of intentional discernment with the idea of determining whether or not I am being called into a position of ordained ministry – that is, to be a priest. That process has entailed both one-on-one conversations with my spiritual director, the priest at my current church, and the Anglican bishop of my diocese as well as group discernment (what I have called reverse group counselling with myself as the lone ‘client’ and a whole group of people talking with me), formal interviews, and weekend-long assessments. It has been both exhausting and intensely rewarding.
Three weeks ago I had a full weekend ‘retreat’ (aka Church Big Brother) with a group of other candidates from across British Columbia where we were in conversation with assessors from all over the province. Their job was to assess our competencies, strengths, weaknesses, and gifts for ministry. The resulting report heartily recommended that I be approved for training and ordination as a priest.
Step two: school. A funny thing happens when you say you won’t do something. You frequently end up doing it. My standard response to the question of whether or not I would do a PhD when I announced I was doing my MA in Counselling was, “No, because I’d like to be done school by 30.” Well, here I am, past that, and going back to school, not for a PhD but for another Masters. Yesterday I received my offer of acceptance from Huron University College (on the campus of Western University in London – anyone else see the humour of me moving east to go to a school called Western??) to begin study towards a Master of Divinity degree, starting in September. This is a three-year program approved by the Anglican Church of Canada for training postulants for ministry within the Anglican Church.
As much as I am loathe to leave Victoria – I love it here – I am looking forward to living back in Ontario after nearly 20 years! I’ll be closer to family and friends than I’ve been in years and am looking forward to exploring a new corner of the country. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get my stuff from here to there and collect boxes to put it all in!
You life seems like you are doing so many different things at once. I think it is great you always moving forward and getting to explore so many awesome places. The worst thing in life is to wait and not try and do anything. This was an awesome post and I wish you best of luck with everything 🙂
The church is blessed to be receiving someone so caring, so empathetic and so open. You know Cheryl and I have a special place in our hearts for you. We will miss you, but we know that this is your path. Thanks for letting us share a tiny piece of it.
Thanks Vic. You and Cheryl are two of my favourite people-I’ve been lucky to work with you and call you friends. 🙂
so proud and happy for you! Someday, we’ll head out east to Western and visit you!!!
Hey Gillian! Congratulations all around! Looking forward to having you with us as an ‘inlander’ for the next three years. Will give you a head’s up for all the great coffee places, Stratford is a must to take advantage of while you’re here…promise we’ll make your stay most enjoyable!! Love and hugs, Sharon
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