Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Standard

The call process is going nowhere for me.  I send my stuff to churches  I think I could serve well in many ways ~ and I'm, you know, not so young, so I have a skill set that encompasses a wide variety of church communities and needs ~ and usually I hear nothing in response.  Or something like, "We've concluded that you're not a match for our needs," which causes me to squint at a church form describing a position that seems made to order for me and wonder, "What do they see that I don't?  What do they know that I don't?"

It's not as if my gifts lie moribund.  I'm teaching a college class, which I love doing.  I'm seeing a lot of people in spiritual direction.  I'm preaching frequently enough.  I'm starting to work on some of my writing for publication.  I'm doing a few little things here and there for my home church.

The professor with whom I visited last week assured me that it's not me; that it's the vastly overcrowded pastor population for the dramatically shrinking church population.   But the reality remains: I did spend three years in seminary in the hope of nurturing and leading a congregation. It's tough, this rejection stuff.  

Today I received a little note from someone dear to me, in which he expressed his hope that I would soon find a place that would "gently challenge" my gifts.  

Hmmm, I thought.  And thought some more.  "Gently challenging."  I like that.   That's exactly what I need at this point. 

Perhaps there's a church out there in need of someone who herself needs a gentle challenge. 

Image: St. Mary's Church of Burton Latimer in England, here.


  1. Ah, the call process! Know I hold you in prayer as one also seeking that connection where gifts and needs are brought together by the work of the Spirit.

  2. I bet there have so many gifts to offer. I am sorry that the process is so harsh just now.

  3. Praying that the right match will be found soon.

  4. praying, Robin, that I will get to come visit you in your new call the meanwhile, I am amazed at the many and varied ways you are using your gifts.