From the Crossroads of the World to the End of the Road

24 05 2012

I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church and became a member of Grace on May 1, 2005. Confirmation held special meaning for me, as it symbolized a commitment to the life and work of the Episcopal Church. My involvement with my previous faith communities thus far had been in the music programs and choirs, and I had originally sought out this avenue as a way of participating in a ministry of sorts. As it turned out, my parish was rather strict about requirements for membership in the choir and the number of members it had. This actually turned out to be a blessing, for I was able to pursue opportunities for ministry that I had either had not tried or had little involvement. Before I knew it, I was a lay reader, a member of the Altar Guild, heading up the refreshment time for our Sunday evening service, and a member of our Outreach Committee!

After quite a long journey, I had achieved a certain plateau in my life. My “day job” as an executive assistant in a private investment bank afforded me a decent standard of living, internal wounds had been healed, and I found a church where I could be involved. While enjoying the fruits of my labor, I began to reflect on my life and how I had gotten to this point, and invariably I would go back to my time at the Academy where I enjoyed a ministry of my own, to some degree. I began to feel that tug again towards a life of deeper service. I find myself experiencing a certain “flow” in the work of the church, as well as a satisfaction in working to advance the kingdom of God through a lectionary reflection which I periodically post on my blog, and continuing to participate in the various services in my parish, the sense of calling has only gone deeper. I entered into the discernment process at Grace and worked with the Discernment Committee and the Canon for Ministry to develop what they referred to as the “muscles” for ordained life. Four years later, I began to feel frustrated as it seemed that goal posts which were set and later met were moved down the road a farther. I do not believe that either my parish or my diocese at the time questioned my commitment to The Episcopal Church or a sense of calling, but issues of supply and demand for clergy as well as the escalating costs of seminary kept delaying the process.

In the fall of 2009, I received notice that I was to be laid off. After some soul searching and conversations with friends, the priest who was shepherding me through the discernment process, and my spiritual director, it was suggested that this might be a good time to perhaps look at another diocese to continue as the process in New York would most likely stretch out another five years. One of the suggestions was the Diocese of Southeast Florida, as I had been vacationing in Key West for a few years and had gotten to know the good folks at St. Peters as well as Fr. Don Sullivan. Soon, everything began to fall into place as more and more signs pointed towards leaving the city I love and moving into a completely new environment. I arrived in Key West on June 1, 2010, leaving most of my worldly possessions behind and carrying only what would fit into the back of a jeep

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