All Change (and they don’t owe you)

Today is the penultimate day of clearing out my office. I’m cooking. it’s 9pm and I’m  sitting in the kitchen, waiting for the pork chops with celeriac and apple and new potatoes to reach perfection. And I’m exhausted!\r\n\r\nThe office move has taken six weeks. That’s six weeks of clearing space in my small home to make space for the equipment, materials and furniture I’m moving from my small office. It’s amazing how much can be carefully slotted into small spaces.\r\n\r\nAnd tomorrow is adverts day for jobs in the Church of England, and along with at least six of my contemporaries that I know about I will be studying the options and possible moves around the country.\r\n\r\nI’m hoping that exactly the right job appears but the reality is that it’s hard to get a job in the church at the moment. This is partly due to  the large reduction in full time clergy posts taking place across the country, plus the unusually high number of existing experienced clergy currently looking for a change in post, plus the high number of curates looking too, many of whom would make excellent incumbents, and perhaps my unusual personal style and CV won’t help me land a traditional role either.\r\n\r\nSo from this weekend I’m without work, without an office, and looking for a job in a highly competitive field.\r\n\r\nOn Tuesday I wake up with nothing in the diary and nowhere to go.\r\n\r\nGreat!\r\n\r\nNo really … great!\r\n\r\nI do not expect the Church of England to be the answer to my personal needs – for money, security, purpose or satisfaction in ministry. I am responsible for my own well being. The church doesn’t owe me. And likewise I remain open to the fact that churches (or even The Church) might not think I’m the answer to it’s needs at this time.\r\n\r\nIt may be a pedantic semantic clarification, but the call on my life is God’s call not mine. I may aspire to say my time is God’s time, but the opposite is true too: His time is my time. We have a shared history, God and I, and it’s brought us to this place: my history in some way a part of His history.\r\n\r\nAnd so with pockets full of skills and experiences and creativity, if I’m not chosen for the jobs I think are ideal for me – I’ll make my own future in a place where we (me, the people I live with, God) can flourish.