So … my placement at St Stephens has come to an end. I say that with a tinge of sadness as I have enjoyed meeting and working with new people – there were some highlights of my time in a parish setting and there were some things, notably some residential care home ministry, where I was really taken out of my comfort zone and new instantly that this was not my calling. It was interesting to see in that experience, however, that those I was working with really were called to those care homes and worked under a massive blessing and ability from God. The love they were shown and showed to both staff and guests was simply amazing to see. Although this was not for me it was easy to see the power and importance of such a ministry. In the past I may have dismissed the importance of this – I will not in the future.
I guess if I were to pick highlights it would be working with different people on certain creative events. It reminded me that I love working with people who share ideas together in an attempt to produce something that will help us in our discovery of God. There were some very creative people at St. Stephens (although most of them would dent that they are) and I really loved the opportunity to work with them. I learned from them and hopefully they will have learned something from me – and that is not a fishing request for compliments!
One particular unique highlight of working with creative people was at a local school where I presided at a eucharist service. Prior to this service the school chaplain had asked students to write things they were sorry for and these confessions were mixed in a bowl with flash paper. As I gave the absolution I lit the flash paper which resulted in a pretty amazing display of God taking away that stuff so we can lived renewed lives. The joy of working again with young people was a real pleasure …. this was not just chosen for the great photo opportunity! (although it does loo pretty cool!)
I experienced lots of good stuff on placement and the whole experience has actually helped a lot in sorting in my mind what I am called to …. there is no change in the pioneer outlook. In fact, the placement has done lots to cement with myself and others that pioneering is what I am called to … so the next step is just to work out how to do that now!
I want to publicly thank all at St Stephen’s for their generous hospitality of time love and energy …. it really was fun!