When you’ve done so much personal deconstruction of ideas, theologies, patterns and belief systems, there comes a time when you gently rebuild. Certainly, the rebuilding is a lot looser, more creative and less rigid. I think my emerging construct is more grace-filled and compassionate, vulnerable and with a commitment to being more available to God and others. I believe it has Jesus much more at the centre, which has been my passionate desire in these last three years of de-institutionalising! I think it is happier with the areas of grey and with the complexity of the human experience. It seeks to love first and to own no-one as an enemy. There but for the grace of God I go!
In the midst of this, I’m rediscovering the essence of my vocation and becoming increasingly happy to identify with that ‘minister’ role again, albeit from a stance of powerlessness and service rather than anything else…something Jesus is teaching me more. I’m not for ‘clericalism’ but I keenly sense God’s call to equip his people and to minister Christ where I can.
In a private sense, the Rule of the Northumbria Community gives shape to my personal spiritual life and is very meaningful as I seek to live out the called to Availability and Vulnerability and all the flows from that. Touches my sense of call to a new monastic expression of spirituality and discipleship.
In a public sense, I’m still in a discernment process about where I fit. In an ideal world, I guess the various aspects of church would simply welcome the fact that ones vocation, call and ‘suitability’ for ministry has been tested, tried, affirmed and confirmed over the years of ministry and things like formal accreditation and recognition weren’t necessary but alas…they’re still barriers to service in a variety of places. There are networks and bona fide associations who accredit independent ministers who are in partnership with key movements like Churches Together in England and the Free Churches Group. Maybe thats a good path for me for the future which may include some planting or the forming of new communities of Jesus followers. A discerning process involved there.
Anyway, I’m sure God knows the beginning from the end! My ultimate calling is best expressed in the name of this blog…the concept of the ‘turasaiche’…the wandering pilgrim and vagabond, that fits me well.