Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Let the Sabbatical begin!!!!

At the close of today's working day, I officially start my Sabbatical, or Extended Ministerial Development Leave, as it's now called.  As clergy, this is something we get every 10 years since ordination (more or less, depending on Diocese).  As my ordination to the Diaconate was in 1999 and to the Priesthood was in 2000, I'm a few years late.

We get the opportunity to take 3 months or so (again, it could differ from Diocese to Diocese), to look at study activities or life and faith experiences that will feed our ministry or our lives for the next ten years.

For some of my Sabbatical, I'll be enjoying spending time at home with my hubby, Mike, but I'll also be spending a large chunk of time in San Francisco in the USA, where I'm hoping to link up with various LGBT community and church groups, to look at good examples of inclusive ministry, in both the secular and religious communities.  I've already made a contact with a few people in local churches there, and also in Grace Cathedral.  I may look at attending services at one of theses, and also at observing some of their groups/meetings/people.

I'm also excited to have made initial contact with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  Their story interests me, because what most people see is a group of cross-dressing men, in nuns habits, on in-line skates, but I think it's much deeper than that.  They sit between two communities who often don't see eye-to-eye, i.e. the LGBT community and the religious community, and they've adopted the language and uniform of one, to do charitable works in the other.  I hope I do get to meet them, and I'm looking forward to finding out what their experiences of both communities have been, and where their story started, and whether any lessons can be learned from them. In addition to all that, I think they'll bring some much-needed humour to my Sabbatical time.

I hope to be blogging / tweeting / photographing while I'm away, so do please follow, comment, feed back.  If there are any people in the San Fran area that want to link up, I look forward to hearing from you.

At the end of my time in the USA, I'll be returning home, a weird mix of exhausted & exhilirated, and hope to have many tales to tell. :)

To close ... here's a pic of me on my ordination day.
A photo of all the ordinands on my ordination day.
My ordination at St Stephen's, New Brighton, in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth - 30 September 2000.

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