What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?

(The most beautiful morning I've experienced. Green Glow near Slope Point, Southland, NZ.)

I'm currently listening to KEXP's countdown of the top 903 albums of all time: Number 636 is Bob Marley, Rebel Music. Things are obviously out of whack on this countdown. I'm also still trying to recover physically from not sleeping on Tuesday and getting used to the return of The Rain in Seattle.

The reason that I didn't sleep on Tuesday is that (still reeling from my layoff at Multifaith) I received some news at about 9:30 which felt like a fist-packed punch in the face. On Tuesday evening I had a Big Meeting with the Holy Orders Committee (HOC) at St. Mark's Cathedral which essentially was a final vetting process to determine whether I'd get a pass to move on to the Diocese to be evaluated for seminary:

I didn't get the pass, at least not exactly.

The HOC's conclusion was that I need to spend more time in discernment particularly focusing on issues related to personal spirituality. They also felt that I did a really bad job of presenting my case to them, although they phrased it more kindly than that.

Whew.

What this means pragmatically is that I might be looking at another year before I find out if I'm approved to head off to seminary.

Vanity! Vanity! All is Vanity...


But don't panic! It's not over yet. I have until November 2nd to convince the HOC that I am indeed prepared, and I think I can do it!

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

I'm embarassed to say that the HOC is right in one major regard: I did indeed do a really bad job of presenting myself and of selling my case for ordination. Inadequate preparation, not understanding the nature of the meeting, preoccupied with losing my job, natural inclination towards obscure rambling, other excuses. I'm a contemplative (and I know what that means). I blog walk. I'm joining a religious order. I write regular genius spiritual blog reflections. I teach youth how to be good Episcopalians and lead interfaith prayers and AIDS ministries and theology pubs. I'm convinced that the health of my personal spirituality isn't at issue.

Now I'll be required to go through the humbling experience of baring my weaknesses yet again before this committee of elders for their approval or lack thereof. This Sunday I plead my case for a retrial sometime this month rather than 6 months down the road. Wish me luck.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Comments

Shayne Mathis said…
So I still don't understand this situation. Maybe it's b/c I'm not familiar with church bureaucracy, but if you've already been to seminary 1)why do you have to go again and 2)how are you not ready for a second time? Is there a special seminary for Episcopalians or something?
tim said…
yeah, there is a special (and required) seminary for episcopalians. For me? We'll see.

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