Friday, June 29, 2007

RevGal BlogPals Friday Five -- Gifts and Talents

Sally has us reflecting on gifts and talents with the following questions:

1. Personality tests; love them or hate them? The first magazine I ever laid hands on, probably McCalls as my mom's friend got it and she would let me cut the Betsy paper dolls out, had those do it yourself ones....I think I was taking them right after I got done cutting out Betsy! Always wanting to know "who am I" just hooked me in. Still does. Now of course I have a more critical eye as my "psychologist self" babbles away at me about reliability and validity. And the rest of me is gushing "Oh look, I'm a creative seeker who loves purple and desires a soul mate!"

2. Would you describe yourself as practical, creative, intellectual or a mixture ? Oh a mix all the way. Gemini, generalist, Renaissance woman, dilettante...I like to think of myself as someone who can utilize her intellectual pursuits creatively to solve practical issues for myself and others. On a good day.

3. It is said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame; have you had your yet? If so what was it, if not dream away what would you like it to be? The day I was ordained, the local paper ran a half page article about me. With a picture. On the front page. That is about as famous as I think I could ever stand being!

4. If you were given a 2 year sabbatical ( oh the dream of it) to create something would it be music, literature, art.....something completely different...share your dream with us...If money also were no object in the creation of this (might as well dream really big!) I would create a place where people could come to heal. A holistic place where there would be peace and safety and resources for all kinds of wellness, physical, mental, spiritual. People would have meaningful work as part of their role in this community, we would hold one another in prayer, we would laugh and play together as well. Minimal red tape, maximum accessibility.

5. Describe a talent you would like to develop, but that seems completely beyond you. I think tightrope walking would probably be difficult for me as I have a fear of heights. And I'm not sure that counts as I don't really see a talent in myself for circus performance. Beyond that, I guess I don't believe there is something "really beyond." If the talent is there, my desire is there and God is willing anything can happen. The last five years of my life has been teaching me, never say never!

Bonus question: Back to the church- what does every member ministry mean to you? Is it truly possible to encourage/ implement? In our church we have "Total Ministry" or team ministry. We have a six member team, three of whom are locally trained and ordained clergy, the other three are comissioned for specific ministries, though not ordained. We have no seminary-trained priest or pastor. This model, while it is partially a response to the inability of small congregations to pay for full-time seminary trained pastors, is also a living, breathing work in progress of the ministry of all the baptized. We are consciously articulating to the congregation that we are not the only ministers, you all are too. And in reality, the size of us (about 15 average Sunday attendance) means that everyone is very active in church. The thing we keep doing is reminding them that, yes, this is ministry. And the other important piece is to remind folks that what they do in the world is also, and, I think even more importantly, ministry. Last Fall we asked everyone to fill out a little form telling us all the things they did "out in the world" that they considered ministering to others. Then as part of the service we named each one and blessed those things. We plan to make this an annual event. So yes, possible. Sometimes challenging. It is a culture change from the top down model. There is resistance and it appears in interesting ways. But talk about talents and gifts! In our congregation, as in all, they so abound, it would really be a shame to miss them!

14 comments:

Mrs. M said...

I love this blessing of gifts! What a beautiful thing to do.

Sally said...

excellent play- I love the part about nothing truly being beyond us...
as for personality tests- with you all the way :-)

hipchickmamma said...

wonderful play!

Tandaina said...

From a fellow Gemini: Well played. :)

I really like the ministry-in-the-world idea you mentioned, must tuck that away for future use.

mompriest said...

Love your every member ministry! As a seminary-trained priest I have been taught to prefer that bias. But, of course, that's all it is...really love what you did with your congregation naming and blessing the ministry they do in the world. May I use it this fall in my small church as we develop our "What I Believe" celebration of ministries? (aka stewardship campaign...although revisioned).

Gannet Girl said...

I LOVE the church you describe. What an amazing experience of community and giftedness and God it must be.

Barbara B. said...

Your sabbatical dream is awesome!!

Diane said...

Yes, I like that too, and want to find out more about your "team."

RevDrKate said...

Thanks to you all for your comments. I do believe that Total Ministry is a gift to our churches for so many reasons. In the trenches of it, it is hard sometimes. It's a culture change. Some folks have a hard time with us not being "seminary trained" priests, and in my church the fact that all three of the clergy are women has been challenging for some as well. Another big challenge is helping people see their own giftedness and claiming that as part of a larger mission and ministry. When we did those little surveys the reponse was a bit scant (we had to "cheat" a bit and say things we knew people were doing and bless them even if they were not quite claiming them) to get this started. Total ministry, like all ministry, is full of mystery and miracles, frustration and grace. Change is hard, growth is a process and it ain't always pretty! But we are at it together, and I hear people saying that the Spirit is moving here, and things are bringing them here and bringing them back....and this is a good thing and we feel very blessed.
Mompriest, I would be honored to have you use our ministry blessing in your church.

hipastorzwife2B said...

I love your idea of a healing place

Deb said...

I like the idea of "what you do in the world" and am going to totally steal it for a series we are doing this fall!!!!
:)
d

mompriest said...

Thanks! We've done some work similar to yours, but not quite the way you describe the ministry blessing, it will be a nice addition to what we are trying to do. (And, yes, sometimes you honor folks who aren't quite living into the fullness of their ministry, but you do need to start somewhere and model what you hope people will begin to do!).

Kathryn said...

Reading number 2 was a bit disconcerting...expressed my own thoughts to a "t"! Also wanted to cheer loudly your thoughts on every member ministry...beautifully expressed. Non seminary training (on regional courses) is increasingly comnmon in the UK, where more vocations are being recognised in later life...I'm another product of that system, though I'm full time stipendiary. Also love that your context is so small...I truly didn't think churches of that size (very similar to the congregation from which I came) existed in the church. St M's has about 150 most Sundays, and other US friends have described that as "small"...so to hear more about your context was very heartening. Would love to know more sometime

Ruby said...

The ministry blessing is a wonderful idea! I get a lump in my throat just thinking about what your service must have been like. Thanks for sharing it. I'm going to pass it on to our interim priest. It seems to fit in well with her vision for our process of self-discovery as a parish.