May 7th, 2010


Passing the CTP

So, I came back from lunch and found that I had congratulated myself for completing the ADF Clergy Training Program through all three Circles. It turns out that, as the guy who runs the program, the notifications come out from me, regardless of who did the actual approval of the course. FYI, my coursework was primarily approved by druidkirk

Anyway, this has placed me in a new situation: I am now in a liminal state between "eligible for ordination" and "ordained," and it feels somewhat like I thought it might. . . Specifically, it feels very awkward.

This is not a bad thing: these sorts of things are supposed to feel awkward: if they didn't, we would not require rites of passage to move us out of the liminal state. But it is rather indescribable.

To attempt a description, I feel "light," as if I am between responsibilities and expectations. I feel "calm," as if I have come to a clearing in the woods where everything is perfect. I feel "expectant" and "prepared," as if there is something waiting for me, ready to pour in and fill me up.

I've spoken a lot recently about updating the CTP, and one thing that wasn't on my list of recommendations so far (but will be soon) is a waiting period between completing the program and requesting Consecration, Initiation, and/or Ordination. This is primarily for the sanity of our reviewers: nearly everyone who has been through the program has turned their work in and requested consecration/initiation within a couple of days. I'm not pointing fingers: I did it for both consecration and initiation. But after seeing the affect it's had on the reviewing process in general, I see that it's time to slow down some and enforce a time limit. . . and force people to remain liminal for some time.

We've talked about this before, and everyone agrees that it's a good idea. . . possibly because those I've spoken to have been crunched by reviews thrust upon them just before a consecration.

What I find myself wondering is what should fill this liminal space, and all I can think is "Service." But what kind of service? What form does it (or should it) take? I do not know yet. Perhaps each student comes to that understanding on his or her own. It may be right for us to ask of our applicants that they accept a service request from the Clergy Council Officers, a project or disciplinary practice that will prepare them for the work ahead.

Perhaps this is my service: to understand what it is that the service that prepares one for Ordination really is.