As many of you are now aware, on January 10th, after meeting with the Commission on Ministry (the COM) and our Bishop, I received the “green light” to continue on the path that may lead to my taking Holy Orders as a priest in the Episcopal Church: I am now a “postulant”.
I say “may lead” because, as I’ve learned over the past year, there are many opportunities between now and then where this path may take another course. In the meantime, I thought I’d share my observations along the way since you played a huge role in my being on this path.
First, here’s a bit to catch some up to speed. Over the course of the past year, I was in discernment to discover more about my walk with God especially as it pertained to serving Him and His church. I entered Circles of Light, a diocesan discernment program for those looking at lay and/or ordained ministries, and came out of the program discerning a call to the priesthood: I became an “aspirant”. (Be careful at the pronunciation of that word or it’ll end up sounding like something that’s been coughed up!) That led to a time of local parish discernment with a committee who made the recommendation to the Vestry and Father Karl that my name should be put forward. That, in turn, led to the retreat for reflection time and interviews with the COM and Bishop where I was “green lighted”. (And, yes, that is the term that is used.) Which brings us to today.
So, where to next? Over the course of the next few months there are more hurdles to cross and decisions to make. The Bishop has recommended four seminaries for me to visit and consider. Many have presumed that I’d be heading to Nashotah. That’s easy to understand and would be awfully convenient but, as is true of any college, each has its own strengths that need to be compared. In February and March, I will visit the four schools that have been recommended: Virginia Theological Seminary at Alexandria, VA, The University of the South: School of Theology at Sewanee, TN (where our former seminarian Michael Bordelan currently is), Seminary of the Southwest at Austin, TX, and Nashotah House.
Eventually, and in some cases concurrently, there will be application and financial aid processes to go through which will also lead to decisions for housing and health insurance. Plus, in the midst of it all, there is a required psychological evaluation to be conducted! (Honestly, it’s surprising anyone passes with everything going on!) Eventually, there will be decisions to be made about whether to rent or sell my house. (Though Kaleigh has already weighed in on her two favorite schools solely based on the fact that they would afford her the opportunity to take our car with her to MI Tech when she leaves for college.) But, as I have learned, it is best to remember to take one day at a time, trust in God’s plan, and make time each day to enjoy and give thanks for the journey… even the bumpy ones.
The word “postulant” comes from the Latin “postulare” which means “to ask”. I can think of no better word to describe this time! Questions!?! I’ve got plenty of them!! For now, I’ll covet your prayers for peace and discernment as I visit the four seminaries and work my way through this next set of questions. I am blessed by the knowledge that “we do ministry together” in the Body of Grace Church and can take rest and comfort in knowing that I have your prayers!
-By His Love, Bobbi Kraft