Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

December 2010

What would you put in the Role Description for a Messiah?

I ask the question because - along with all my stipendiary colleagues in the Diocese - I have been asked to consider drawing up a detailed Role Description in line with the requirements of Common Tenure - which for a Priest-in-Charge like me comes into force at the end of January 2011.

So the Archdeacons have been chasing clergy this month to make sure we get our paperwork completed.... In fact, as I write this, I am hours away from a PCC when we will be discussing my own version of this document in some detail.

I have also just returned from a two-day course looking at the role of Rural Dean - along with colleagues from Birmingham, Coventry and Worcester Dioceses, as well as our own of Lichfield. It is a curious role in some ways - working as a companion to the Archdeacons and Bishops; concerned with the well-being of our colleagues in the Deanery; making sure parishes make all reasonable efforts to pay their way and - where appropriate - make contributions to the wider work of the Diocese ... and all on top of the work we already do as parish and sector ministers. Just juggling the diary is a work of art!

But one person commented, as we were considering the place of our individual vocation or calling from God, "Remember we are called to be Ministers, not Messiahs!"

It is well worth reminding ourselves of that whether or not we are ordained, or serving as 'ordinary' Christians. First and foremost we are called to be human beings. And as Christians, to live in community with each other and form good and healthy relationships. Relationships that need to be nurtured and protected - before we start doing anything else!

After that we may be called to serve in particular ways - whether on the flower, brass or coffee rota. Whether as a Welcomer in Church; whether helping with the Bells Run or on the Social Committee; whether on the PCC or as an officer of that body: Secretary, Treasurer or Churchwarden. And some may feel themselves called to serve in other ways - as authorised Ministers of Word, Prayer, Evangelism etc. Still others may feel a call to ordination.

One of the key tasks that I - or any Vicar/Priest-in-Charge - is asked to do is to discern what a person's calling might be, and to work with them to nurture and encourage it. But I am merely a minister, not a messiah - so please do not be afraid to approach me and ask if there is anything you feel God is asking you to consider or to undertake. Don't leave it to others - even if you feel we already have plenty of people doing a particular task - we need more! (Especially people to help lead our prayers and train to assist me with communion services, whether at 8 or 10am) But whatever your calling, whatever the role, don't hold back.

God didn't - he sent his Son to take on the task of saving the human race.... How's that for a Role Description?

Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Blessed New Year.