Saturday, April 24, 2010

Future Blogging

So I am going to keep this blog up until I get through decisions about deferment and my negotiations at work.  Meanwhile, I've started what I think will be my next blog:  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My School

I will be attending Yale Divinity School.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Negotiation Dance

So I am in this awkward phase of the process.  I've picked my school, communicated my decisions, and now am waiting to hear back (hopefully I'll hear back) when the schools receive the letters.  But the most uncomfortable stuff is at work.  You'll recall I work in a non-ordained ministry in a congregation.

First, I've requested a deferment with the school, and now I have to figure out if I am going to be starting school this fall or next fall.  Still, I had to open up a conversation at work about the future of my employment.  I work in a field in which it can take a year to hire, so advance notice is really helpful.  In some ways it would be better to just be submitting my resignation.  Instead, I am conversing with them about whether me working on a limited/part-time basis would be mutually beneficial, and if so, under what type of arrangement.  All the while, I am holding up the possibility that it might be best for one or the other of us if we part ways. 

At times, the conversation feels highly generative, mutually supportive, frank yet compassionate, and productive.  Other times it feels, well, laced with distrust.  I've only been there a few years, and have come to be there after my predecessor served the congregation for 25 years...soooo, we are just settling into our relationship with one another, and now I've thrown this in the mix.  They took a bet on me, and they won't get their full returns no matter what way we dice matter what, I am going to be there for at least a handful of years shorter than we all anticipated at the starting gate, and probably much shorter than that.

Here is what I am struggling with tonight.  The congregation is in the midst of a big ministerial transition as is, for another reason, and they've been handling it really well.  I worry that I will become the "safer" outlet for that anxiety, and yes, my ego is slightly involved because whenever I am going to leave, I'd really like it to be under conditions in which people can still see the good things I've done over the last several years.  I am not sure I am going to have that experience, however, because in this negotiation dance, I can already feel the tidal wave of congregational anxiety is right behind us.

(P.S.  Just to make things a little harder, tonight I also learned funding was cut for a position we were adding to my expected revenues have not surfaced.  This is TOUGH stuff!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

...And a funny little note...

Tonight I am watching a video of interviews with "visionary ministers" who have led congregations through significant growth.  Among the faces I recognize on the video (both the ministers and the congregational and denominational leaders listening and reflecting back the conversations), I personally know a fair number.  It makes me think how many mentors I already have as I enter into this period of concentrated formation.


So letters are out to all three schools...albeit missing the official paperwork and deposit money for the school I have chosen.  I'll name the school on this blog officially next week.

This was such a tough decision, but now that it is made and letters (as hard as they were to write) are on their way, I am feeling eager to prepare for the future.  It is a lighter feeling, and one that dances joyfully with gratitude, even as I struggle with the next set of decisions on the table. 

Thank you, God, for bringing me to where I need to be now.  I am listening, following, and submitting, as I wait to know what you will have me do next. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Decision Made

I have made my decision.  I am ready to move forward.  Now I have to communicate to all schools including the one whose offer I am accepting.  I think this will be a more difficult step than it seems it should be, as the act of closing doors is always a sad and slightly scary thing to do (What am I missing out on?  What could have been my experience if only...?).  Once I share my decisions with the schools -- which I hope to do this week -- I will post more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Very Nervous

I am really fumbling during this time of decision-making, which only exaserbates my anxiety about tomorrow's meeting at work, during which I will discuss with several key people my decision to go to school and the resulting decisions about my work.  I have done a lot of preparation (have just a bit more to finish tonight before bed), so I should feel ready, but the butterflies in my tummy are going strong!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feeling Grateful

I head to bed tonight feeling such gratitude. For all of you in my "real life" crowd who participated in my email discussions and my "solicited advice" telephone conference tonight, I am so thankful.

I took everything each and every one of you said to heart, whether you said a lot or a little, and whether you spoke about logistics, about the different educational opportunities themselves, or about the spirituality of this decision.

After the phone call tonight, G. and I had a long heart-to-heart. I still have not arrived at a decision, but I feel much more clear. We also began to visualize a plan for housing/etc. that will hopefully prove useful wherever I attend. Please keep your fingers crossed that we find as we proceed that these plans are do-able.

As I mentioned on the phone tonight, I will not be making a final decision until the 15th, but I will keep you posted. Thank you again so much for your time and thoughtful questions and responses to the decisions before me.