Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lots going on

If you've been wondering why I've been a little lax in posting, well, let's just say that there have been ISSUES with our internet connection. I hate computers. And I hate relying on stuff I can't control -- like ISP's and such.

Anyway . . . Holy Week was very good this year. Maundy Thursday felt a little odd for some reason; never did figure that out. Good Friday was a good experience for all. Holy Saturday was appropriately quiet. Easter Day sunrise vigil was fantastic. We had quite the crowd there, the weather cooperated, and the Paschal candle (that arrived on Friday) didn't go out.

I had one surprise on Saturday. After service, I wandered down to the Post Office to check our mail and had a packet from another diocese. I've learned that when I receive these, they aren't asking for my opinion on urban sprawl.

"Dear Rev. Ref: Would you be interested in applying for the position at St. Luke's?"

I replied via e-mail saying that I would look at the packet after I got through Easter.

I did.

The short answer is that I'll be staying in Montana for awhile.


Rev Dave | 8:24 AM, April 17, 2009  

They're allowed to headhunt in the Episcopal Church?

The young fogey | 11:58 AM, April 17, 2009  

Not to speak for Father but I believe so. Sacramentally it's like Rome and the Orthodox: one is a priest under a bishop (hence the church's name) and the bishop has the final say on where you work. But in polity it's semi-presbyterian meaning full-fledged parishes have a lot of input: effectively they do the hiring. (I think missions are more directly under the bishop much like a Roman parish.) So yes, if I understand rightly Episcopal priests are not just given assignments but go looking for jobs. (Again it might be different for missions.) And parishes in an interregnum look for a new hire, which explains the ads in church newspapers.

Incidentally I understand the United Methodists are the opposite: they don't claim to have apostolic bishops but their ministers are assigned and moved by their bishops just like RC priests.

Reverend Ref + | 4:30 PM, April 17, 2009  

Dave: Yes, the call process in TEC has a lot of cannibalism in it. Although I believe the proper term is "an invitation to participate in the discernment process."

YF: Yeah, that's pretty much it. We're basically free agents (except without the free agent salary of, say, Manny Ramirez). Usually, in a parish setting, the parish will submit their list of candidates to the bishop for the obligatory approval (background checks and the like), but the parish makes the final decision. In a mission setting, the bishop will give a list of names to the search committee, who will then get back to the bishop with the name(s) of their preferred candidate; the bishop will then give his/her final blessing for a call. Technically, a priest in a mission setting can be moved by the bishop at any time; but I would think that the bishop had better have a very good reason for doing that.

And yes, UMC pastors are moved on a regular basis by their conference.

Just one little twitch here: Episcopal priests are not just given assignments but go looking for jobs. I don't see it as "looking for a job," but more along the lines of being willing to be open to a search. I had one priest tell me, "I have never left a congregation because I found another job; I have always answered a call." It's just one of those minor things that make this "job" different from the rest of the world.

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