Part of this year of formation is a ministerial placement. This is undertaken to show the following:
- understanding a different context of church
- experiencing a different churchmanship
- learning how worship can vary
- learning about a different congregation and their needs
- experiencing ministering in a new situation
There are no guidelines above this; no length of time for the placement, no help to find a placement, no guidance for the church who accepts my placement. Luckily my vicar is experienced in doing and organising and supervising placements so he is, as ever, invaluable in this experience.
There are a number of things I need to consider in selecting and planning my placement.
1. I need to experience a much less formal worship, perhaps with non Eucharistic services.
2. I would like to be able to get involved in the wider church provision outside of Sunday services eg pastoral care.
3. I need to be local to minimise the impact on Mike for the period of the placement.
4. Rachel needs consistency of going to Sunday school whilst I'm on placement.
5. My church needs to organise cover for my roles, specifically Sunday school which has a lack of volunteers.
The impact on my family is of key concern to me. Mike doesn't do church and therefore asking him to get Rachel to and from Sunday school whilst I'm not there is not a straight forward assumption. Rachel loves Sunday school but I think a lot of that is her enjoying church as something we do together, as a 5 year old it's a big deal for her to go to Sunday school and then back into church knowing I'm not there. So in this I will be asking for support from people at my church, to nurture her whilst I'm not there. This will be my key area of concern and stress. Not that it won't be daunting to be in a different church, but I am a mum first and Rachel's happiness always bumps my own issues.
Watch this space as I try to figure this out, it'll be exciting!