Being called… to community

I will need to know and articulate the voice of my hearers, no matter how familiar or unfamiliar this might be and there is no substitute for being close to my parishioners – forming personal relationships is absolutely essential. Having the opportunity to form meaningful bonds through a common relationship with God is one of the best parts of being a member of the Christian community. As a priest this will be both more easy and more difficult than it is now and I have already felt a difference after announcing my intentions in the chaplaincy. A priest can be confidante and guide for those who feel comfortable with him or her. On the other hand, friendship can be difficult for the priest as their role in the community is rather exposed and he or she is by many seen as different from others. I would therefore pay special attention to making sure that I stay approachable, join in with the community at whatever they do (I will even go to cricket games!) and what defines them. At the same time I will need to keep an open ear toward issues that might come up within my parish. One parish can be home to more than one community and it is important that I am there for all and everyone. I need to be able to speak up when things are not right and to stand on principle whilst being flexible. Experiencing friendship and love in the relationship with others is necessary to my emotional well-being and spiritual life. Making connections with others is a great source of satisfaction and a source of strength. Even if some connections are fleeting at best and others are contrary rather than nice, without other people around me I cannot make do. Making a difference in somebody’s life is something I aspire to and in my experience a great way of doing this is by showing that I care (and I do care) and by listening to them. As a priest I would have much opportunity to use the skills I have learned throughout my life and this is something I look very much forward to. I don’t lose faith in others easily and I am able to see both sides of an argument even if I am personally involved. I think this will be very important in maintaining good relationships.

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Filed under CoE, Community, My calling

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