Preparing for the Ministerial Fellowship Committee

Preparing for the Ministerial Fellowship Committee: not for the faint-hearted.  Besides the whole get a degree thing, and take on additional educational debt, there was the four-page Required Reading List.  At five months out, a member of my study group did the math and estimated that we had to read 450+ pages per week to get it done in a timely manner.

Neither is this post to tell you about the 117 pages of material (called “The Packet”) I put together that involved alot of navel gazing (as my father would have called it):

Let me tell you about me. Let me tell you about my studies and my professional life.  Let me tell you what I think about me: what I thought about me once and what I think about me now.  Let me tell you what I think about some things in the world.  Let these people speak about me (glowingly but not too glowingly or else you won’t believe any of it).  And now listen to what these other people have to say about me.  And then, finally, let me tell you about me just a bit more.

No, this post is not about that preparation, which was rigorous (as it should be), and thorough (as it should be), and is – thank god! – done.

This post is about the preparations in the 48 hours before I met with my panel of nine hard-working, thoughtful, dedicated volunteers (yes, VOLUNTEERS! who read those 117-pages, or 120- or 135-page tomes for 12 candidates each time they meet, three times per year, and pray for our success before we enter the room.  I bow down in awe of their service.).

Anyway, this post is not about that.  It’s mostly a picture story. May you enjoy it.  I’ll let you fill in the gaps.

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Shelburne Falls Shambhala Center

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the sidewalk outside the center

 

the inside of the retreat apartment

the inside of the retreat apartment

Shelburne Falls, itself

The town of Shelburne Falls, itself

walking a street dotted with farms, I saw this

walking a street dotted with farms, I saw this

this magnificent fungi astounded me

this magnificent fungi astounded me

I did some coloring meditations…

Blue Boat Home?

Blue Boat Home?

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And I meditated with the help of some ritual tools

Fierce Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles

Fierce Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles

My Threshold Chalice

My Threshold Chalice

And then these friends kept me company…

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Not to mention some mighty fine chocolate pudding with full-octane whipped cream from McCusker’s Market.  Nothing better to help you become a minister…

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And finally: the love of my current congregation (and, to be sure, many, many folks):

Childrens Suggestions II

How did it go?  Well, thank you for asking.  It went splendidly.  Pending my upcoming graduation with my Master of Divinity degree at the end of this month, and completion of my internship, I was welcomed into preliminary fellowship.

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