long and short of the last few months of ordained ministry is that i'm really enjoying myself. woop woop i hear you shout. so i thought i'd tell you what ministry is like in this neck of the woods.
before i was ordained, i thought i would wear my collar a lot. but you never know what that will actually be like until you're there, wearing your collar whilst you're going to the doctor (who told me that in my job i should get the flu jab), or when you ask the guy on the platform if this is the right one for your train (and he tells you that as soon as he saw you he wished he could tell you that seeing a woman in a collar was really great), or the children who randomly say hi to you in the street, cos they've seen you in school (parents look slightly bemused).
in general being a visible sign that God is still somehow there and part of the conversation that is going on in your community, is experienced positively in my context. God is not thought to be dead, or irrelevant, people are not hostile or even indifferent to the idea of God. it's not that everyone is falling over themselves to be followers of the Jesus way, but it is relatively easy to talk about God - especially when it's on the agenda instantly through the medium of your chosen outfit!
GENERATION Ylast night i heard bob mayo speak on his research into generation y - the generation our teenagers are part of - and what i've experienced in my context is something that came up in the research. the young people we meet are not programmed to be hostile to God talk, and nor are they hungry for the spiritual answers that we think Jesus can give. they are happy for us talk about God, but they remain benignly indifferent to what that might mean for them. but these are the questions that they are asking 'what does this mean for me?' - the young people of today are asking what God is wanting them to do, not in the individualistic moral framework way that christians have offered to generations past, but in a moral framework that is asking for social activism and significance that goes beyond themselves. 'what does this mean for me?' and 'what is the impact on the world around me?'.
i'm not sure that this research should be restricted simply to generation y. just as i wasn't sure that generation x definitions fitted me perfectly, perhaps the insights that bob mayo and his wife have brought to us about generation y, go further than simply that generation. perhaps we are all impacted by the need to ask the question 'what does this mean for me?'
perhaps we are all invited to be significant.
so what are we doing in our ministries and lives to offer the significance that is offered in God to people that we encounter? people are not, generally, hostile to God - this is a myth perpetuated by a seige mentality that finds battle metaphors easier to engage with.
so in a culture of the peace protest, the need to be significant, what could we (the co-authors of the non-violent resistence movement) possibly have to offer.....