Photo by Rachel Marszalek Times Square, NY, May, 2011
...so with just 6 weeks to go I am cancelling and collecting.
I am cancelling rental agreements and changing student status to part-time (I still have the thesis to write for the Masters award). I am cancelling gas and electricity agreements and setting up new ones in the name of someone called Reverend Marszalek (whom she is I do not know yet). I am collecting clothes of a particular style from people who have made them for me and into which I have put much thought and I am settling bills, I am receiving copies of certificates I lost long ago about my baptism in 1977 and my confirmation in 1987. My husband is searching through the garage for a degree certificate and a PGCE certificate that enabled me to begin my first ever job in 1997 and I am reflecting on the significance of 2007 when my life took an unexpected turn (or possibly expected, when I look back at it) at an Alpha course.
You would be forgiven for thinking someone out there might have had a plan. 2017 sounds positively space age - I have no ideas what might happen next. I am conscious that thoughts about the recent past will have to stew for a while. Blog posts are not going to get written on all the things I experienced in the US. I have essays to write on the following:
Discuss the missional significance of the Eucharist, grounding your discussion in Eucharistic theology. Write a proposal for your PCC, outlining how the Eucharist's missional significance might best be realised liturgically in your church.
An exegesis of Esther 6 or 2 Chron 26:16-23 or Neh 13:23-31 with a reflection showing how the exegesis leads into a sermon with an outline or summary of the sermon itself.
This kind of work is different to anything we have done before and appears to be some last-ditched attempt to have us be more practical just before we leave. I have only one week of teaching left but having missed two teaching weeks for New York, my last two assignments could prove to be my weakest yet. High 2:1 grades have already become relegated to mid 2:1. There is more to think about now than in years one and two of training. I lead and preach next Sunday in my sending church with both its vicars on holiday, I am glad Ship of Fools already sent their mystery worshipper this year! I 'graduate' college with a farewell ceremony on the 11th June and then pack up house and home to move two days later, deadlines having hopefully been met on the 10th.
I then have two weeks of freedom before retreat and ordination and this will be the first fortnight period in three years where I have not had an essay or sermon to think about. I plan to potter and walk, discover and talk my way around my new geographical landscape. The children will be driven to the school they currently attend each day until the summer so that the educational year is not interrupted, they will start their new school in September.
...so finally ... the next episode is looming. The blog will continue. I will not be setting up separate facebook pages but try to keep life as integrated as possible - this is important to me. Internal shifts have been taking place for a long time, my outer garb will just now express that sense of inner calling, that's all, I perhaps will adjust less than the people around me, particularly the ones I do not see often who will find me more strange in strange attire. It all feels okay and quite normal. it is neither scary nor comfortable just okay really and right. We'll see, there's still a good six weeks to go ... anything can happen!