I met with a lady yesterday, Alison, a newly ordained Deacon in the Church of England. One of the things that were on my list of things to do was to find myself a ‘Spiritual Director’ or mentor. We had an amazing couple of things in common, one of which was home education – she had home educated her children (what are the chances?!).
She was very encouraging, and talked about how long and hard she had needed to fight in order to get to ordination.
“Don’t let them discourage you”, she said.
When she asked me about my vocation, and why the Church of England, I was able to say immediately how and why I felt I had been called, and why I am in the CofE. She said that I articulated that very well, which rather tickled me, as I did rather make it up on the spot.
But when she asked me why the Priesthood, as opposed to any other kind of Christian ministry, I was a little bit stumped. I tend to believe quite strongly in the Priesthood of all believers, which we discussed, and we agreed that this is a good argument in favour of women leaders / ministers / Priests.
But I realised that I do need to have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Priest.
And I also realised that I am fudging things a bit. I am still Messianic, I am still evangelical. In fact, in many ways, I am still conservative, and as much as I embrace the traditionally liberal qualities of love, tolerance and social justice, I don’t think that will change. I don’t think those ‘liberal’ qualities are at all inconsistent with a conservative view of scripture.
But can I be consistent as a conservative, Messianic Jewish, evangelical, (Salvationist?!) not-really-feminist, woman Priest in the Church of England?
I don’t know. I hear the call, but I don’t know where it’s leading me. No decisions need to be made at this point; I am on a journey, so I will just keep taking small steps forward, and trust that I am following the right path.
I didn’t discuss all of these things with Alison. I think that, although I am keen to meet with her again, I really need to find somebody else to be a real ‘mentor’, even if she is willing to fulfill the official role of ‘Spiritual Director’. But I really need somebody who is familiar with, or has grappled with the same issues as I have to deal with.
So if you know any other conservative, Messianic Jewish, evangelical, not-really-feminist, women Priests in the Church of England, do please send them my way! (The Salvationist element is optional) 🙂