The primary reason for setting for setting up this blog is that I am required to keep a journal as part of the ‘co-ordinated field assessment’ phase of my application to become a ministry candidate for the Church of Scotland. This means that much of my blogging will be taken up by reflections on tasks and discussions as part of that. It also means that I can’t always blog ‘in public’ as there may well be identifiable people and situations where privacy must be respected. I’ll try to minimise these entries as I would like to share my impressions and also get comments on how you, dear reader, may have dealt with similar situations or issues.

I’m not sure that being so open is really what the CofS intends for those who ‘journal’. I’m also not so sure myself about opening up my thoughts to such public scrutiny. However, as I feel led into full-time ministry, I will be opening up my thoughts to very public scrutiny on a regular basis. And, just as I would hope that thoughts proclaimed from a pulpit are Spirit-guided, so too do I hope that the thoughts shared here are guided by a spirit of honesty and genuine enquiry.

In common with many other denominations, ministers and (most) others who preach from the pulpit in CofS churches are ‘set apart’, thereby implying a special ‘status’. They speak with God’s authority. Most, if not all, I suspect would admit to feeling the pressure of that responsibility, at the same time recognising and acknowledging their very human weaknesses that will always threaten to compromise the message they are called to deliver.

In sharing my thoughts with you, rather than keeping them private (which I’m entitled to do), I acknowledge the responsibility I take on and the accountability that must accompany it. I’m sure that over time my understanding will undergo change and perhaps looking back on these early blog entries will cause discomfort and embarrassment. Nevertheless, they will form a record of my journey and, hopefully, show growth and maturity rather than entrenchment and cynicism.

Gosh, that all sounds rather pretentious but sets the stage for the next 6 months (and more) of my life.

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