May 032008

Absolutely drained as well.

Well, I think it all went reasonably well. I think I put myself across as well as I was able and if I get a negative decision I don’t think it’ll be because of how I performed at the conference.

I did have one glitch with the Church assessors’ interview. Surprise! surprise! it was on the subject of baptism. I clarified what had been said in the local review report and that was fine but then I was asked what I would do if someone asked to be rebaptised. I stated that I wouldn’t do one but then the conversation got rather convoluted as one of the assessors wanted further clarification about what I had meant by offering a service of blessing or similar. We ended up talking at cross-purposes and we both turned to the second assessor and asked her understanding of what I’d said. She then summarised exactly what I’d said and affirmed the ‘correctness’ of my viewpoint. Hopefully that’ll be ok and nothing will come of it. I did raise it as an issue with the Conference Director and he will ‘arbitrate’ if it becomes an issue at their considerations.

Anyway, it’s all done now. There’s nothing more I can do and I don’t think I could have done anything more during the conference. The result should be out Wednesday or Thursday.

May 022008

…it’ll all be over. Or more likely, just starting (regardless of outcome).

In a couple of hours I’m heading off to the CofS assessment conference at Gartmore House. Can’t say as I’m looking forward to it. It’s a pretty stressful couple of days and I’ll be much happier when it’s over and done with. Still, it’ll be a major milestone. I’m more confident in my call than the last time (although I felt pretty confident then as well). I have answers to lots of questions I didn’t really realise were there last time.

Anyhoo… there’s ironing and packing to be done. And the hail has just started battering off the windows, so the drive will be lovely.

Must go check if Gartmore’s got wifi and I may blog from the conference (or not).

Apr 202008

Having pondered the excellent suggestions for discussion topics, I’ve decided to follow CB’s advice and go for something that interests me and I have strong opinions about. Sadly, that means theology 😉
So, here’s my short list of possible topics. I think they all offer something regardless of training or experience (or lack thereof) and should allow the possibility of wide-ranging discussion. There are also a couple of other suggestions added in that I am also interested in.

  1. Seeker-sensitive or meaty teaching? Is is possible for a church to be/do both and how?
  2. Simple or simplistic? Do we dumb-down the Gospel when we try to teach it?
  3. Theology-lite! Are we losing the vocabulary necessary to speak properly of God?
  4. The ‘S’ word. How can we call a person a sinner and not scare them away?
  5. Cyber-church. What is the proper place for online church activity in the life of a congregation?
  6. Growing disciples. Is mentoring a useful model for discipleship growth?

So, there you have it: the list of possible topics from my brief brain-storming session. I could probably talk for hours on any one of them but which one would be most suitable for an assessment conference?

Apr 162008

I’ve just received a wodge of paperwork from 121 for my looming Assessment Conference (2-3 May). One of the things I need to do for it is prepare a piece for the ‘Topical Discussion Exercise’. This is an activity where each applicant introduces a topic and then facilitates a discussion on it, wrapping it up at the end of the allotted time.

I am finding it quite difficult to think of an appropriate topic though. The main problem is that the applicants vary considerably – in age, in interest, in education. So, there’s not much point in doing anything ‘theological’. There’s a risk if I do something too technical or geeky that it won’t be understood. And if I choose something controversial then I run the risk of causing argument rather than discussion.

I have little recollection of what the chosen topics were last time (there are five applicants in each group, so that’s five discussions one after the other). I do remember that everyone is keen to help everyone else out because you don’t want to have your own discussion scuppered if you’ve been a bit bolshy in someone else’s. But I also remember that everyone is so keyed up and intense that the discussions have a slightly ‘forced’, even surreal, quality about them.

So, nothing too bland and nothing too inflammatory, nothing too technical and nothing too simplistic. Shouldn’t be too difficult to dream up something, should it?