Methodist ministers looking to move are reading intently at the moment. It’s the start of the stationing process, which in a nutshell involves two large documents issued in PDF or paper form. (the PDF was emailed out yesterday).
The first, seen by the ministers who are moving, contains profiles of each ‘station’ looking for a new minister (usually a church/churches within a larger group called a circuit). The second, which the churches and circuits get to see, contains the profiles of the ministers.
A matching process then takes place which involves declaring top preferences and all the district chairs having a very long meeting (which I always imagine takes place in a war room where instead of pushing tanks around a map with long sticks, they rearrange little people..) After the meeting, ministers go to visit potential ‘stations’ and everyone decides if the ministers/churches fit together and could work together well. If not, the second round of matching begins.
It’s a process which is exciting and challenging with many possibilities but it can also inspire feelings of insecurity and vulnerabilty. In short, you’re putting your whole future ‘out there’.
So I wrote a prayer yesterday:
A Prayer for the Stationing Process
In the searching and the reading,
In the praying and the discerning,
In the wondering and the worrying,
In the hope and the vulnerability,
In the questions and aspirations,
On the pathway to somewhere new,
Lead us, prompt us and inspire us loving God
May we see possibilities in new places and faces,
As others do the same in the spaces we now inhabit.
If things get tough and uncertainty crowds in, may we know that we are always held, always loved and always valued no matter what our role or station.
“God has created me to do some definite service”. Nothing is wasted.
“May I be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you. Let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing”
May we all know peace, grace, hope and life in the days of change which lie ahead.