I'm beginning to think that the longer I am in seminary the more clear my sense of call is. I suppose that this makes total sense. When else have I been so tested mentally, academically, spiritually, emotionally and physically? I've taken classes and my year and a half here that have challenged me in so many ways. I wanted to give up and quit seminary more times than I can count. But I stuck with it. I've cried myself to sleep. I've cried myself through studying. But still I persevere.
And in all of this growth and reflection and personal discernment one of the big things that I have been working on, especially with discernment, is figuring out where I feel called vocational. One point, years ago, I thought I felt called to parish ministry. And though I appreciate those who do feel called, and though I do enjoy preaching every once in a while, I know that I am not called to Parish ministry. This semester I have been doing a field education placement with the presbytery of West Jersey. I am been learning about the hunger issues in New Jersey and traveling from church to church through out the Presbytery teaching congregations about hunger and encouraging them to get involved with different missions related to hunger. It is been very rewarding and I have learned that I definitely enjoying this more then parish ministry or church placements. I cannot see some sort of educational or advocacy work being a part of what I am called to do.
After graduation I am moving to Louisville, Kentucky for the year to join my then-husband as he finishes up his final year of seminary. Following his graduation we hope to move back to Massachusetts. In Boston and the surrounding area there is a plethora of different nonprofits that would be amazing to work with and to work for. In particular I think the human rights campaign is very appealing as is the Waltham house, a home through the home for a little wanderers organization, that caters to young LGBTQ homeless teens. There are so many nonprofits that focus on education and advocacy and civil rights that would be amazing to become a part of. I think that the fields of that holds the most interest to me is civil rights and LGBTQ issues. Especially homeless LGBTQ young adults. I don't really have any doubts that I would be able to find a career where I would be able to both earn money as well as feel like I'm making a difference.
So at this point the thing that I'm having the most difficulty discerning is whether or not to continue on the ordination process. Working for some sort of nonprofit organization would not require me to be ordained. The ordination process for the Presbyterian Church has proven to this far be very stressful and I'm only on the beginning stage. Additionally, it is a very expensive process. At this point is difficult for me to be okay with forcing myself to go through so much stress and financial strain when ordination is not required. Things to think about and pray about and talk about and discern.