A Little Personal News
First, last weekend I participated in our diocese's Vocations Retreat down at Camp Crucis, near Granbury. It was a very positive experience (again). But most importantly, on Friday night I appeared before a joint session of our Commission on Ministry and the diocesan Standing Committee and was interviewed for about thirty minutes (as was Chuck Hough, one of our seniors at Nashotah House Seminary). Most of the questions focused on recent events in the national Episcopal church and what we thought about them and our diocese's response to them. In the end both committees voted to endorse our petitions for admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders, and yesterday I received word from Bishop Iker that I have been officially enrolled as a Candidate. Thanks be to God! This means I must now begin preparing in earnest for my Canonical Exams (the priestly equivalent of the Bar exam that my diocese administers instead of ECUSA's General Ordination Exam). I will be sitting for these exams in late January. If I should pass the exams and survive one final set of interviews I will (Lord willing) be ordained a deacon in late February or early March of 2007. (For those not familiar with our polity, one must first serve as a deacon for at least six months before ordination to the presbyterate.)
Second, today I graduate from Clinical Pastoral Education with Baylor Health Care Systems. I cannot say that I "enjoyed" the experience, but it has certainly been useful. I have learned a great deal. And compared to some of the horror stories I have heard, my experience at Baylor was not all that bad. I had a skilled and toughtful supervisor and good peers in my group (two Southern Baptists, two Roman Catholics, and a Presbyterian, surprisingly all males). Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine was a good location to do my on-site clinical hours, and I would commend their "Western Region" program to anyone who is thinking of doing CPE in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Many thanks to all who have lifted up prayers with regard to my Candidacy process. May God's holy name be praised for the blessings he has showered upon me in these areas, and many others. And may He continue to bless you all.