A couple of weeks ago, I attended my interim review. This makes sure probation is on track - that there are no major issues and may set new goals/objectives, depending on new/unforeseen/changing circumstances. The bottom line is, that things are confirmed as going well.
At the end of the review, the subject of 'looking for my own place' came up. Though I cannot formally apply until after a positive outcome from my final review, which is likely to take place in late June, it is recommended I have a 'clear' idea of where I may apply once that time comes. Clear? Well, me being me, I need things painted in BIG, HUGE CAPITAL LETTERS, as I can take a while to get the hint.
But I have, on occasion, been looking at the vacancy list on the Kirk website. There are some which seem to have been there for years. Yes, there may be reasons, but I wonder if it's a bit like the property market (especially when things are going well). When a house has been on the market for ages, people assume there's something wrong with it, but it might be perfect. Some of the long term vacancies may be the same. Not that I am saying that's where I will go, but I won't automatically disregard them.
As I look, there's the things which aren't there. Details of how to look at the parish profile without contacting the interim moderator. I only want a neb, not to implicitly indicate interest. In my opinion, if a church has a website, that should be used as a 'recuritment' page as much as direct contact, Life and Work adverts etc. And, if a church doesn't have a web presence, in some shape or form (even if it's a facebook page - and, well, I'm not exactly a fan of that platform, am I?) how does it reach beyond the 'normal' congregation or reach potentially their prefect minister, who lives at the other end of the country, but through looking at their web present can, to a certain extent, get a feel for the church and community. Just a feel, but a feel never the less. I could go on about my opinion of the importance of a half decent website here, but I'll just link to Spot's post on the matter instead.
Today, I looked at the new adverts in the Life and Work. The way most of those are worded, it seems the congregations are wanting an all-singing, all-dancing minister who is brilliant at almost everything. While I am sure that is not the case, on the ground, unfortunately, that's the impression many leave me with. Oh, and if you're going to have a photo of the interior, could it have some people in it, please? Pretty please, with sugar and a cherry on top?
So, do I know where I am going? No. Do I know I need to begin thinking where I am going? Yes, but with as open a mind as I can, trying to pick my way through what's said and what's meant, remembering who I am following and what gifts and talents I have, as they will influence where I am called to serve. With the added factor of Spot also being called to a recognised ministry in the church. Life, it's fun and exciting, and a little bit terrifying too. I go in the assurance I am being prepared for a congregation and community and they are being prepared for me.