Friday, October 7, 2011

Discerning CPE

This afternoon I had my first CPE orientation. CPE (or clinical pastoral education) is something I will do next summer. Basically, it's an intensive program where I will immerse myself in some sort of ministry that is not the typical parish scenario - hospital chaplaincy, night ministry at a crisis center, ect.

After the informative meeting, I got together with one of my dear friends and we talked a bit about where I see my experience. I have to admit, I am a little intimidated by the CPE experience. Will I have what it takes in just a few months to minister outside of my norm? Will I have enough money to afford a good program? Will I get into the program I hope to? Do I even know what program I hope to get involved with?

As much as I know that I am called to be a pastor, I'm still not entirely sure what that will look like. The ELCA requires that all ordained ministers serve in a parish, and while I look forward to that time in my life, I often wonder if that is my ultimate destination. I'm in the midst of a pastoral care course, and through that work, I'm starting to discern that I am more called to heal those who are aching then to identify visionary leaders. I think I may have what it takes to support visionary leaders, but as for spotting them out of a crowd, I'm not so sure. I do know that I am more comfortable in the hard places then the easy places, and that there is nothing more beautiful to me then being present with someone as they take the next steps in challenging times.

As I look ahead to next year and the gift that will be the CPE experience, I hope that I will find a site (and that it will find me!) that will continue to support the gifts I currently recognize and the skills I hope to develop. I want to both be a healer and a person who detects new visionary leaders. I want to be a pastor that has the ability to serve a large spectrum of people, and I really want to know where I need to grow in order to do that.

And maybe that's the point of CPE - to be stretched in area we never expected. I certainly hope I am up for the challenge.

No comments:

Post a Comment