David Russell Mosley
30 September 2013
On the Edge of Elfland
Dear Friends and Family,
As Lauren and I have told some of you over the last few months, we have been in the process of discerning a call to ordination in the Church of England. It all began several months ago when a friend and new colleague at the university suggested it. She seemed to think I had skills and qualities necessary and needed in the Church of England. I must admit that this sounded crazy to me, at first. However, I could never really forget what she said, it just sat in the back of my mind.
Lauren and I had already made a switch from our previous church in Beeston to St Nicholas’ Church (an Anglican church) in the City Centre of Nottingham. Being part of this community, plus that nagging voice in the back of my head, brought up again notions of the possibility of ordination in the Church of England. Many other things began happening to seemingly confirm this calling from God. I remembered feelings I had in the past about simply being ordained, a longing I had had as a child for England (and had subsequently gave up when we moved here, thinking staying completely out of the question). So I decided to start seeking advice.
I started emailing friends to seek their advice; I had frequent conversations with Lauren about it. In the end, having spoken both with the Rector at our church and with my supervisor, who is both an ordained Anglican priest and a professor of theology, I went on a retreat to Mucknell Abbey. As I told you in my last letter about that retreat, I was there to discern the Lord’s will for us and came away feeling that we had truly been called to ordination in the Church of England. I came back, told a few friends here, and Lauren of course, and our vicar (Rector, vicar, and priest all, amongst many others, terms I have to become familiar with now).
Today, Lauren and I had a meeting with Steve, the Rector of our church. We talked about ordination and both what it means for Lauren and I separately and together. Having had this meeting, I finally felt able to be open about what we were doing. I didn’t keep this a secret out of shame and only a little out of fear. Instead, I kept it quiet because I didn’t want to say anything until we had made a decision.
What this means for us now is a whole host of new things we’ve never expected or experienced. One of the things I really like about Anglican ordination is that I do not make the final decision. Having told Steve he then refers me to the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands, or person provisionally in charge of people who want to be ordained in a given area). She will meet with us and then I go to Diocesan Panel (assuming the DDO approves of me). At the Panel I’ll be asked questions about why ordination and why the C of E, etc. From there, I’ll go on to the Bishop’s Advisory Panel which, as I understand it, is a weekend away where again, I’m asked lots of questions, along with other ordinands. Should everything go well, I will then begin training at a seminary somewhere, hopefully by next September. From there, honestly, who knows.
I want to be very clear, Lauren and I are not joining the Church of England because we’re fed up with the Restoration Movement or anything like that. It is more that I see this as an extension of RM ideals, especially the unity of all believers. The C of E is well placed to dialog with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants. It has that blend of liturgy, tradition, and the Scriptures that I particularly appreciate. I feel very firmly that God has called us to this, but if he hasn’t I trust he will tell us in one of the many stops along the way.
This letter is getting over long. I want you all to know how much I desire your love, support, and prayers as Lauren and I begin this journey in our life. We are very excited to see what God has in store for us. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions or concerns about this decision we’ve made. In the mean time, I will keep you all updated both about how the ordination process is going and how my thesis is coming, as well as my usual posts of Faerie, books, poetry, theology, and the Church Calendar.
For now I remain,
David Russell Mosley