A Life Update: Ordination in the Church of England

A Life Update: Ordination in the Church of England September 30, 2013
Southwell Minster - view from the north west
Southwell Minster – view from the north west (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David Russell Mosley

 

30 September 2013

On the Edge of Elfland

Beeston, Nottinghamshire

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,

 

Sincerely yours,

David Russell Mosley

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  • David,

    This is wonderful news to hear. Discernment for me was, in retrospect, ongoing for many years before I realized it. Recognizing the call and beginning to answer it is exciting.

    I’ve just started my Divinity degree this September and it’s all going well, it is good to know I’ll have another friend going through it before long as well.

    I’ll keep you and Lauren in prayer.

    Yours,

    Colin

    • Colin,

      Thank you. Truth be told, I can see aspects of this spreading back to when I first became a Christian. Even before as pertains to my love of England.

      Blessings as you start your Divinity Degree. This is perhaps the most uncertain thing for me as, shortly after starting it (hopefully), I’ll already have a PhD in theology. Still it should be fun, encouraging, and helpful.

      Thank you for the prayers.

      Yours,
      David

  • Tina Peterson

    David,

    I can’t speak for the rest of the family, but, I can tell you that you and Lauren have mine and Uncle Craig’s love and support. You guys need to enjoy this journey as the loving and caring couple that you are. God Bless you. Love Uncle Craig and Aunt Tina.

  • David,

    What exciting news, my friend! You will have our prayers as well.

    Scott

  • togetherforlincoln

    I think this is a great thing to pursue! I agree that it is an extension of RM principles (though all will not see it this way). Having known you and Lauren, I think it is a wonderful thing to explore and to see where the chips fall. I could totally see you thriving in this! While I didn’t see this coming, I can see how this could totally fit you and be God’s calling on your lives!

    • Dustin,

      First, it took me a bit to figure out who you were. But anyway, thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I pray all God’s blessings on you, Kristen, and the kids as you also make a new move in life.

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  • Connor

    David, exciting news. I’ll admit I’m rather sad you’ll be leaving the RM, guys like you give me hope for it. I’m also discerning a transition from the RM to an anglican church. Originally I had intended to stay and be part of the growing liturgical, paleo-orthodox movement within; unfortunately my acceptance of pedo-baptism as a legitimate form of the sacrament has put a wrench in any hopes I had for ordination in the Christian Church. All that to say, I’m excited for you, and I also know being “in between” two traditions can be frustrating. You’re in my prayers.

    • Connor,

      If you read on, you’ll see that actually for the time being, ordination is on pause, which means I’ll be back and doing ministry probably within the context of the RM come Fall 2014. There is still a long journey ahead, but I think there is a place for people like you and I to help lead the RM to a better, more fully rounded future. Don’t give up hope. Our choice to join the C of E had a lot to do with remaining in England, something we thought God was calling us to. We still don’t know our future, but we’re excited for the journey in any and all traditions.

      You are also in my prayers.

      Yours,
      David

  • Hi David,

    We have similar story, I have been a missionary over here in England for 7 years now ( including 2 years of training). I also felt God calling me to join C of E and hence seek ordination. I started meeting my DDO for a year now. I have found the whole process a great spiritual renewal. I was sent to do two modules at a college and this whit my appetite for training to be equip by God. My little experience with other people in the same journey shows me that in as much all dioceses follow set down pattern, there are differences in how they follow the pattern. I have done some of my reflections in http://www.cfenwereminministry.co.uk and I am hoping to transfer those thought over here in wordpress. One thing that has change greatly for me is my prayer life and my ability to be generous in my view.

    Blessings,

    Chris

    • Chris,

      Thanks for your comment! I will definitely check out your website and will be praying for you as you continue on your journey toward possible ordination. My own journey is, in one sense, on pause. My wife and I will be moving back to the US sometime this coming Fall. I have not shut the door on ordination, even ordination in the C of E, but I am now seeking to see where God is leading me.

      Yours,
      David