My journey towards ordination continues! For some this path is very direct, for me, not so much. I have now taken 12 courses of the 30 I require for my Masters of Divinity from AST. I have enjoyed this opportunity for expanding my knowledge. This term I am taking two courses. The first is a foundation course in the New Testament. The second is called Supervised Field Education (SFE). The handbook says:

The course is designed to provide an action/reflection or action/analysis/response basis 
for ministry and congregational life, worship and mission
as a specific preparation for leadership in the ministry of the church.

During this course I will spend 6-8 hours per week, above and beyond my regular work hours, doing things in ministry that I do not normally have the opportunity to do. With my field supervisor and the professor for the course, I will be developing specific learning goals to focus my work and learning during this time. SFE spans three terms. The first, Jan-April, 2016, has a broad focus including “observation and engagement of particular aspects of worship, ministry, mission and education.” The second term, Sept-Dec, 2016 has a particular focus on Pastoral Care. And the third term, Jan-April 2017, has an emphasis on leading an education project.

I have been authorized to complete my SFE this term at Woodlawn! I am very excited to be able to do this. Rev. Phillip Kennedy will be my supervisor (as he has completed the course necessary to do this). I will be focusing my learning on funerals, hospital visitation, prayer and I will even have the opportunity to preach once or twice! I will meet with Phillip weekly to review my education and my personal learning goals that have been created in consultation with Phillip and Jody Clark (the professor for the course).

The goals for this term are:
•    To develop my ability and confidence as a preacher.
•    To increase my confidence and comfort level in leading extemporaneous prayer.
•    To learn how to prepare a funeral service.
•    Participate in pastoral care through hospital visitation.

Shirley MacLeod, Mary-Kate Evans and Keith Musselman have agreed to form my Lay Resource Team who will provide some evaluation and support for me during these next few months. I will also be looking for folks to share with me some of their experiences at Woodlawn for reflections I must write for the class. I hope that this new step in our relationship will be beneficial for both my learning and also for the mission of Woodlawn. I appreciate the support, feedback and opportunity provided to me by the congregation of Woodlawn as I take another leap of faith in this journey to ordination.

Blessings, Shannon