Ellen Loudon

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getting ready for retreat

with 3 comments

We have managed to get the house sorted for the visitors expected for ordination weekend. The family are travelling from far and wide to be here – no pressure then! The beds are all made up and I have planned menus for most of the days I am away (cake baking begins in earnest tomorrow). The rehearsal is on Wednesday and the retreat starts on thurs evening. In preparation for the weekend I have been sleeping as much as possible, catching up with friends, seeing the new stuff that has been built in Liverpool since I was last here (e.g. the Liverpool One shopping centre, the urban design centre, the echo arena) and reading a Surprised by Hope by Tom Wright. I a afraid I am not being all that holy. I’m not being not holy but I thought I might find myself being more holy this week but there are still shelves to put up, trips to the dump to do etc. Finding heaven in these ordinary things has been a challenge but God has been there in it all! I realised this when I was at Christ Church yesterday (my sending church and the place where all this ‘being a vicar’ stuff began). I looked up at the stained glass window from the pew I always sit in and remembered the day that I felt that calling for the first time (I was breast feeding Eva at the time and about to hand her on to someone else to hold her because I had to play the guitar), I had jut been declared bankrupt, had not long been married, was living in a hippie commune and struggling with my faith in a way that I had never experienced before. In the past my faith was a theory, at that time I was clinging on to it for grim death and was living it so tightly I could hardly hold on.

But, during the process of bankruptcy I had for the first time accepted that I was forgiven and that God loved me more than I would ever know or feel – it was an assurance of love that was so deep that I didn’t even need to feel it. And as I sat there that day it felt like I could give myself back to God – give up hanging on to my life and it occurred to me that I could be a priest, that I could serve God in a way that was public and transparent. That I could also serve the church (the fragile church that I have had so much beef with over the years!)…and that was it. I made a commitment to God then to pursue that calling and haven’t ever felt any differently about it since. That is where it started! Now I am about to make that commitment in front of everyone else and start my new job. So, this week I am trying to be ordinary, getting on with the stuff of life, but just remembering the journey from there to here .

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Written by ellenloudon

June 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Posted in ordination

3 Responses

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  1. What a remarkable story. Ordinary! I don’t think you could do ordinary if you tried – and why should you? You are unique and your contribution to the lives of those around you will reflect your own individual personality. I just hope the congregation you are going to serve realise how lucky they are. While the Church of England continues to attract people like you to the priesthood there is hope that it will thrive.I’ll be thinking of you over the coming week and look forward to you blogging on life as a curate.

    Gareth Rae

    June 23, 2008 at 7:18 pm

  2. this made me want to hug you… so please accept these virtual hugs in lieu!god bless.x

    bigdaddystevieB

    June 24, 2008 at 5:06 am

  3. Ellen, you’re a blessing not-very-well-disguised…being transparent is working! Hope you have lots of wonderful moments with peace underlying even when all seems frantic. Sara x

    Sara

    June 26, 2008 at 9:59 am


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