Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dreaming

The job posting for the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry position in the Archdiocese of Baltimore is up, and it sets me to dreaming... as a kid in youth ministry, with my newly-discovered call, I set my sights on eventually working at the diocesan level in my home state of Maine, where YM was progressive, professional, and devoted at that time. I don't know how things are there now, but I've always kept my eye on that office, because, hey- who knows? I feel quite sure that I'd never ever ever get a position at the A-Diocesan level here in Boston. I'll leave that at that. But Baltimore, lovely Baltimore... Scott and I have long looked at Baltimore as the promised land. They actually do stuff- a lot of great stuff! Recently they took a long hard look at the sacrament of Confirmation (something every diocese and YM office should be doing), for instance. They are taking a strong lead in the ultra-important area of adolescent catechesis. Oh, and Compass? So cool. If only Baltimore was in Boston. Sigh...
Still, it's tempting to imagine what I'd do in that position. I have been critical, I know, of the decisions made by our own office in the past few years, so I've spent some time with the question of "oh yeah? What would YOU do then?" And here's what I think I'd do, to start. I think I'd spend a year traveling around my new territory, meeting YM's and finding out what is going on in parishes. I'd read a LOT of bulletins, websites, parish reports, and I'd attend a LOT of YM events, both parish and diocesan. I'd serve on the teams of diocesan activities, as retreat team member, as kitchen crew, as small group leader, as grunt-person. I'd be doing lots of setting up and cleaning up, and I'd attend so many meetings it would make the average person's head spin. I'd ask everyone a lot of questions about how things have gone, how things are going, and how things could/should go in the future. I'd have a lot of dinners, lunches, and coffees with a lot of pastors and YM Coordinators. And I'd do a lot of praying and faith sharing with diocesan staff.
And after all that, I'd get down to work, having identified the mission of the office, and getting people on board with working toward that mission. I love the job description for the Baltimore job- it is a great description, too, for the parish Coordinator of YM. It occurs to me that my description, up there, is similar to how I'd start at a parish YM position, too. Last week our staff discussed that we must not consider our congregation as a big white piece of paper to which we are bringing the color. We must give our people credit for the gifts, talents, and yearnings they bring to the table. The Archdiocese of Baltimore is already doing great work, what an amazing position to step into... their next Director is going to be very blessed to join that team.

3 comments:

Kristen said...

I totally don't want to say this (out of selfishness), but I hope you apply to the job in Baltimore. We have to take steps toward our dreams and trust that God will ultimately put us where He wants us to be. What's the worst that could happen? You get the job and you have to leave? You don't get the job and you have to stay?

I know, I know...easy for me to say, but there, I said it anyway.

Flodlogic said...

COME ON DOWN!!! The Baltimore Archdiocese branch of the family would be delighted to have you both!!

C. Talbot said...

Putting an application in for a job is not a committal to this job and leaving another. It is an opportunity to learn more, something like a first date. Send in a resume and get a portfolio together. You have nothing to lose!