Advice/ Future Help

by I M Fletch
(Just North of Down and Out)

I recently left pastoral ministry. My wife and I are separated. Ministry was a trigger in our separation. As of now, I cannot Pastor nor do I believe I want to. Anyone have any advice on a career path? My Masters and Bachelors are in ministry.

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Same boat
by: Anonymous

I'm in the same boat. I went through an epic midlife crisis, got divorced, and entered into a relationship with a former parishioner that my bishop deemed Conduct Unbecoming (which it was). I was formally suspended from ministry for one year, and lost my job, my reputation, and financial security. I've scraped by on savings and a little family help while casting about for work in a variety of fields. 59 years old, and I've gotten nowhere with the job search. It's been a pretty harsh lesson in humility and consequences. I've done some construction and restaurant work just to keep going.

I've recently begun applying for Clinical Pastoral Education year-long residency programs - they offer a small stipend (usually $30,000) and offer an opportunity to conduct ministry in a setting that is very demanding but also deeply supportive, with lots of opportunity for reflection and learning. It looks like I should be able to find a place there, now that my suspension is over. Prerequisites are that you have completed one unit of CPE (usually that's done while in seminary) and that you're in good standing with your judicatory. If that's not the case for you, please know my heart goes out to you, and remember that you have skills and abilities that the world needs. Stay connected to your loved ones and your God; remember this is an opportunity to grow in Christ; try not to get too down on yourself; and remember that you have a purpose that shall be revealed. I've had to remind myself of those points many times every day for the past year. God will redeem your pain.

Take Time to Recover
by: Daniel

I encourage you to take some time to recover from the pain you went through before making any permanent decisions. An excellent resource to help you do this is called, Pastor in Residence. You can read more about their ministry here.

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