I'm Baaack!

Wow! My last post might have been in 2015 or 2016…I’m not sure. I dated it 2015 as a guess. My situation has changed. This post will reflect personal history for 2015 – 2018. I will post “things I’ve learned in catechumenal ministry in that time” and perhaps other things having to do with ecclesiology and other matters that have been part of my life during these past years. I know some of it is a matter of “who cares but me?” But some of this personal history may provide context for where I am now personally and in terms of the catechumenate.

First, I AM RETIRED as of January 1, 2020. This changes a lot for me. I plan to devote a lot more time to the catechumenate. I don’t know what that will look like. What I hope it includes is reflections on things I read, praxis on continuing ministry, reflection on the Gospel and so much more.

History first. My job as the Trinity Cathedral Operations Manager continued to grow in scope. As it did, the time I devoted to catechumenal ministry diminished. I was not happy about this, primarily because it reflected my actual priorities–professional job before ministry. Of course there were other things in the mix — primarily my marriage. Our daughter continued to live in San Francisco and married Bryce Sawin Memorial Day weekend, 2018. Mary and I continued to devote way too much time to our jobs. (We’re both workaholics.) . Mary retired in June, 2017. Her younger brother passed away in July. After finishing with that tragedy, Mary turned her energies to helping our daughter plan her wedding. I was on the fringes of the planning but, of course, had some involvement.

In 2015 and 2016, Trinity did some major physical plant repairs. We dug up the Great Hall and kitchen floors because of sewer pipe problems. As Operations Manager I was in the thick of the repairs. I left project management to others but I was the on-site person day after day. I worked with Journey to Baptismal Living (JBL; formerly NAAC) on a conference. Trinity co-hosted with St. John’s Lutheran. The turnout was small but it brought together catechumenate ministers from St. Martin’s in Davis, St. John’s Lutheran and Trinity. Trinity’s team got a better overall picture of the dynamics of the Catechumenate. Dean Brian Baker participated and went away enthused as much more supportive of catechumenal ministry than he had been before attending the conference.

Brian announced his resignation from Dean of the Cathedral in February 2018 and left in June 2018. Jim Richardson, a priest who had been at Trinity when Mary and I first joined the parish, took over as Interim Dean.

I continued as Catechumenate Director during this time but saw participation diminish as I devoted less and less time to the ministry. I had a wonderful team but I was the planner and liaison with staff and was not able to pay this ministry the attention it deserved. But I thought about the ministry during these years and we (the team) tried various things to educate the parish about this ministry and to keep it going.

I stayed involved in JBL and coordinated the 2014 Annual Gathering at Mercy Center, Danville. It was a success but, again, time consuming. In 2016 I left the JBL Board and have only rejoined in December, 2019. It is good to be back.

The last half of 2018 and 2019 were different inasmuch as we went through a change in both parish and diocesan leadership. That is a separate post.

About Jerry

Catechumenate ministry is my passion. I have been involved in the catechumenate since 1980 in both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal branches of the Church. I am a "progressive," ecumenical Christian who is realistic enough to know that the Church has never been "One"; is often not "Holy"; strives to be "Catholic" and is "Apostolic" only when members respect the Tradition rather than the latest customs. I have been fortunate to be able to focus on various elements of philosophy, theology and Christian history during my studies. I am able to bring them all to bear in catechumenate ministry.
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