Episcopal clergy will need no further explanation as to why prayers are in order.
In fact, GOE flashbacks are sometimes prompted by just the words -- General Ordination Exam -- and so if you're experiencing flashback symptoms step away from this blog and go do something -- ANYTHING -- other than think about church history, missiology, theology, et al. Walk a dog. Watch some football. Fold some laundry. If symptoms continue, breathe into a paper bag while clicking your heels together and saying "all will be well and all will be well and all manner of things shall indeed by well.",
For anyone NOT familiar with the GOEs, they're basically the Bar Exam for Episcopal priests ... a week long exam administered this first week of January every year to those scheduled to graduate from seminary the upcoming spring and intended to test whether the seminary education in process is actually preparing the candidate for the ministry they're going to be called to post-graduation/ordination.,
The Board of Examining Chaplains has lots of fun facts to know and tell about GOEs on their website ... but most of what you need to know is summed up in the words "week long comprehensive exam."
In a nutshell: It's gruelling.
So keep 'em in your prayers this week ... all those sitting for GOEs and all those who will read the exams ... and (what the heck!) all those who've taught our seminarians and all those who will minister with them and for the church they will help call into its becoming what God is calling it to be.
It's an awesome privilege -- to do this work we've been called to do. And sometimes it's good to be reminded about how hard we had to work to get to do it. To remember what it felt like to have three years of seminary and five years of discernment and all your community's trust and support (not to MENTION your bishop and commission on ministry!) all staring you in the face while you look at a blank word.doc and wonder where to even begin to answer the question!
,Ooops! Flashback alert! Time to step away from the blog and go walk the dog. Or fold some laundry.