Vivian Coleman is a follower of Jesus, and an ordained Presbyterian minister; between 2009 and 2015 she was seconded to a pastoral role at a Baptist church in Auckland. She recently completed a Master of Business at AUT where her thesis topic was Performance Management of Clergy in NZ Presbyterian and Baptist churches. She is now self-employed as a ministry coach, an all-encompassing term that covers leading services and supervising pastors, resourcing discipleship training and writing about management in the church. She is married to Ric, an Auckland GP, and they have four children and seven grandchildren.
The notion of a 'godshaped' life comes from Eugene Peterson's Message translation of Proverbs 11:28 and references a life both shaped by God and reflecting God's character, best seen in the person of Jesus Christ.
I have been using this poem in Good Friday services for twenty years. I think I wrote it, but am happy to be corrected if that is mis-remembered.
It seems to tie in with the journey of Covid-prompted emotions we have traversed this Holy Week under Lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand.
A Sword Pierced Soul
Grief cuts deep
A sword piercing the soul
Searing mind and spirit
Piercing the soul
Although the call to ministry in general may still be strong, sometimes there are cues to the fact that the relationship is becoming fragile or unsustainable.
My Celtic ''pastoral tie' graphic is an attempt to present the dynamics of a call in visual form.
In April 2020 Rev Viv has been writing devotional messages for her home church during the Lockdown in New Zealand. The Covid Level Four Alert has required schools to close, many businesses to shut down, and everyone to stay at home. The task of writing daily devotions evolved for Rev Viv - who is a trained counsellor - into an examination of the emotional dynamics of Holy Week. On the Monday, she wrote about Anger in a study of Jesus clearing the moneychangers from the Temple.
All the gospels record such an event. Yet it’s a discomfiting story to read, at odds with the kind and gentle Messiah who rode a donkey and taught about loving our enemies. Preachers usually distinguish between Jesus’ righteous indignation on behalf of others, and the human experience of ‘losing it’ and becoming enraged.