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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Friday, February 03, 2006

Background checks

As I mentioned a while back, I'm in the process of seeking a call to a church after my curacy is over in June. I've been in conversation with a couple of churches, hither and yon. The search at St. Yon is still early in the process; but at St. Hither we have progressed in our discernment together to the point that the diocese is doing a background check on me.

As you might imagine, this has become standard operating procedure prior to a call, for very good reason. Parishes have enough challenges without ugly skeletons leaping out of the closet and starting to rattle. At the same time, it is an expense, so it is not done until a church becomes serious about a candidate or two.

I've had background checks done on me twice before: the first, when we adopted our youngest; and the second, as part of my being admitted as a postulant, shortly before seminary. As it happens, the latter will speed up the exercise this time around. My diocese and St. Hither's both use the same service for this effort, so they already have a thorough file on me. It will just be a matter of catching up the last 3 or 4 years, to bring it up to date.

I filled out the necessary forms consenting to criminal database checks, and listing schooling, employment, and canonical residency for them to verify. I also completed a four page "Have you ever done the following?" questionnaire which, as my daughter observed, "had a lot about sex and drugs, but no rock and roll." I went through the whole list of questions, and the only one I answered in the affirmative asked if I had ever been charged with a moving traffic violation. Yes, I have gotten a couple of speeding tickets in my time.

Maybe I need to get out more.

Or not.

Anyway, I dutifully filled all this stuff out and mailed it off to the investigation company for their verification. I will admit to feeling odd about this. I mean, I've told them everything I know, so the record should be clear; but I still wonder what, if anything, will turn up. It's rather like being summoned to the principal's office: "I haven't done anything wrong. . . have I? What did I do?" The unspecified concern of a generally clear conscience that still wonders if it shouldn't be feeling guilty about something. . .

Maybe I need to find something more constructive to do. Like finishing my last RevGal reflection.


Blogger Emily said...

From what I gathered the last time I dealt with the background check, no one in a diocesan office is surprised by traffic tickets.

Also, I got a letter from said background check service addressed to Mr. Emily So and So--this was after they had done a couple of checks on me.

It did make me wonder what kind of job they actually do.

February 03, 2006 3:17 PM  

Blogger Dawgdays said...

Funny. I get a lot of "Ms. Wesley"

February 03, 2006 9:46 PM  

Blogger Teri said...

I always wonder if my protest history will show up. So far, if it has, it's never stopped me from getting the job. I had to have background checks for the children's hospital, the "grown up" hospital, the Committee for the Prevention of Ministry, and to work as a youth minister. Not to mention apartments. How weird that to live in a gated apartment complex I had to have a background check. oy. Makes me wonder why, and also makes me nervous. creepy.

February 05, 2006 1:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honey, if they don't find out about that night at the seminary, you'll be just fine.

February 05, 2006 3:40 PM  

Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

I get one done every year for camp and I still feel nervous each time--even though my life is as boring as possible.

February 08, 2006 12:17 PM  

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