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Discerning A New Vocation

Long have I said we are truly blessed at Grace Church by our clergy, especially Bob Malm and Anne Turner, for they both are gifted preachers.  Of late, it seems everything they preach from the pulpit feels directed AT me.  Ah, Discernment.... a curious place of Wonder!  Seeking quiet, praying regularly, always needing guidance and trying to listen carefully!  With hope!  And hopefully, obedience!  

On the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany (The Baptism of Christ), Father Malm preached on"Vocation, Mission, Identity".  He shared that a vocation "is a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action" and added, "By baptism our vocation is to follow Christ and do what we promise to do in the Baptismal Covenant".  See his complete text: (http://www.gracealex.org/Sermon_070107_Epiphany%201.pdf)

Then last week, Mother Turner preached about "Proclaiming Good News".  She talked about the preacher who returns to the church of their upcoming to share the Word.  She closed with "God's promises to us are waiting to be fulfilled.  When the words are given to you, speak them in confidence.  Know them; seize them; proclaim them with boldness.  This hurting world needs to hear about God's love, and it needs your voice to tell it".  For her sermon, go to:  (http://www.gracealex.org/Sermon_070121_Epiphany%203.pdf)  

Tomorrow I return to St. Christopher's, Springfield VA.  This church is where I was mostly raised in the Faith of Christ Jesus and The Episcopal Church (from 1966 to roughly 1979).  As a "test seeker" for a discernment group being formed for one of their own, I will "help them help themselves" in exploring how to discern God's Will and direction for another seeker through "listening hearts".  I hope and pray that this exercise will be as enlightening and informative to me as it is helpful for them.  

The question I ask them to consider with me is:  I think I am being called to some form of a full-time Pastoral Care ministry as a lay person.  I seek assistance in discerning if this call is authentic, and if I am on the right path.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
(Ps 51: 10-12)