August 25, 2008


At the beginning of school, I always think more deeply about vocation. Students come to seminary because they have sensed a call from God to take up the work of ministry. Here are seven affirmations about vocation:

1. God has called each of us—into life, into faith, and into purposeful living.

2. God can speak to us through the world’s groaning need.

Vocation often arises out of our concern about a deep need in the world. For me it was a clear sense that God wants the church to accept its daughters as well as its sons in ministry, and the call to me was to assist the seminary in teaching and embodying this new reality.

3. God has more to say to us than we can hear by ourselves.

· Listen to questions people ask us

· Listen to key affirmations of our gifts

4. Vocation allows us to be most fully ourselves—and most fully God’s

· What makes our hearts rise up?

· Where do we feel most at home?

5. Vocation is that which keeps “making more out of us.”

[Gail Godwin, Evensong]

· Vocation is not static—there will be continuing opportunities to grow and learn

6. Vocation always requires the assistance of the Holy Spirit

· If we think we can accomplish the Lord’s calling in our own strength, we have shot too low.

7. Vocation is for the Body of Christ; it is offered in community

· Our gifts belong to everyone. Spiritual gifts are not possessions; they are grace gifts to assist the common good—both within and without the congregation.

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