E-Newsletter for Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mutual Renewal Workshop, Concert this Sunday, Migrant Quilt Project and more in the E-Newsletter for July 22, 2018 https://mailchi.mp/8b408f04983e/ey7eu7o5mr-1385341

A Message from Alicia Hager, Aspirant to the Priesthood

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Our Senior Warden Cathryn Marshall asked me if I would be willing to share with you some of my own journey toward ordained ministry. For me, and for many others who have felt so called, it begins with a tugging feeling. I obeyed my tug and through the process of parish discernment was moved to discernment at a diocesan level as a Nominee to the Order of Deacons. 

I enrolled in the Academy for Vocational Leadership, which is a collaboration with the Seminary of the Southwest and also the three lower Michigan dioceses. I spent 3 years attending the Academy in Clarkston, Mi, one weekend per month. We studied the Bible, Church History and Theology & Ethics. We also had practical courses and spirituality courses. I graduated just last month with my Certificate in Theological Studies. 

It was through my time at the Academy that I felt that my own call to ministry was shifting, I felt that tug again, but I tried my best to ignore it for a lot of reasons. Two priests in one family?! But I have kids! But I have to work a regular job and pay bills, how will I find time for this? But I don’t want to give up who I think I am and my own plans…. What I was doing was throwing up barriers to God and where I heard God speaking in my life. The process of tearing down those barriers, being willing to listen with a spirit of true openness, and finally saying out loud what I was hearing, was the better part of 18 months and was very difficult. 

I wonder what you are hearing, beloved family. I wonder where God is speaking in your life and where you too have put up barriers. Not everyone is called to a life of ordained ministry, but we are all called at our baptism to ministry. My own call takes its shape from my deep love of the church and her people. Your own ministry may take the shape of telling Godly Play stories, singing in the choir, becoming a Eucharistic Visitor or feeding the hungry at Loving Spoonfuls. Whatever your own tug is, I hope you will obey. There is great joy to be found in service to God and community, wondrous freedom in a call to ministry that is obeyed even though it seems impossible or difficult; even though it requires sacrifice. 

I believe that it is only through each of us obeying our distinct call to minister that the kingdom of God can be ushered in. I am in prayer for you, SJE, as you are in prayer for me. 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, July 22  https://mailchi.mp/8b408f04983e/ey7eu7o5mr-1385341

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