September will see a number of new priests and deacons being ordained in the diocese. It is always very exciting and humbling to be involved with ordinations when those who have been exploring, and sometimes struggling, with their sense of vocation for many years, take an important step on the journey of discipleship. It is also hugely encouraging to see new ministry immerge alongside the existing ministry and encouragement of others.
We are, of course, all disciples. I am always greatly encouraged by the number of those who offer themselves for ministry whatever form that takes. The exploration, discovery, and nurturing of new gifts and abilities to further God’s work is something which we should all celebrate and rejoice in. As Sue Tucker is ordained deacon and Steve Martin is ordained priest to serve in our benefice we should all be encouraged to take this opportunity to consider what is our calling. How do we remain faithful to our baptismal vocation? It is not always clear or obvious, sometimes for many years, how we can best exercise and enable our own ministry to be developed. However, it is the case that each of us has a ministry and each of us has a duty to try and respond to that calling from God. It is encouraging to see so many being ordained in our Cathedral and parish churches this year – as we welcome the newly ordained around the diocese, I hope and pray that we can all consider our own sense of call and vacation. The real fruit of their ministry will be them enabling and encouraging others to blossom and flourish in their discipleship.
Do you feel God might be calling you to a particular ministry? A sense that there is a path you need to explore, a door you need to push? Would you like an opportunity to reflect more on your vocation?
Our diocese has set aside a day for anyone who is interested in exploring vocation – whether you feel you may be called to a deeper ministry within the Benefice or our mission community – or if you are interested in exploring licensed lay or ordained ministries, or you just don’t know yet. The details are:
Title of Day: Exploring Vocation
Date: Saturday, 15th October 2016
Time: 10am – 3.30pm
Location: St Luke’s Chapel, Heavitree Road, Exeter
The day will be led by Revd Hannah Alderson, Vocations Development Officer for the Diocese. It will be an opportunity for personal reflection on our own life journey, and prayer, as we seek God’s call on our lives. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about ministries within the Church of England, including the process of selection for licensed and ordained ministry, and to make links with the vocations team for further conversation, if you feel you would like to explore questions of vocation further. I commend this day to you.
If you would like any more information about the day please contact Hannah on firstname.lastname@example.org, or 01392 724804 / 07546 397981.
Please pray for all being ordained this September, and from our own Benefice for Sue Tucker to be ordained Deacon in Exeter Cathedral on Sunday, 11th September and Steve Martin to be ordained priest in Tavistock Parish Church on Saturday, 24th September. Full details of these services and our own plans to celebrate these new ministries are contained within this magazine.
With my love and prayers.