Exploring God's Call 2017
October 21, 2017
The second annual vocation’s day titled “Exploring God’s Call” was held in the Trendell Lounge, the bright, spacious room shared by St. John’s, Shaughnessy and the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, October 21. 2017.
“Exploring God’s Call” is a principal step toward the diocesan goal of actively promoting vocations to diaconal and priestly ministry. This active promotion aligns with our desire as Christian people to be faithful servants of the Lord, ensuring that all those who sense a call have the opportunity to explore and discern that call potentially leading to ordained ministry.
The event was hosted by: Bishop Melissa Skelton; the Venerable Bruce Morris, Archdeacon for Deacons, deacon at St. Hilda’s, Sechelt; the Reverend Sharon Salomons, Director for Diaconal Formation for the Diocese of New Westminster, assistant interim priest, St. Catherine, Capilano; the Venerable Elizabeth Northcott, Archdeacon of Westminster, rector of All Saints’, Ladner. Also present were: deacon of the diocese, the Reverend Linda Varin; Senior Port Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers, the Reverend Peter Smyth, newly ordained deacon of St. David and St. Paul, Powell River, the Reverend Ronald Berezan and postulants, Jaunita Clark of St. John, North Vancouver and Alecia Greenfield currently on a field placement at Christ Church Cathedral.
With this much expertise in the room, those who gathered to participate were in excellent company and the agenda for the day which included a keynote address from Bishop Skelton in the morning, a detailed description of the discernment process and a panel discussion about the experience of divine call with panelists, Reverends Salomons, Smyth and Varin and postulant, Jaunita Clark moderated by Archdeacon Morris progressed through the four hours (with a lunch break) very smoothly.
There was also time for prayer, reflection, questions and small group discussions. The penultimate agenda item was a small group discussion with the plenary forming four self-selected groups each with at least one facilitator and each discussing four questions:
- What have you heard today so far that connects with your experience or energizes you?
- What have you heard today that gives you pause?
- What other questions do you have?
- What if any next steps do you want to pursue?
All those who attended “Exploring God’s Call” benefitted from the experience and the opportunity to explore the meaning of, and perhaps understand more deeply these words from Thomas Merton:
“Discovering Vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.”
- Small group discussions
- The panel
- Hosts on the left and plenary listen to the panel
- The Reverend Sharon Salomons, Director for Diaconal Formation speaks about her own conversion process and call
- Archdeacon Bruce Morris
- Small group discussion