Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Litany of Affirming the Call

This weekend I've been gifted the task to help lead and structure the worship for a conference-wide discernment retreat for young people in Central Texas and abroad.  It's a different kind of retreat, focused on vocational ministry in many ways, but the flip is that we're not fixated on ordained ministry as the only option.

We'll have break out sessions with leaders in ministry from our conference and many others to discuss with our young adults ministry in careers in youth ministry, children's ministry, and ordained ministry.  We'll talk about the need for educated lay people - that may even want to go to seminary just for that.

The point of the whole extravaganza is simple: we're all called to ministry, and our ministry call is as unique to each one of us.  What if ... we truly treated all members of our churches as the ministers we call ourselves?  That's the point of the weekend as we'll meet, pray, and discover where the Lord is guiding us.

At the close of the afternoon worship session, we'll be reading this litany together, as we affirm the call in one another.

A Litany of Affirming the Call

The discernment process can be a long one
     But thank God it’s not meant to be done alone
We stand here in community and we affirm together that the Lord has called each of us to ministry
     By our baptisms we are claimed by God to do good work in the Lord’s name
Our call is personal, and it is unique to each one of us
     And it is communal, as we live out our callings with those around us
Lord God, thank you for being with us as we discover who you are calling us to be
     Who you are calling us to be as a people of faith
     Who you are calling us to be as ministers of your word
The Spirit has brought us together in this place, by pulling on each of our hearts
     Maybe others have nudged us here, some have been shoved
But yes, God, we are here wondering at the plans you have for us
     So, Lord, we pray for the call put on our neighbor on our left
     We pray for the call put on our neighbor to our right
     In front of us.
     Behind us
We give God our thanks
     We thank you, God, our Creator for gifting us with our calls
     We thank you, Jesus Christ, for teaching us how to walk in the Way.
     We thank you, Holy Spirit, both for disturbing us into realizing our call, and comforting      us as we follow it.
May our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer fill us up, as we are sent out.