To be formed as clay in the potter’s hands
The Episcopal Servant Ministries seminar is a way to explore the direction God is calling you. Required before registering for the NJ School for Ministry, the seminar is open to all and will help participants discern the direction of their ministry, whether lay or ordained.
Held regularly, the dates of the ESM seminars for the first half of 2022 have been released, with the first seminar beginning Jan. 15. Anyone who wants to begin the discernment process would benefit by registering for this seminar now.
Are you feeling drawn toward something new in service to God’s people? The Episcopal Servant Ministries seminar will allow you to explore how the Spirit may be moving you!
Have you ever picked up the phone and called someone because something inside you just moved you to do so? Have you ever stepped in or stepped up to do something good and then found yourself saying “I’m not sure what made me do that (but I’m glad I did!)”? The Spirit of the Living God is at work in your life. Always. And the Spirit is always inviting you to participate in God’s work.
The call of the Spirit does not always require us to do something that shocks the world—like Noah’s call to build and ark and populate it with two of every species. It isn’t often accompanied by Isaiah’s extraordinary vision of seraphs with six wings and a house filled with smoke. It doesn’t always require (at least up front) magnificent courage and readiness to confront danger … as in the call of Jonah to preach conversion to those truly awful Ninevites. It doesn’t always turn the world’s expectations upside down as in the call of young David. And you surely don’t have to be knocked off your donkey and blinded by a brilliant light like Paul to be called to participate in God’s work.
There are moments of call in each of our lives, moments when we feel drawn to move in a new direction. Perhaps someone has invited us to take up some new service. Perhaps we had some new insight during worship or quiet prayer or even during a walk on the beach. Perhaps we read some words that we can’t shake, words to which we find our hearts returning repeatedly. Moments of call. These need to be explored.
Remember that “call” does not imply ordained ministry. No human laid hands upon either John the Baptist or Jesus to ordain them and send them out into the world to take up their ministries. Lay ministry is real, essential, and critically important. Look around our diocese and you will see magnificent examples of lay ministry – both at the diocesan level and in even the smallest of our churches. In our Episcopal Church life, there are four (no, not three!) orders of ministry: lay, bishops, priest, and deacons (see our Book of Common Prayer, page 855). All four are rooted in our Baptism, yet each order has its own work and requires us to know and develop and utilize the gifts God has implanted within us.
The upcoming Episcopal Servant Ministries seminar is the place to begin. We will examine the four orders of ministry, the work of each order, and the gifts that support each order. You will be invited to reflect on your own gifts. The seminar is open to all and is ABSOLUTELY NOT designed only for those who believe they may be called to ordained ministry. On the other hand, if you believe you may be called to ordained ministry, this is surely the place to begin as this seminar is now required for those entering (or already in) the discernment process.
Episcopal Servant Ministries
Open to all who want to re-examine God’s purposes for them…
Each seminar requires three Zoom sessions
Registration is required. Each seminar is limited to 12 participants.
After registering, you will receive an email confirming your participation.
You will also receive information on how to join the zoom session, and a short questionnaire that will invite you to introduce yourself.