The call to ordination and restlessness.

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by Simon Richardson, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Simon Richardson

    Simon Richardson New Member

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    Hello everyone.

    So as you may have guessed from the title I have strong sense that God is calling me and over the past couple of years I have been discussing this sense of calling with my priest. To cut a long and winding story short she has agreed that I have a vocation and is sending me to the diocean office for a full assesment and interview after my confirmation. I have prayed, studied, reflected and listened to the word and voice of God I am certain that this is the path he wants for me (even if I am not to be ordained I feel my life is in the service of God and Church), my question is for anyone who has gone down this path before is have you or someone you know experience this almost restless energy and wakefulness, I am often up late at night either in prayer or feeling a strong desire to reflect upon the events of my life reguarding ordination. My priest said that many priests that she trained/worked with experience this restlessness. Have you experienced this restlessness if not what was the call to ordination like for you.

    Thank you for your time and God Bless,

    Simon.
     
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Be aware though that the vocation of priest and the job of being a vicar are very different from each other. Find out exactly what is involved with both aspects of priesthood before deciding to enthusiastically embrace both or you will end up 'trying to serve two very different masters and chosing one over the other' and that would not work well for either you or your flock.
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  4. Simon Richardson

    Simon Richardson New Member

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    Thanks for the response, you aren't the first person to talk about this and I'm sure you won't be the last (and with good reason). I am aware of the difference my priest and I have had this conversation many times. It was one of the first things we discussed if my memory serves, she was understandably cautious about my awarenss of the diference due to my age. I imagine if you like any sort of community organisation the position of Vicar can look very attractive but I can confidently say its not the job of Vicar that I feel called to but the life of the Priest.
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking along different lines though. Many priests felt called to the pastoral duties of the cure of souls but found themselves being more of a manager of church property and a fund raising lacky. It's all part of the job though and the teaching/preaching/celbrating communion bit is often the least arduous and least time consuming part. Beware of going in thinking you will be called upon mostly for your spiritual 'gifts' or have extensive opportunities to deal with the 'spiritually impoverished'. It's rarely like that. Get any idea of 'status' out of your mind altogether.
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  6. Simon Richardson

    Simon Richardson New Member

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    I don't disagree with you on that point either but I do understand these differences my parish priest has been very clear on them and I can appreciate the fact that my priest spends a great deal more time on the organisation front as I have been helping her with various projects over the past year. Much of my calling is reaffirmed by seeing the various work that my priest and other clergy do. The priesthood isn't about status for me its about service and doing what I feel called to do for others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I wish you God speed in your studies and your vocation then Simon. I am not ordained myself, I am a Church of England Licenced Lay Minister but I have experience of the priesthood. I have been married to one since 1998, so I know what is involved in ministry. It seems you have already had wise advice.
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  8. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member Anglican

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    restlessness can be either a call to the priesthood. Or the Spirit acting on you as you are making a faulty decision. Restlessness is not always a sign you are on the correct path. Understand if you are on the path for a vocation, Satan will come at you with everything to include the kitchen sink.

    I advise that you pray, pray, pray, pray and make sure of your intentions. Test the spirit. Then read Fulton Sheens' "A Priest is not His Own." If you still believe you are called after reading this book, you just may be correct.

    God's will be done. Then accept it.

    Blessings,

    Fr. Mark Brown
     
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  9. Simon Richardson

    Simon Richardson New Member

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    Thank you Father for your response and thank you for being open about Satan I find too many people overly dismissive of the influence of evil on our lives despite the bible’s clarity on this issue. My prayer on the matter has been largely fruitful, but I feel you are absolutely correct that I must be cautious that I may well be wrong for the priesthood and might be being drawn in for the wrong reasons both practically, as Tilly rightfully suggested and evil as you have.

    God bless you and your ministry.

    Simon.
     
  10. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood too but in my diocese we have OLMs or Ordained Lay Ministers, which I think is a better fit for me than a Stipendiary Priest because I am recently retired and my age would make the running of a parish a major challenge. I am meeting with my priest this week and then later with my bishop to discuss my possible vocation and to help me discern, along with them. I was a little surprised though that neither of them immediately told me that I was too old to even try. I do know that the first woman ordained in our diocese was 67, so I wouldn't exactly be setting a precedent. If it turns out that I can't become a priest, or even a Deacon, the I will just work in a lay ministry to help the parish, but I have felt the call for a very long time.

    Has anyone else of retirement age here become a priest?
     
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Do they have LLM (Local Lay Ministers) in Australia? I am one in the UK. We used to be known as Readers and are not ordained but preach, teach and can take funerals and act in a supporting role to the priesthood. Ordained Lay Minister seems like an oxymoron to me. We are either Ordained or Lay as far as I can understand. Not ever both.

    Ordination is not always the closest 'fit' for all people, especially those of us who are at the more experienced end of life in The Spirit. (And also in the flesh, for that matter).

    Perhaps you mean an NSM (Non Stipendiary Minister), usually assigned to a team or with House for Duty. Ordained but not receiving a regular stipend.
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  12. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    My error - the actual title is not Ordained Lay but Ordained LOCAL... wasn't thinking when I wrote that.

    Australian dioceses are all set up a little differently from each other and obviousy different from the UK as well. We have three types of ordained vocations here in my diocese, they are:

    Stipendiary Clerics These are the priests we are used to having in leadership in our parishes – appointed to various locations and roles over time and financially supported by the Church. Stipendiary Deacons are usually “transitional deacons”, clearly on their way to ordination as Priests.
    Self-Supporting Ministers (SSM) are those who, like the stipendiary clerics, have a solid theological education, but who may or may not have had intentional formation. They will be financially self-supporting, i.e. they exercise their ministry without formal remuneration. They contribute under the supervision of a stipendiary cleric. They will often be people at the “second career” stage of their lives. They may be priests or deacons.
    Ordained Local Ministers (OLM) are people who usually serve just one parish or congregation under the direction of a Parish Priest or Rector, and are financially self-supporting. OLM candidates need to have demonstrated ministry competence, but they do not need to be able to do everything in the same way as a stipended cleric is expected to be an “all-rounder“. Discernment is more important than qualifications for such people.

    I certainly would not become a Stipendiary Cleric and think that I would best fit in under the OLM path, but as you say, not everyone is 'fit' to be ordained. I see no reason in not offering myself in this way though, and then leaving it up to the parish priest and the bishop to help advise me of a better option should they see one. I would definitely need the support of my local community of course, but so far I have had nothing but support from the bishop and my priest.

    There are many ways to serve God, and ordination is just one of them. One of the first women to be ordained in our diocese was 67, so it is not uthinkable for an older woman to offer herself at a later time in life. Nothing is impossible for God.
     
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  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    If you wish to stand up for Biblical Christianity and traditional Anglicanism, then I would strongly recommend for a return to the Biblical and traditional Anglican doctrine of the male & female sexes. If you are 67, you would have heard glimmers of this when you were little girl (I wasn't born yet then). There are many ways to serve the Church without violating nature and God's ordinance of human society. We are not amorphous sex-less bipeds, and we are not mutants with 47 genders. Male and female he created them.

    So as I was saying, there are many ways to serve the Church without crossing this boundary which so many in our times have done. In my jurisdiction we have the Order of the Deaconess, namely this is an order of lay women, who minister both to women and men in countless pastoral ways. This follows the ancient order of the Deaconess in the early Church, which incorporates women, without spilling over into the male holy orders, thus preserving God's institution. I've med the ladies there, and they are truly saintly and wonderful human beings.

    https://anglican-deaconess.org/
     
  14. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    The wonderful thing about being an Anglican is that we can agree to disagree. There are four or five dioceses in Australia that do not allow the ordination of women. Mine, thankfully, is not one of them. Going back to repressive policies of the past is not helpful to anyone.
     
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  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You know, God is repressive. He puts us within a yoke, and demands things which often appear impossible. He punishes those (like the lavender mafia) who transgress his holy laws. He establishes ordinances like marriage which are for life, unbreakable, which is totally against human impulses. He condemns heretics, and his followers have been extremists who refused to compromise even an iota, or contribute even a pinch to non-Christians. Our saints have chopped down the idols of the heathens, and have went to happy death for minor points of invisible, immaterial theology.

    I hope you make sure that you haven't bought into the hippie anti-church born in the 1960s. The Gospel of the Lord brooks no competitors.

    And remember that "not all who cry Lord, Lord" will be allowed to go to Heaven. Humanity is like a "field of wheat" where almost nobody will be saved.

    The Gospel is a terrifying thing, and I hope that by accepting an anti-gospel, following folks in sheep's clothing, that you don't follow into a place that was unexpected.
     
  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Wow that's quite a rant. :clap::laugh:
    .
     
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  17. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace New Member

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    Once again I beg to differ. God is love and God is light and in Him there is no darkness. You choose to focus on the God of judgment and wrath. I choose to focus on the God of love, mercy and compassion. Peace brother. You keep your vision of God and I will keep mine.
     
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  18. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Revelation 21:8 "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

    This is not my vision of God. This is from the holy Scriptures themselves.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2021
  19. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control​

    ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

    Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’​

    I believe that this is a very unhelpful view of God, and to some extend a warping of the big picture Holy Writ paints for us of God, the liberator who brings his people out of Egypt to freedom in the promised land, of God who calls Abraham on a journey into the unknown and on trust, of Jesus who rises from the dead to lead a host of captives.

    The reason why this happened in the Church might bear some thinking. Many had bound God up in a straightjacket to be the God of Rules, who wouldn't hear you unless you spoke Elizabethan Best English, and whose world was largely sewn up in a 'Thou Shalt Not' Blanket. We are called to be light, salt and leaven. Enlightening, Ensavoring, and Raising Up.
     
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  20. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe no one has responded to not allowing women to be ordained as repressive policies. There is a lot of scriptural warrant to not letting WO ordination happen and tradition backs that up.
     
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