“Listen to your own heart, your own sense of call, and the person God made you to be.” Rev Dr Janet Foggie
Published on 27 February, 2018
In the latest of our My Ministry blog series, we meet Rev Dr Janet Foggie, a pioneer minister at the Presbytery of Stirling.
Rev Dr Janet Foggie
Current parish church & location
Pioneer Minister, Presbytery of Stirling
Chaplaincy assignment & location
Church of Scotland Chaplain to the University of Stirling
Studied at which Church of Scotland College?
St Mary’s College, University of St Andrew’s
When qualified as an Ordained Minister?
How you were called to serve God?
I was always a religious child; a person of self-reflection and faith. I heard God’s call in many ways and yet found my feet returning to the path of ministry each time. Even after my ordination, my call has grown and changed as I have deepened in faith.
Briefly describe your parish church and the community it serves.
I am on a journey into the unknown. What God’s new community will look like, remains to be seen, but just getting there is thrilling. To find out, I am serving the church as a Pioneer Minister building community in the University of Stirling. I run an eco-sewing group and I work at the Student Community Garden. I am available for conversations and support to students and staff for whatever issues they may wish to raise and I am open to finding God’s new vision of ecclesial community beyond the boundaries of contemporary church and into the future.
What is it about your role you find most rewarding?
I find it really rewarding to work with students. The desire to build a better world, be useful members of society, to look after our planet and care for each other is so evident in the students and this gives me a great deal of hope and joy.
And most challenging?
Pioneers work alone and on the boundaries. This is a freedom, but also a challenge, as I have to be open to God’s guidance. I must not let new shoots of growth wither or let the flickering candle go out. I need to be flexible and ready at all times.
What skills have you brought into your role?
My main skills lie in clear, practical, free-thinking; in consistency of application; and in listening and speaking well.
And what skills have you learned in the role?
Teamwork skills have developed and changed over 15 years: consistently yet flexibly working as a colleague in various different situations.
So far, what’s been the highlight of your career as a Church of Scotland minister?
Our permaculture training weekend from Transition Stirling, when a multi-cultural group learned about permaculture principles; earth care, people care and fair share. These fit well with the commandment to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Ideas, people, good food and gardening came together in a communion of equal sharing.
What do you do to relax?
We have a two-acre smallholding at home. I grow vegetables, keep poultry, and try to live as sustainably as possible. We plant trees and care for the soil. I relax best outdoors and truly love God’s planet.
What’s your message to those considering applying and training for a life in Ministry?
As far as possible discern your own call within yourself. Be sure of it, but also let it change as you change. Advice is easily given and sometimes can throw us on the wrong path or on the right path at the wrong time. Listen to your own heart, your own sense of call, and the person God made you to be. This is your gift to others in ministry. In my experience, it is much easier to serve others if you are truly comfortable within yourself.