Celebrating Calling event to explore the “extraordinary business of ministry” hailed a great success
Published on 31 August 2023 2 minutes read
People gathered in St John's Parish Church in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire on Saturday past to hear about the exciting new vision that the Kirk is developing for 21st-century ministry.
Organised by the Towards Ministry Team, the Celebrating Calling event was aimed at those who are considering a call to serve and hear from people already engaged in the "extraordinary business of ministry".
Very Rev Dr Martin Fair, Pathways to Ministry Manager, reflects on what was a very successful, encouraging and uplifting day.
"Saturday saw the new Towards Ministry Team hosting its first event in what will be a series of regional opportunities for those who want to explore what they sense might be a calling to ministry.
"The good news is that the event was a great success with 21 men and women from all different backgrounds coming to Hamilton and with many immediately indicating a desire to take the next step into the more formal discernment process.
"But for all, there was ample opportunity to listen and to discuss and to prayerfully consider ‘Might God be calling me?'
"The team is very clear in its understanding that all Christians are called to serve - churches stand or fall depending on the extent to which that truth becomes a reality.
"Within that, though, there have always been those who step forward to specific ministries and the Church of Scotland has identified and encouraged that process as a clear priority at this time.
"The day started with a celebration of the fact that God is indeed still calling ordinary people to the extraordinary business that is ministry - whether that be to the Readership, the Diaconal Ministry of Word and Service or to Word and Sacrament Ministry.
"Dawn Westwood, Jillian Storrie and Eleanor Hamilton, all of whom are in the final stages of preparation for ministry, were there to share their experiences of training and preparation.
"Erica Wishart, Jim Murphy, Karen Hamilton and Iain Majcher offered their unique perspectives on the varied ministries within which they each serve.
No one sought to disguise the fact that ministry can be hugely challenging and yet each spoke of the enormous fulfillment that they find in their respective roles.
"New to the Towards Ministry Team this year are Rev Eleanor McMahon and myself and between us we bring sixty years of ministry experience and equally so, a genuine desire to support others in to ministry and for the future flourishing of the Church.
"To complement the Hamilton event and those which will follow, Eleanor and I are going to host Conversations in Calling online groups to which all who are interested in the first tentative steps of exploring call are welcome to attend.
"Might such a group be for you or do you know someone you'd want to encourage to attend?
"Get in touch for an informal chat by emailing email@example.com."