Discernment Event Nurtures Vocations

Posted February 15, 2018

“It was exciting to meet so many young people who are also exploring their own sense of vocation and who are looking for ways to use their unique skills and passions for the future of the Church,” said Robert Jones of Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton when asked to reflect about a recent diocesan discernment event. 

“Called By Name” gathered thirteen people between 15 and 30 years of age for a day to explore their sense of vocation to lay and ordained leadership roles in the church.

Though the icy February weather may have prevented a few registrants from attending, the holy space of Christ’s Church Cathedral and the opportunities to reflect more deeply together about personally important matters created a warm and welcoming context for the gathering.  “I really enjoyed being in a space in which many people were questioning their vocation,” said Miriam Loukidelis, a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist in Hamilton.

The group worshipped together, listened to and shared testimonies of their sense of God’s call, and in small and large group conversations engaged scripture and the sacred stories of their lives. 

“It was a good start to a much needed and longer conversation amongst each other and with the diocesan leadership,” said Adedayo Olomodosi from Grace Church in Milton who has recently started a Master of Theological Studies degree and is actively discerning his vocation. “Hopefully this continues to grow and become a space where all who feel called by God are welcome and able to find some guidance.”

The idea for this event came from a concern and question about where the church’s leaders are and will be coming from, acknowledging that the diocese has a role to support, affirm and nurture those leaders as they find ways to express God’s calls to life, intimacy and service in their lives.

For Sam Crossman of Church of the Epiphany in Oakville, the final activity of the day was also the most memorable one. “We all were given tapers and lit them from the Paschal candle, then scripture was read with the lights off, and then our hands were anointed with sacred chrism oil and given this charge: “Go out into the world and preach the gospel.””

Canon Terry DeForest, vision advocate and director of human resources, says the organizing team “looks forward to hosting similar events in future years and inviting more immediate opportunities to build on the positive experience we shared.”