When people ask me why I went into ministry, I sometimes give them the practical answer. I describe what happened, who I spoke to, what they asked, how I responded. Although this answer explains the historical response to my call to ministry, it does not exactly get to the heart of the matter.
I went into ministry because I believe in God, who has created and is creating. I wanted to dedicate my life to inviting God into my work so that what I do might change the world for the better. I wanted my daily work to make a difference, and I found affirmation that I might have the gifts, skills, and abilities to achieve that within the work of ministry. I became a minister because I believe God called me to do the work of the church and I continue to discern that I am where I am supposed to be. I believe that this is God’s world but that God’s world needs leaders to listen, pay attention, and work for a better world.
I answered my call to ministry in The United Church of Canada not just because I had grown up in this church but also because of the United Church’s dedication to inclusivity and justice. I had felt welcomed, respected, and blessed as a woman, young adult, and member of the church. I wanted to be part of a structure that was continuing to work at welcoming all. I wanted to be part of the system so that I could be part of the changes to make it better.
I believe in the gospel, in the possibility of resurrection, in discipleship, and ministry. I believe in God’s love for you, for me, and for the world.
My call to ministry, to the church, and to serving the people of God has taken a few twists and turns that I did not expect. But rarely do the plans we make work out exactly as we expect them to. Maybe that makes it all the more important that we talk about why we do what we do. It is important for us to remember and for others to understand why what we do really matters and what beliefs are driving our decisions.
For Vocation Sunday this year, consider talking about your call to ministry, to church leadership, or to serving others. Whether we are lay members or members of the clergy, all of us answer God’s call in a variety of ways. Vocation Sunday is an opportunity to recognize and share vocational stories and to celebrate God’s presence in our lives and our work.
I know there are disciples answering God’s call across this country—and that, my friends in Christ, is what vocation is all about.
—Rev. Bronwyn Corlett is Program Coordinator, Ministry Recruitment, at the General Council Office. Contact her at bcorlett [at] united-church.ca ().
If you have already planned something for May 12, 2019, please consider focusing on vocation on a different Sunday this spring! Mark your calendar for next year: May 3, 2020.