“If there are signs that God is seriously calling you, then be prepared for an unbelievable journey.”

Primary Media
Marty Clark-Ettinger, Designated Lay Minister
  • Where: Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Current Ministry: Congregational
  • Years in Ministry: If you count Licensed Lay Worship Leadership, 8 years

How and when did you know you were called to ministry?

It was the year 2000; I walked into a midnight mass at a Catholic church. Today I still have no idea why I went there, for I had not been inside a church for as long as I can remember. The sounds, the sights, and the smells seem to have taken over my sense of reality. It was something I could not explain. The next year at Easter, I became a Catholic. As I began to listen to the minister preach his sermon each Sunday, I felt as though he was talking directly to me. I knew there was some kind of connection happening, from the words he was preaching to the handshake at the door as I left. Instantly I knew that I wanted to do what he was doing.

Why did you pursue ministry in The United Church of Canada?

Coming from the States I had met my partner, who is now my husband, who is an ordained minister. He told me about the programs that were available to become a designated lay minister. I started with Christian Leadership Education (CLE). From there I did the work to become a Licensed Lay Worship Leader (LLWL). And before I knew it, here I am living the dream of the call I have had, tried to run from, but finally answered.

What has been the greatest part of entering ministry?

Doing discernment.

What has been your biggest challenge in ministry?

Trying not to overwork. I love what I do and I find myself doing more than I should, and more than I have to. And not taking care of myself.

If someone said they wanted to be a minister, what would you tell them?

I would tell them if there are signs that God is seriously calling you, then be prepared for an unbelievable journey.

Any other comments about your ministry and vocation?

I am enjoying every minute of my vocation. My ministry is just beginning, for it is a life-long learning journey. Though it can be very busy at times. I am so blessed that God has chosen me to do his work.