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Following a calling

(8 Posts)
ellenjames Thu 02-Feb-17 22:26:30

Have read a similar thread and seen some positive feedback so thought I would ask for advice heresmile.
I am a mature uni student doing theology and history in my final year then hopefully doing a theology masters.
For a while I have felt called by God/Jesus to devote my life including working life to helping others through God's guidance.
I am not a member of a church per se but have been involved in setting up a forest church last year.
I am discussing with my uni chaplain tomorrow about being confirmed and having a chat with him about this calling.
I have been reading lots about people's callings etc (on top of uni stuff wink).
So I suppose I am asking for any info on how other people knew and went about becoming ordained etc.
I am mid 30's with 3 children and a husband, and have been in full time education for 4 years so far so that doesn't worry me. However I have no working experience apart from retail and working with young children in a museum doing voluntary work. I am going to discuss joining the chaplaincy at uni and helping out with that as I should be there hopefully until next September.

ellenjames Thu 02-Feb-17 22:29:45

Plus I know it sounds stupid but how do you manage extremes of emotions? I worry how I would manage dealing with others grief etc as I cry at anything. I am the sort of person that could go to a complete strangers funeral and be in floods of tears as I am so emotional and interested in everyone's life story I suppose.

It sounds like you are doing lots of the right things by talking to the university chaplain and exploring confirmation. I'm C of E so everything that follows is part of that tradition....

The chaplain can talk you through the process of discerning a vocation which might be to ordained ministry which takes many forms such as parish priest, or chaplain, or pioneer or it might be to lay leadership which might be reader or pioneer or spiritual director. It might be worth looking at the fresh expressions website which gives some ideas about what sort of projects are going on around the country. If you have been involved with forest church you might recognise some of the joys and challenges of pioneering new forms of church.

In terms of what a vocation feels like then I suspect it is different for everyone but for me it was like a nagging that didn't go away no matter what I did. I wouldn't worry about being emotional. I found that in role I can cope with loads of stuff I didn't think,I could manage before.

It might be worth visiting a few churches locally to get a sense of the breadth of the Christian tradition. I wouldn't worry about the lack of formal,work experience. Managing a family is excellent preparation for ministry and it sounds as if you have the academic background they like to see.

ellenjames Fri 03-Feb-17 21:33:31

Thank you so much for your response thegreen. We spoke today about being confirmed and ended up chatting for 2 hours grin. All related but I love talking to people and learning, and we talked about one of the things I struggle with, the concept of sin, and he explained it all in such a way that I get it now smile

BrownEyedLady Fri 03-Feb-17 22:03:41

I love hearing other's experiences. Have you heard of Francis Bennett? He was a Trappist Monk and has had a fascinating life. I liked this interview: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h-7FE6Qs2Hs. Very beautiful and authentic person.

ElvishArchdruid Sat 18-Feb-17 11:45:26

It's fantastic that you're acting on your calling. I've totally changed my relationship with my faith, I see my talents as a gift to share. So when I've finished thinking about it, hopefully I'll be able to put it into action, really helping others.

Good luck with helping out.

Can I ask did it feel like something was nagging at you, or in better terms something that was always on your mind?

ollieplimsoles Sun 05-Mar-17 15:15:27

the concept of sin, and he explained it all in such a way that I get it now

Can I ask what you struggled with regarding sin, and how he explained it so you 'get it' op?

DevelopingDetritus Thu 09-Mar-17 18:54:55

Brown I watched about 45 mins of the video, very good. He's found it/gets it.

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