February blessings to you!
This Sunday our focus scripture in worship is Luke 5:1-11, one of the accounts of Jesus’ call to the fishermen who will become his disciples as he begins his public ministry. This concept of “call and response” is foundational in authorizing persons for ministry in the United Church of Christ. I can remember being asked to tell members of the Department of Church and Ministry about my call when I began the process to be accepted as a Student-In-Care (now called a Member in Discernment).
Then about four years later, after I had completed the requirements for ordination, the first question I was asked at my Ordination Service was, “Are you persuaded that God has called you to be an ordained minister of the church of Jesus Christ, and are you ready with the help of God to enter this ministry and to serve faithfully in it?”
Describing my call to ministry is rather challenging for me, as I’ve found it can be difficult to put God experiences into words. For me it began with curiosity about God which prompted me to ask many questions as
a 7th grader in Confirmation class. I was always active in my home church First UCC, Sandusky, OH, but went on to be a high school English teacher, then a Licensed Social Worker in Children Service agencies, while being married, having three children, then being divorced.
It was when I was serving as a Deacon that I experienced what I can only describe as a strong, internal pull to begin the process toward ordained ministry. It wasn’t the smart thing to do at age fifty, financially and in other ways, but it was strong, it was real, and it has been a joy for me. I guess that’s why I don’t find it hard to understand why the disciples, “…left everything and followed Jesus.”
The reality of Christ’s call, as it has been experienced and answered over the centuries, is a testament to the reality of God. And that call is not just reserved for clergy.
“Follow me” is Jesus’ gracious invitation to each of us and we are called to respond in various ways with our unique gifts.
I look forward to being in worship with you Sunday. God Bless You!
In Christ’ love,
Pastor Candyclick here to download this week's bulletin!