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What is God calling us to do?

What is God calling us to do?

A CALL TO SERVE 

‘I will, with God’s help’ – Your call to Ministry in God’s Church 

A Sunday school teacher is thanked.

A call to serve in God’s church is highly personal, as well as a call from the Church as a whole. When one feels called to a ministry it is important to test that vocation in the company of a discerning community. This includes people who know you well as well as others who do not know you at all. 

The Commission on the Ministry of the Baptized (COMB) is a body of lay and ordained people who are appointed by the bishop to help people in the Convocation to discern their calling to ministry. It is an advisory committee to the bishop and an instrument of discernment at the same time. 

COMB serves to guide and empower all baptized people in discerning their ministries and is there for you at any stage of your discernment. If you have questions, please contact the regional liaison person that is listed on the Convocation website or your priest.

MINISTRY IN DAILY LIFE AND THE CHURCH 

When the term ‘ministry’ is used in the context of the Church, people often think of being ordained as a priest or deacon. However, the vast majority of ministries in the life of the Church and in the world are those of the laity. Taking care of your family, looking after people in your workplace, reaching out to people in need – all are ministries that we are called to. None of these require ordination.

Even within the church, most ministries are in the hands of the laity. Assisting at the Altar during Holy Communion, reading the lessons in church, greeting newcomers, singing in the choir and visiting the sick are some examples. Some of these ministries require a special call and confirmation of the Church and training. 

The Episcopal Church identifies a number of lay ministries that require the authorization of the bishop, such as Pastoral Leader, Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic visitor, Evangelist, and Catechist. 

COMB exists to help you discern your calling, perhaps to one of these licensed ministries, or even to one of the ordained ministries. Discernment involves prayer and discussion with others as you seek to discover and confirm the specific ministry to which God is calling you.

OUR CALL AS CHRISTIANS

As Christians, we are called to minister in the Church. At our Baptism, we promise to follow the example of Christ in the world. As Episcopalians, we express this in the words of the Baptismal Covenant that we say together with a candidate and the promises that we or our parents and godparents gave and continue to give. 

THE BAPTISMAL COVENANT

Celebrant:

Do you believe in God the Father?

People:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant:

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

People:

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant:

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

People:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant:

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

People:

I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant:

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

People:

I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant:

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

People:

I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant:

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

People:

I will, with God's help.

Celebrant:

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

People:

I will, with God's help.

(Book of Common Prayer, pp. 304-305)

How to contact the Commission on the Ministry of the Baptise