“VOCATION VOCATION VOCATION”
A prayer for use at all Confirmation Services in 2012
Stir up in us the gifts of your Spirit for the service of your gospel, that we – so blessed by your grace – may discern your call in our lives and respond courageously and obediently, bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit in ministries of rich variety. Take us and use us, to love and serve others in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is an experiential course for both lay and ordained, exploring the basics of listening, teaching prayer, discernment and accompanying others in the Christian life. Led by Judith Crane, David Runcorn, Michael Mitton and Glenis Page. January - June 2012
Many people, lay and ordained, now recognise that it can be helpful to have someone alongside them on their pilgrimage, someone who has the gift of listening creatively to others and who offers a safe place of acceptance and encouragement.
Sometimes this need grows out of a fruitful experience on retreat. Often it can be at a time of crisis, when old patterns are disturbed or when we feel an urge to take seriously our quest for meaning in life and we want to go deeper into our journey of faith. Maybe we want help with our prayer life or to test a particular calling.
Maybe we are finding it difficult to deal with events or relationships in our life. This can be a chance to reflect on what has been happening and to put things in perspective.
This is called ‘Spiritual Direction’ or ‘Spiritual Companionship’, but other terms such as ‘Soul Friend’ (from the Celtic tradition) are used. It is available to all who wish to see more clearly where God is at work in their lives.
Most people see their Spiritual Companion once every four to twelve weeks. It may be a long-term relationship or for a limited period.
There are no rules about this. The meeting has a sacramental nature, for God uses it as a channel for grace.
It calls for a sense of trust, confidentiality and for openness from both, in the knowledge that the meeting takes place in the presence of God.
The purpose is to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the direction. Suggestions may be offered of ways to pray, ideas for helpful reading, as well as practical suggestions relating to life choices, but the final decisions are always left in the hands of the person seeking guidance.
How do you find someone?
In the Diocese of Derby we have a list of people of different traditions and backgrounds who offer this service and a Bishop’s Adviser for Spiritual Direction, who will help you to find the right person.
The choice of a companion is likely to have important consequences in your life. For this reason you might be invited to come for an informal meeting with her, so that she could talk with you about your expectations and ‘get a feel’ for the sort of person you would hope for.
Or in the first place you might prefer to apply for a leaflet outlining the sort of questions you could ask yourself, as you reflect on your needs.
Spirituality is probably one of the most overworked and misunderstood words in present day religious vocabulary. In the context of our life and mission in the Diocese of Derby we are particularly concerned with Christian Spirituality which is deeply embedded in the life and history of the Church.
In these days many people are taking their own journey into God far more seriously. There is a real thirst within the Church as well as in the world for the things of God.
To try to address this, our Christian Spirituality Group tries to provide people who can accompany others on this journey as listeners and spiritual directors. We also provide courses, quiet days and retreats. Details of all these things will appear from time to time on this website and in other places.
We hope that we will be able to offer something to assist those who feel themselves to be beginners on the journey as well those who are ready to take a further step on a journey maybe started many years ago.
One thing is certain, none of us have arrived and all are in need of the support, prayer and assistance of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Christian Spirituality Group is there as one way of enabling this to happen within our Diocese.
Chair of Diocesan Spirituality Group
The Rt Rev'd Jack Nicholls,
01298 812462, email@example.com