I unequivocally believe God has uniquely gifted all of God’s children. I also strongly believe that one of the primary roles of the faith community is to assist each of us in discerning our God-given gifts. I also believe that it is part of the role of our faith communities to assist in determining where (i.e. the world’s needs) we can most effectively use our God-given gifts.
To say I am passionate about this belief would be an understatement. Let me share something with you: discerning with others their gifts and the world’s needs is one of my discerned gifts. Ask any one of your Team of Missioners and they will attest to our ongoing conversations both individually and corporately to this end.
With this in mind, I could not be more pleased with our present Missioner for Administration, Mary-Fred, discerning her call to teach German. Mary-Fred has served the Episcopal Church in Minnesota faithfully and she is a highly valued member of the Team of Missioners. Yet, after much discerning conversation regarding her passions — what she is good at, and what she values highly — it has been made clear that she is called to teach.
This is a similar scenario to that of Chad O’Leary’s, whom as you know previously served as Missioner the Bishop and now serves as the Missioner for Youth Ministry and the Youth Minister for St. Christopher’s. Chad brought significant gifts to his former ministry, but now has really found the “sweet spot” of where he is called to use his gifts.
The reality is there is rarely a day that goes by that I’m not in discernment with someone in ECMN. Clergy, lay leaders, young people, elders — all seeking what God is calling them to. Likewise, I, too, continue to be in conversation with those who walk with me to understand how I’m being called to use my God-given gifts to meet the world’s needs.
Discerning our God-given gifts, seeking the formation to use said gifts, and then going forth to meet the world’s needs with those gifts is how we engage God’s mission — which brings forth transformation, and brings us closer to the Kingdom of God.