Today’s post comes to you courtesy of a guest blogger otherwise known as my Mum!
She has recently completed some ministry training for our church and is going to be licenced by the Bishop of Manchester on Saturday in Manchester Cathedral. In her own words, this is what it’s all about. (Eddie is our church’s minister, and the PCC is the governing council who runs the church).
Authorised Lay Ministry
I wanted to develop my pastoral ministry within church and so with Eddie’s and PCC encouragement I enrolled on the ALM course this year.
There were 2 parts to the course, and everyone, all 57 of us did this core module. The central part of the course was to engage everyone in learning and developing our ideas, and firming up our faith.
There is a special ALM course prayer that we looked at and how it fits into our church and personal life.
The ALM Course Prayer
Lord, you call us to be story-tellers:
planting your explosive news into our defended lives;
locating us in the script of your human history.
You call us to be trailblazers:
living in your future that we receive only as gift;
subverting the fixed, fated world of low horizons.
You call us to be weavers:
tracing, stretching, connecting the knotted threads;
gathering up unraveling, disconnected lives.
You call us to be fools –
for Christ’s sake: bearing life’s absurdities and incongruities;
puncturing our seriousness and grandiosity.
You call us to be hosts:
welcomers of the sacred, intimate, transfiguring;
lavish celebrants of our communities and homecomings.
You call us to be poets:
artists and illuminators of inner space;
naming, invoking, heralding your ineffable presence.
You call us to be gardeners:
sowers, cultivators, nurturers of fragile lives;
benefactors of your gratuitous harvest.
You call us to be conductors –
celebrating polyphony, coaxing symphony;
orchestrating the praise of your inhabited creation;
Lord, you lavish gifts on all whom you call.
Strengthen and sustain us and all ministers of your church,
that in the range and diversity of our vocation,
we may be catalysts of your kingdom in the world,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We had really good teachers and the other members of the group, who came from all kinds of church and home backgrounds, worked together to explore what ‘ministry’ is. It was great to meet new people and to discover their views and thoughts about the way we do things.
Once the core module part of the course was over, I chose the Pastoral elective for the second part of the course.
We looked at what Pastoral Ministry is and it is not just about visiting the sick or lonely, it is a lot bigger than that!
The course helped me to see that God is leading me to do his work in St Paul’s.
The course itself was not difficult, but it was very challenging. We were asked to look honestly and closely at ourselves, which is not always easy to do.
I learned that we all ‘do ministry’ in large or small ways. I feel stronger and more confident now for the future and would encourage anyone who is thinking about doing it to go for it.
I hope you will join me in congratulating her on successfully completing this new training (at the age of 63, no mean feat!) and I ask that you remember her in your prayers as she begins a new stage in her ministry. Thank you, Pam