ALM stands for “Authorised Lay Ministry” and is a role developed within the Diocese of Manchester for lay people to further their ministry within their own parishes under the guidance of the Bishop and the parish incumbent. For a more detailed explanation, and for my experience of ALM please click here.
Here is the poem that we have used as a prayer for the ALM course, and which formed the framework for the first part of our training.
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 a gift;
Subverting the fixed, fated world of low horizons.
You call us to be weavers:
Tracing, stretching, connecting the knotted threads’
Gathering up unravelling, 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.
Roger Spiller (1944 – )