Companions in Discernment
What is call?
“...let each of you lead the life…to which God called you…”
1 Corinthians 7:17
Call is the means by which God gives us guidance regarding the purpose of our lives. Call can manifest as:
- A sense of restlessness
- A nagging feeling or sudden awareness
- Emphatic and unmistakable or obscure and subtle
Each of us is called because we are baptized and no one call is inherently higher or better than any other. Call is always evolving and changing as we transition through life.
What is discernment?
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God …” 1 John 4:1
Discernment is the process of examining our experiences and motivations to determine their origin. Discernment clarifies:
- Source of a call
- To whom it is directed
- Its content
- What response is appropriate
What Companions in Discernment does
Companions help individuals discover their call by prayerfully listening in a safe, caring, confidential, and spirit-led process by providing:
- Caring inquiry without explanation or advice
- Reflections of motives, desires or fears
- Available options, advantages, or disadvantages
- The awareness of God’s Holy Spirit
What might bring you to this group?
- Times of personal or professional transition
- Change in employment or job status
- Return to or leaving for school
- Volunteering for a leadership position in church or the community
- Changes of any kind or any major decisions in your life
How can I set up a meeting?
- Contact Sue Mason to schedule an appointment at email@example.com
- Prepare a Spiritual autobiography (guidelines provided)
What can I expect at my meeting?
- Opening prayer followed by a period of silence
- Sharing a spiritual tool called a spiritual autobiography
- Clarification and discernment begins with periods of silence allowing for reflection and work of the Spirit
- Discussion and scheduling of additional meetings
- Conclusion and prayers
Quotes and Testimony
“At baptism, all Christians are called into ministry so we might use our God-given gifts. But most of us have a hard time telling whether or not the 'call' we think we hear is of God or nagging expectations from some other source. Whether we are called to serve God as priest or Sunday School teacher or prayer minister or Haitian relief worker, sorting through the 'voices' we hear is meant to be a communal activity. Our Companions group are St. Michael's parishioners who possess the gift of listening on behalf of others, and their special training will be of great service to St. Michael's members who want to answer the "God questions" of their lives.” The Rev. Gail Greenwell
“I am excited that we as members of St. Michael's will be able to take advantage of this resource. I hope that people will see it as an opportunity to test their call to individual lay or ordained ministries in our Church. I have met with the Companions and they are supporting me as I discern the future direction and leadership succession for my lay ministry areas.” Larry Bingham
Listening Hearts: Discerning God’s Call in Community by Farnham, Gill, McLean, and Ward