Discernment: More Than Just a Churchy Word
This weekend, our Remember, Rise, Renew Team and I will meet in an all-day retreat to take all the reflections, ideas, and thoughts we’ve heard over the last three months from our many listening sessions with you, our community and nonprofit partners, and our diocesan partners and piece them together to answer the broader questions: What is God’s call/vision/invitation for the people of Christ Church Cathedral in this new chapter of ministry we now find ourselves in? What do we say a disciplined “yes” to with passion and frequency that will help us achieve the mission to which we’ve been called? What do we say a respectful “no” to in order to make our “yeses” truly profound? We know we won’t emerge with a perfectly crafted vision and seven-point plan (not yet, anyway!), but our intention is to have a solid first draft which we will share first with our Vestry and then with you for your feedback on Sunday, Oct. 17.
The work our team will do this weekend is discernment, which is a word often used in a churchy context to mean “intentional listening for the guidance and direction of God for ministry.” But listening for God’s voice and direction is not just for churches and not just for ministry planning. Indeed, discernment is meant for all of God’s people as a way of life. So, I’ll pose our broader questions to you: What is God’s call/vision/invitation to you in your own life? What should you say “yes” to with passion and frequency? What do you say a respectful “no” to that will make your yeses profound?
Would you like help answering these questions for yourself? After our 10 a.m. Eucharist this Sunday, The Rev. Canon Tom Kryder-Reid will lead our forum time in an introduction to Listening Hearts, a classic book offering us tools to listen for God’s call and invitation in our own lives. We’ll have copies of the book for you to take with you, and in early October, we’ll gather in a small group online for some more discussions.
In all things, may the call of God, both to us as a church and to us as individuals, invite us to bring all the pieces of our lives together, so that we may joyfully and wholly offer ourselves to each other and to the world as a beacon of God’s hope and peace.
—The Very Reverend Gray Lesesne, D.Min.