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RECOMMENDED READING FOR THOSE DISCERNING A CALL TO ORDINATION

I think all persons considering ordination, or for that matter already ordained, should read these books because they raise questions and reading about someone's experience in a similar situation can be really helpful. Whenever a question is asked, it makes one stop and think; Discernment can be honed, and even more questions might be raised. That can be a good thing! - Mary Gainey, St. Paul's, Sparks (and former member of Commission on Minstry)

LEAVING CHURCH: A memoir of Faith
by Barbara Brown Taylor

This is a biographical account by a noted pastor and preacher in the Episcopal Church, who, after several years as Rector of a parish in Georgia, felt her ministry would be more effective as a college professor. She raises many important questions about the nature of "a calling," parish life and the many roles of a priest. She conveys insightful understanding of the "priesthood of all believers" and the sacredness of creation. The book, LEAVING CHURCH is not in fact about walking away from the Church, but rather about taking the Church into the world in our every day lives (ie: Mission & Evangelism) - Rev. Jon Davidson

A priest is a priest, no matter where she [he] happens to be. Her [his] job is to recognize the holiness in things and hold them up to God. Her [his] job is to speak in ways that help other people recognize the holiness in things too.--Barbara Brown Taylor

 

…. Church is not a stopping place but a starting place for discerning God’s presence in the world. By offering people a place where they may engage the steady practice of listening to divine words and celebrating divine sacraments, church can help people gain a feel for how God shows up --- not only in Holy Bibles and Holy Communion but also in near neighbors, mysterious strangers, sliced bread, and grocery store wine. That way, when they leave church, they no more leave God than God leaves them. They simply carry what they have learned into the wide, wide world, where there is a crying need for people who will recognize the holiness in things and hold them up to God. --Barbara Brown Taylor

 

 

PRACTICING RESURRECTION:
A Memoir of Work, Doubt, Discernment, and Moments of Grace

by Nora Gallagher

Nora Gallagher, an accomplished writer and Episcopal lay person in Santa Barbara, was "called" to discern whether or not she should prepare for ordination. She spent several years following the discernment process with clergy, support group and friends. As the time came closer, she determined that writing was her calling and did not seek ordination. Her biographical story is factual, informative and addresses many questions those preparing for ordination will have raised.