Vicar's Monthly Letter
Vicar's Letter - September
This month we welcome an Intern, Ewan Gillings to our benefice. Ewan will be joining the Diocesan Discover Scheme as a Pastoral Assistant and will be shared between the Frome Valley benefice and the Bartestree cross benefice. He will be with us in the Frome Valley for two days a week and also on alternate Sunday’s.
The Discover Scheme enables up to four young people each year to work full time in ministry and is a means for them to find support in their vocational journey with God. The participants spend a year gaining practical experience as well as some theological studies and time to focus on personal growth.
As Ewan is the only applicant for the scheme this year, we will be celebrating the start of his time with us with a service in St Mary the Virgin, Bishops Frome. The service will be held on Wednesday 1st September at 6.30pm with Bishop Richard presiding. Please do come and support Ewan as he begins his ministry with us. We hope and pray that Ewan will discern God’s calling as he spends time with us in the Diocese of Hereford.
Having Ewan with us reminds us all that we should all be thinking of our own vocation – what God is calling us to. I think one of the most common fears we all have around vocation is that we somehow get the calling wrong. When that happens, it’s hard to discern whether to endure as a test of faith or jump ship.
Christ does call us to endure through difficulty and hardship, but endurance isn’t everything. I think too often we can be short sighted, thinking God calls us to a certain path and only by persevering on that path are we being faithful to God.
I think God’s paths are often much more open than we think. Thomas Merton, for example, felt called to the monastic life. Yet I also get the impression that the specifics of that call were merely circumstantial. He was flexible and looked for what God was calling him to do that day, not projecting a certain path that extended for years down the line. Reading his journals you can see that every day his calling was reinforced by his own experience and desire simply to be with God, which is what he saw as his true calling.
Looking back now I can see that I am called to be here, but it’s taken a long time for me to be certain that this is where I am supposed to be. I suppose it’s much easier to look back and see this than it is to make the decision at the time.
I wonder if you are living out your calling and feel that you are where you are supposed to be, doing the things that God has called you to do?