A Letter to DISCERN Participants | Forum for Theological Exploration https://fteonline.org/sotg

"> Have You Listened to FTE’s Podcast on Meaning, Purpose and Vocation? | Forum for Theological Exploration Church in Color Youth Ministry, Race, and the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. In his Q&A, Montague shares what inspired him to write this book, why churches need a re-reading of Dr. King’s work, how he views mentorship, and his hope for the next generation of faithful leaders.

"> Get To Know Montague Williams | Forum for Theological Exploration This is America | Forum for Theological Exploration Wrestling with the Deep Questions of My Life | Forum for Theological Exploration The Ugly Truth About Church | Forum for Theological Exploration Stories From the Field: Oregon Fellowship | Forum for Theological Exploration 25 Questions from a South Minneapolis Pastor During the George Floyd Uprising | Forum for Theological Exploration Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders | Forum for Theological Exploration I See You | Forum for Theological Exploration Go offline on April 22, 2020 | Forum for Theological Exploration Arundhati Roy’s haunting account of the massive trauma unfolding among migrant workers in her native India amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"> Walking Into the Future this Easter Season | Forum for Theological Exploration God has Left the Building | Forum for Theological Exploration Thoughts In A Pandemic | Forum for Theological Exploration Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon - In Her Own Words | Forum for Theological Exploration Callings | Forum for Theological Exploration FTE Remembers Rev. Dr. James H. Cone | Forum for Theological Exploration Oh the places we will go…to write | Forum for Theological Exploration A Risk I Am Willing To Take | Forum for Theological Exploration Letting Leaders Lead | Forum for Theological Exploration Five Influential People You Meet in Grad School | Forum for Theological Exploration Peace | Forum for Theological Exploration Dissertation in a Nutshell: From Topic to Defense | Forum for Theological Exploration Finding Hope | Forum for Theological Exploration Rest for the Journey Ahead | Forum for Theological Exploration Learning to Breathe for a Marathon | Forum for Theological Exploration Why Social Entrepreneurship Should Matter to Faith Leaders | Forum for Theological Exploration Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of my mentors asked me why I had chosen a faith-based organization focusing on social justice, rather than a secular organization. This question caught me completely off guard—I had never considered that my passion for social justice could come from anything but my faith. So many of the Scripture passages that speak to me most deeply are those that call for an end to oppression and injustice, that call for us to care for those who are in need, for those who are rejected and for those who are forgotten. From Jesus to Martin Luther King, Jr. my models of social justice are strongly tied to faith.

"> Social Justice as an Extension of Faith | Forum for Theological Exploration Introducing the Leaders for Tomorrow’s Institutions | Forum for Theological Exploration A Lesson on Leadership | Forum for Theological Exploration When in Doubt, Do ... | Forum for Theological Exploration “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations …” | Forum for Theological Exploration What is our next most faithful step? | Forum for Theological Exploration What is Changing? | Forum for Theological Exploration Survival in the Lily Fields: FTE Doctoral Fellowships | Forum for Theological Exploration Faith & Politics: Conversations Leading to Action | Forum for Theological Exploration second installment of my thoughts on diversity in the classroom. It doesn’t take the events of last week to make it difficult for me to write on the topic because even on ordinary days (if those actually exist) whatever I feel led to say smacks of being trite.

"> Classroom Violence | Forum for Theological Exploration The Pulse of Justice – The Passion of Jesus | Forum for Theological Exploration Leading Differently When Different is Dangerous | Forum for Theological Exploration Our Students Will Lead Us | Forum for Theological Exploration Pentecost: A Time for Change | Forum for Theological Exploration Can the Church Help End Violence & Injustice in Our Communities? Seven Themes We Heard in Chicago. | Forum for Theological Exploration “Go, set the world on fire!” But don’t burn it down. | Forum for Theological Exploration Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Culture, Queerness, and Faith | Forum for Theological Exploration Behind the Doctorate | Forum for Theological Exploration Refreshed Through Discernement | Forum for Theological Exploration Creating Space for Imagination | Forum for Theological Exploration Leading Differently by Listening to Whispers, Shouts and Echoes | Forum for Theological Exploration God, thank you for making me BLACK! Black History Month Musings | Forum for Theological Exploration terrorist shooting in San Bernadino, CA.

"> Leading with Love in the Wake of Islamophobia | Forum for Theological Exploration Set the Prisoners Free | Forum for Theological Exploration Sacred Work | Forum for Theological Exploration What’s Your New Year’s Resolution? | Forum for Theological Exploration The Hope of Now | Forum for Theological Exploration Trusting Brown Hands | Forum for Theological Exploration God Beyond Borders | Forum for Theological Exploration More Questions Than Answers | Forum for Theological Exploration Reflections on three years with CMTEV | Forum for Theological Exploration A call to ‘Opt-in’ | Forum for Theological Exploration Theological Education, Diversity, and a Transformative Future | Forum for Theological Exploration Benefits of a Vocational Friendship | Forum for Theological Exploration FTE’s Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant; The grant was such a tremendous blessing as it enabled me to develop relationships with women that have utilized their experience and/or understanding of grief in their respective ministries.

"> Affirmations of Calling | Forum for Theological Exploration Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis discusses the significance of her work for faith communities and emerging Christian leaders.

"> Seven Questions with Leah Gunning Francis, Author of “Ferguson & Faith” | Forum for Theological Exploration A Reflection on My Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant Experience | Forum for Theological Exploration The Sublime Power of Belief | Forum for Theological Exploration Theological Education After Ferguson and Long Island and Baltimore and Charleston and…. | Forum for Theological Exploration The Ministry of Surrender | Forum for Theological Exploration The Stillness | Forum for Theological Exploration Racism: The Most Sinful of Legacies | Forum for Theological Exploration What Is Thy Name | Forum for Theological Exploration Active Faith is Urgent | Forum for Theological Exploration The Birth of Goodness | Forum for Theological Exploration Re-Arranged by the Spirit | Forum for Theological Exploration Vocation in Between the Aftermath of Violence and a Hoped-for Future | Forum for Theological Exploration To Follow a Call | Forum for Theological Exploration Where Two or Three Are Gathered | Forum for Theological Exploration Tooth Fairy | Forum for Theological Exploration Marking Vocational Transitions Faithfully | Forum for Theological Exploration Mission Year to attend FTE’s Discernment Retreat in Lake Arrowhead, California.

"> Our Becoming | Forum for Theological Exploration Falling Deeper Into My Calling | Forum for Theological Exploration Let the Streets Inspire You | Forum for Theological Exploration Whose Name is on the Invitation? | Forum for Theological Exploration The Feeble Art of Radical Hospitality | Forum for Theological Exploration Finding God in the Rabbit Trail | Forum for Theological Exploration What is Worship to Me | Forum for Theological Exploration Sacred Cows at the Lord’s Table | Forum for Theological Exploration The Church Knows Something | Forum for Theological Exploration Critical Feeling | Forum for Theological Exploration Teaching Theology after Ferguson | Forum for Theological Exploration Imagination Next | Forum for Theological Exploration If it was a Snake ... | Forum for Theological Exploration The Power to Reshape Brokenness | Forum for Theological Exploration Campus Ministries that Stick | Forum for Theological Exploration How to Harness the Awkward Pause | Forum for Theological Exploration 2015 FTE Doctoral Fellowships. This is an appropriate moment to reflect briefly on why we do the work of supporting rising theological educators of color.

"> Why We Do This | Forum for Theological Exploration In Praise of Small Spaces | Forum for Theological Exploration Culture Shock | Forum for Theological Exploration Can We Keep Our Promises? | Forum for Theological Exploration An Opportunity to Re-Engage not Remake the Church | Forum for Theological Exploration Conducting My Beautiful, Cacophonous Clone Choir | Forum for Theological Exploration

A Letter to DISCERN Participants

By: Howard Kim
September 17, 2021

Dear DISCERN 2021 participant,

I’m just going to be honest here: discerning a calling is deeply difficult.

I graduated from my M.Div program in May 2020, at the beginning stages of the COVID pandemic. Like many of my peers, I spent 3 years studying and doing my best to prepare myself for the pastoral calling that I felt over my life. But once the pandemic took over, I started questioning my calling again. How could I not? With thousands of people becoming unemployed and sick, and churches closing their doors, the very vocational industry that held my vision of a pastoral calling had closed its doors. I felt lost, graduating into a world that held no value for me and my desired vocation.

What happens to your body, mind, and spirit when your calling is denied?

In the midst of the uncertainties, a dear friend of mine told me about DISCERN and encouraged me to apply. To be honest with you, I didn’t know if it would be worth it to attend because by that point, I was one step away from throwing in the towel. But when you have a calling, and it resonates deeply inside the marrow of your bones, it’s painful not to be able to live it out. I wanted and I needed to give myself one last chance, one last opportunity to discern once again if God was still calling me to be a pastor and pursue ministry.

And let me tell you, I’m deeply grateful that I heeded the wisdom of my friend and applied to attend DISCERN.

DISCERN was a holy space that both empowered me to be real with my fears and insecurities, while allowing my dreams the space they needed to breathe. This space, this allowance of breath, is necessary for discernment. DISCERN not only invited amazing pastors to inspire us to dream of ministry again, both inside and outside the church, but it also connected me to peers and friends that were in the struggle with me. When facing your fears and allowing yourself to dream, it’s healing to know that you are not alone, that you are not the only one striving and hungering for more. This is why it’s crucial for discernment to happen in community because it’s the community that affirms your call and guides your discernment. DISCERN gave me a lot of clarity on my desire for ministry, both theologically and practically. One of the exercises we did was to create a map where we listed the people in our lives that we desired to journey with us in our discernment. That exercise led me to reconnect with another dear friend from divinity school and, through the grace of God, led to a ministry opportunity where I am able to do the type of ministry that I’ve always dreamed of doing.

When God calls us, God never calls us alone.

Our individual callings are always intimately connected to those around us, to those that are connected to us. DISCERN helped me realize that the barriers that I could not overcome on my own were broken down when done communally. There is a great cloud of witnesses that is with you in this discernment journey.

Give your dreams the space they need to breathe and let God speak to you through this community of people that long to see what you long to see—heaven on earth.

Sincerely,

Howard

Tags...: Thinking Out Loud


Blog comments powered by Disqus

Read More