Our next LifeCall Ordination event takes place Wednesday 7th January. Alec Parkinson who was selected for Ordination training after attending a past event spoke to us about his own personal sense of call and how coming to the evening will help those uncertain about God’s call.
Alec Parkinson experienced God’s call after attending a LifeCall event in September 2012 where he was able to listen to Bishop James give a short talk with readings and meditation. “Immediately I could connect with people who were, or had been important in my life. I could look back over many years, looking at being vulnerable and taking risks, they all made sense. Finally I listened to The Still Small Voice of God. I knew at once that I needed to do something about all of this and gave my details in at the event. This started the discernment process. I was invited to attend the LifeCall ordination event in November 2013. I knew then that I was in the right place at the right time, and it confirmed to me that this was right.”
Like many who hear God’s call, it wasn’t a clear cut process and Alec did have questions along the way. “Over the years, from possibly as far back as 2002, I was asked if I would consider ordination, and i responded that it wasn’t for me. It has been at the back of my mind, but looking back, keeping myself busy in the Church has allowed me to keep the thought of ordination at bay. Only in 2010 did I start to think more seriously if God was calling me, as friends and one or two key people in the church mentioned it more. I wouldn’t say I had doubts, it was more “Is this what God really wants me to do?” and finding more ways of confirming this feeling, hence attending the LifeCall event in 2012.”
It was important that Alec had help to discern his calling. “I had the support of the Assistant DDO and David Parry the DDO as they helped me to test this calling. They recommended some books to read and also helped me work out what kind of ministry I felt I was being called too. I took advice from them and also sought the support of a Spiritual Director. This advice and support was really helpful for me as I grew in my understanding of the role of a Priest and that Non Stipendiary Ministry was my particular calling. It is also important to say that within my Church, my vicar and a small group of people have been regularly praying for me at each step of the process.”
Alec believes events like the Lifecall Ordination evening are beneficial. “Events like this allow people to come and explore what their calling may be, what the process involves, and to seek advice. They also give an opportunity to listen to other people who have been through the process. They also let you find out about the different routes of training that are available.”
He encourages anyone who is thinking they may be called by God to go along to the event, even if they are not quite sure. “There is no pressure, no commitment. Explore and ask all the questions that may be going through your mind. See where God may be leading you too. If you still feel that you may be called, then start the process by contacting Debbie from Lifelong Learning to arrange an interview.”