I found the course useful for three reasons, firstly, because it took us on a gentle journey to reflect on the fundamentals of our Christian walk, looking at some key elements of church, vocation, mission, social action and others. Secondly, it gave us the opportunity to learn from different speakers, both lay and clergy, with some becoming key "guiding lights" into our vocational journey. Thirdly, the group discussions that accompanied each session gave us a personal and safe space to share about ourselves, our thinking, and our hopes and dreams for the future.
As a result of a contact that I made in one of the sessions, I have now started the volunteering process as a chaplain visitor with the Liverpool University Hospital Trust. Simultaneously, I have just submitted my initial application to start the ordination process in 2023.
If you're seeking guidance and direction about what God may want you to do next, do consider attending this course. And if you do, be really expectant about what the Spirit may say to you during each session and be wholeheartedly open to listening and learning from God, others, and yourself. God bless you and the best is really yet to come!
Directions was helpful in meeting other people who are exploring faith and getting different perspectives and ideas.
It was good to meet friends of a spiritual nature and feel comfortable to discuss Jesus and the Bible.
Following the course and want to explore faith further and consider what role or roles i can play in the church or outside of church and have getting into a routine to start praying on a regular basis and learning about the bible.
I would recommend directions as it does not put people under pressure to seek a career within the church.It simply gives people ideas and the opportunity to ask questions and see what skills we have to learn about God and maybe pass that on to others by listening and talking.
It is a good way also to make friends by being allowed to be who we are!!
I found the Directions course useful as it was the platform that I needed to explore the possibility of applying to train as a Lay Minister.
Following the Direction course, I have done other courses including 'An Introduction to Preaching' and 'An Introduction to Worship'. I am going to field an application for Lay Ministry in spring 2023.
The advice I would give to anyone signing up for the next course is to aim for full attendance!
I thoroughly enjoyed the directions course; it provided a safe space each week to meet with others and explore the call of God upon my life. All the leaders were really welcoming and provided encouragement and prayer all throughout the course. It was great to meet new people and watch God at work in their lives. The course provided confirmation in areas that God had been speaking to me already and gave me the confidence to just take the next step and I think that is what God asks of us as His children; to seek Him with our whole hearts and to walk in the ways that He sets out for us.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
For anyone considering taking part in the next directions course, I would say; go for it, don’t ignore that prompting from God and as you begin the course keep an open mind and an open heart. Be willing to learn new things from God and other people and have fun in the process.
I found the Directions course incredibly useful, meeting people from all kinds of different traditions within the church of England and discussing the subjects of the week was such an uplifting experience. I was in a group of 8 people for the "group sessions" and getting to know each one of them more and more as the weeks went on was beautiful. We all became great friends and we still talk and pray for each other to this day.
The course was incredibly useful because we would hear different speakers each week, and discuss different subjects and each one had their own style and would say things you may not have thought about in that way before. The Directions course didn't force you or push you in any direction it allowed you to think for yourself and feel your calling grow or become clearer in whatever capacity that may be.
Since the course finished, I have had many meaningful talks with my priest discussing how I feel and what to do moving forward. I have also been to London on a 3-day conference for people considering the priesthood which was such a wonderful and thought-provoking experience.
My advice to anyone signing up for the next course is to give it time. You will love the group leaders and meeting the other people in your group but that's not why you came is it? You may feel like you have a certain calling whether that be to chaplaincy, being a reader, a lay person or even a vicar. Just don't get impatient and let the course work. The last week as we went round the group discussing how we feel the course went a lot of people were saying how it all became clear for them or felt a strong call in a certain direction after a certain week and not one person's answer was the same. Go each week, get involved, pray together and talk to each other. Let God direct you and trust in God. It will all become clear; no matter what, you will be glad you did it at the end of the course. God bless.