The word ‘vocation’ means calling.
It is a dialogue in which God calls and we listen.
Each of us is unique and God calls each one of us in a unique way.
In the Church of Ireland ordained ministry is a particular calling to ministry, one which as a church we value highly.
For some the calling to ordination is a moment of decision, for others it is a lengthy process, extending over months and years.
We may hear a gentle voice inside us asking questions or we may be prompted by others asking questions of us.
What is important is that we take time to listen to God’s voice.
One way in which we may allow God to speak to us about vocation is to attend a retreat where we can meet with others who have heard and responded to that call or to meet with those who are questioning their own sense of vocation.
As part of its commitment to develop ministry, and endorsed by the House of Bishops, the Commission on Ministry is organizing a series of events to encourage vocations to the ordained ministry within the Church of Ireland.
This retreat is for those who may just be beginning to ask whether God is calling them to the ordained ministry. It is also for those who may be further along the road. Wherever you are on the journey, coming to a retreat to hear others talk about their experiences, learning what that might mean for you personally and practically and, above all, allowing God to speak to you, may just clarify that decision for you.
The retreat will be a mixture of informal talks, practical guidance, discussion and times of quiet, all held in the beautiful surroundings of Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, near Newry Co. Down.
Our speaker is Bishop John Perumbalath, who has years of experience helping others to discern God’s call.
The Rt Revd Dr John Perumbalath is Bishop of Bradwell in the Diocese of Chelmsford (Church of England).
Prior to his ministry in the Church of England for the last eighteen years, he was a theological educator and parish priest with the Church of North India. He was also a youth worker among university students for two years in Kerala, South India where he was born and brought up.
Areas of his research and teaching include biblical studies, Christian community/social engagement and international politics.
All through his ministry as a priest in various contexts, he served either as a Vocations Advisor or an Ordinations Advisor or Bishop’s Examiner for ordinands, and accompanied more than twenty candidates from the parishes he served in their vocational journey