Written by Sherry
Friday, 20 April 2007 06:32
Obviously, in a single day, we can only scratch the surface of this fascinating topic. If someone has never been to a Called & Gifted, the day of discernment seems to have a big impact. The day runs from 9 am - 3 pm and includes four talks:
You Are on a Mission from God:
A basic introduction to the Church's teaching on lay apostleship and the secular mission of the laity.
You Have Been Gifted to Answer the Call:
An introduction to charisms and discerning charisms. This was one of the talks that I gave at the Evangelical Catholic Institute last weekend.
There is No Such Thing as Vocational Unemployment:
An hour on the basics of recognizing the vocational clues that are probably already present in our life, including the charisms that God has given us.
The Exercise in Releasing Control:
How to identify ways that we learned to control life as a child that get in the way of using our gifts and answering God's call as adult. This is not a lecture but very much an exercise that is very powerful for many people. (And you don't have to share anything with anyone else!)It's all drawn from Church teaching, Scripture, and the lives of the saints, filled with stories and humor, and is useful and illuminating for adults of all ages and all vocations - from college onward.
As in everything else we do, we use Power Point slides and hand-outs. These days are mostly a form of play for me, especially if the group is responsive. And they can be electrifying for someone who has never been exposed to the Called & Gifted process. I'm giving one this weekend in Riverside, California at St. Andrew's Newman Center at the University of California, Riverside, and again on May 5 in Denver at the John Paul II Pastoral Center. My experience is that many adults feel as one woman put it in a workshop in San Francisco: "I know there is something else that God wants me to do but I don't know how to find it."
As a Church, we hardly provide any assistance to Christian men and women trying to discern a non-ecclesial call. But the Day of Discernment seems to speak to that hunger and serves as a good introduction to the whole Called & Gifted process. The day is open to all but let the sponsoring organization know that you are coming so they can make sure we have enough hand-outs. (I'm told, for instance, that a group from the Diocese of Orange is coming to the Riverside Day of Discernment but we don't know if that means two people or sixty!). And yes, there is a lot of God language. Just in case your non-Christian friend wants to come along (as some do) because they are facing a career crisis. They are certainly welcome and may well enjoy it if they are open to the spiritual aspect but it isn't a typical secular career workshop. Its all about answering a call from God.
Because you and I were raised up for such a time as this - and someone out there is waiting for what we have been given to give in Christ's name.