“Taking those final steps down into the plans of God.” – Ann Sargent

Published: Monday June 12, 2023

Ann SargentAhead of the ordination service on 25 June, Ann Sargent, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, reflects on her role helping people explore their calling to ordained ministry.

“I am one of those fortunate people who is privileged to work in an area and within a team that is all about seeing people grow into the potential of all God is calling them to be and to do.  For some people this journey of exploration of discerning quite what it is that they sense God is asking them to be and do leads to ordination, for many who embark on a vocational exploration it isn’t.

“As people come into vocations, we try to help them explore as widely as possible the shape of their faith, their rhythm of prayer and what those promptings that have brought them to this place are really about. We sit with people while they wrestle with the question of ‘What is it that I find myself invited into?’ Some come full of confidence, some with wobbly knees, many with tears but all willing to wholeheartedly go on a journey of discovery as to how their gifts and indeed their very selves can be part of continuing to bring to birth the Kingdom of God.

“Every one of us, no matter what our background, has a unique gift that is ours to offer to Christ, the world and the Church. It is a joy and a privilege to walk with people as they start to discover the shape of what God has in mind for them. The shared discernment process is a challenging, and some would say deeply intrusive, no-holds-barred exploration with people who feel called to that strange world of ordination. We ask people to be open and honest with us and people show amazing courage and trust in doing just that; we have the privilege of watching people grow into themselves as they are called by God to a particular ministry.

“At this time of year, my life is filled with chasing paperwork for selection panels, preparing candidates and prayerfully writing papers that paint as true a picture as possible of the people the Bishops’ advisors will meet at panel. I am journeying with ordinands as they navigate training and emerge into a new ministry that is entrusted to be shared with the whole people of God. I also turn my face to the ordination retreat and try to shape a space that will hold and bless those to be ordained, in a way that reflects something of the journey these particular people have made, a place to pause and reflect before taking those final steps down into the plans of God.

“The rather wonderful thing about following the calling of God is that it continuously surprises, challenges and calls us to be transformed. No matter how many years we have meandered within it, there is always more.”

Ministry Open Day – Wednesday 28 June, 11am to 2pmThe Department of Mission and Ministry has specialist officers who advise, support and resource parishes to take forward the mission of God. They seek to encourage and develop the ministry of all God’s people.

For those already in ordained or licensed ministry considering where God may be calling you next, find out more about ministry in the Diocese of Gloucester at our Ministry Open Day. Have some lunch with us, ask questions, and join in conversation. You’ll have an introduction to the Diocese, hear from some who have recently moved here, and see some of the current and future vacancies.

Book your slot by emailing Angie Seddon ku.gr1713880105o.coi1713880105dsolg1713880105@nodd1713880105esa1713880105 or call 01452 835511.

Ministerial Development, including IMD and CMD events – Diocese of Gloucester (anglican.org)

Leadership

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