EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL. EVERYONE HAS A GIFT TO SHARE.
What is CALLINGS?
CALLINGS is about connection, relationships, and things that really matter. It’s about telling your story, and listening to others’ stories. When we tell our stories or listen to others’ stories, we begin to uncover who we are and why we are. Stories help us discern how we live, what’s truly important, and what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
CALLINGS is about discovering “God Sightings” in the events, relationships and transitions in our lives and connecting them to The Story of how God is present in our lives, and calls us in those events, relationships, and transitions.
CALLINGS starts with gathering in small groups to read a book about discovering God’s presence in your life, and how God is reaching out to you with your own unique calling. In the next few weeks, you’ll hear from parishioners who have already begun this journey of discovering how God has been present in their lives. They will tell you stories of their “God Sightings” and how listening to others’ stories helped them find common ground, created bonds of friendship, and discerned their own callings from God. You’ll also learn more about the book study and how to join a small group.
CALLINGS is for everyone—children, youth, adults of every age and situation in life. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a gift to share.
Recently, a group of acquaintances, largely strangers, gathered together to review a suggested book and discuss life experiences. Throughout the course of their discussions and over a period of time, these individuals discovered the many commonalities of their individual journeys through the sharing of personal stories and experiences. Through this shared experience, the group of individuals uncovered a lot about themselves, their gifts, their callings in this world, and discovered a new group of friends that they previously didn’t know they had.
“The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” (Frederick Buechner) Telling stories helps us discern how we live and what gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Stories help us answer the question: “How is God calling me right now?” When we tell or listen to stories, we begin to connect our individual stories to The Story—how God calls us in the events, relationships, and transitions of our lives. Telling and listening to the stories of peoples’ lives creates synergy between your gifts, talents, and skills and God’s abundant love poured out in the world in tangible, practical, and inspired ways. We become ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20)–for the life of the world.
Personal discussions enable us as individuals to uncover who we are and why we are. The reflection that accompanies the sharing of stories aids us in beginning to see connections that make all the difference in our understanding of ourselves, others, and the world. By understanding ourselves, we recognize that we all have individual callings throughout the many stages of our lives. Each of us may be living our calling without recognizing it or being pulled in a direction that we have not yet realized. Through understanding others, we realize that we are all connected, oftentimes in ways well beyond how it appears on the surface, though we are all unique and have distinct life journeys. Through a greater understanding of our world view, we become cognizant that each of our collective callings are focused towards the greater good and growing the Kingdom of God.
Are you interested in sharing your story and uncovering the callings in your life that may currently be lingering under the surface? In the coming months, you’ll be invited to share your stories and listen to others’ stories about the things that really matter – your personal experiences. Along the journey, you may even discover a little bit about yourself and your personal callings. You might even pick up a few new friends along the way!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
CALLINGS is the sharing of your and other group members’ stories on how God has impacted your life, and discovering how God has called you and continues to do so through your relationships and the events and transitions of your life. The first step of CALLINGS is a weekly small group book study discussion.
It’s underway now. See a member of our parish council or look for fellow parishioners wearing a “CALLED” lapel button in the Gathering Space of the church.
Each study group will have its own scheduled day and time weekly, for a period of about 4-6 weeks. The schedule and meeting venues will be available in mid-December. The book study groups will begin in January 2022.
Some groups will meet in person; some will meet via Zoom. Some groups will meet at the parish; and some will meet off-campus at someone’s home or at a local restaurant, café, or other venue.
The small group meetings are free, however each CALLINGS participant is asked to purchase their own book. (Don’t let the cost of the book be an obstacle to being a part of CALLINGS. We are happy to provide a book free to anyone who requests one.)
The Stories We Live: Finding God’s Calling All Around Us by Kathleen A. Cahalan.
You may purchase the book in either paperback or digital (Kindle) from Amazon. Click here to be taken to that page. Your group leader may also be able to purchase paperback copies for the whole group. (Digital copies cannot be purchased by your group leader. They must be purchased by you directly.)