What role does community play in understanding our individual vocation? And what happens when a pastor called to ministry starts to burn out?
In this episode, Liz Miller describes how community played an essential role in her decision to become a pastor, and how sabbath rest is essential to sustaining her ministry at Edgewood United Church of Christ in East Lansing, Michigan. She also explains how the church community asks itself not who they are going to serve, but who they are called to be because of where they are located.
Edgewood is one of thirteen congregations taking part in Collegeville Institute’s Communities of Calling Initiative. The Communities of Calling Initiative is a five-year program that grants congregations funds to design a new project or enhance existing ministries that help Christians discover and deepen their sense of God’s calling in their lives.
Topics and resources discussed in this episode:
- Communities of Calling Initiative
- Edgewood United Church of Christ CCI Learnings & Activities
- Koinonia Farm in Georgia
- The Stories We Live: Finding God’s Calling All around Us by Dr. Kathleen A. Cahalan
- A few examples from Edgewood’s lay preaching series (under “Resources developed by Edgewood”)
Pastor Liz Miller has served at Edgewood United Church of Christ since May of 2016. She previously served for seven years at the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury, CT. She earned a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston, MA. and a BA in English from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. On days off she enjoys biking, quilting, flirting with veganism, and hanging out with her wife.
- Describe the community that has most strongly impacted your calling to date.
- How is your congregational community called to engage the wider neighborhood community? Are there ways in which this calling can or should be strengthened in the coming months?
- Have you ever experienced burnout in your calling? How did you respond?
- Check out resources to explore calling in your congregation on the Communities of Calling Initiative website.
- Try out one of the practices from the Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources document, which Pastor Liz shared with CCI congregations in 2020 to aid in discerning the call to be anti-racist.
- Read Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller, which serves as a primary text for the CCI leadership team as they plan a retreat on sabbath as a vocational practice.
- Follow the work of the Collegeville Institute on social media at @collegevilleins [Twitter, Instagram, Facebook] and subscribe to our email newsletter.