Writing as Prayer, Discernment, and Vocation A Conversation with Carol Davis YoungerNovember 23, 2021 By Collegeville Institute Leave a Comment When have you felt most alive before God? In this episode, Carol Davis Younger shares her vocational story of becoming a writer and how her writing practice has deepened her spiritual journey and sense of God’s presence. Through creating curriculum and hosting church writing groups centered on Scripture, she invites others in her congregation at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, NY to use writing as a tool of discernment and as a form a prayer. Plymouth Church 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 (CCI) Plymouth Church’s CCI Learnings & Activities Pray with Your Pen curriculum Diane Millis Rehearsing Scripture by Anna Carter Florence Finally Comes the Poet: Daring Speech for Proclamation by Walter Brueggemann Bios Carol Davis Younger is the editor of Reflections, a daily devotional guide published by NextSunday Resources. She thinks of the Church, an abundant source of inspiration, challenge, and possibility, as her favorite writing teacher. Carol has authored extensive curriculum for congregations and loves encouraging churches to practice the ministry of writing through writing groups. Carol and her husband, Brett, live in Brooklyn, NY, where he pastors Plymouth Church. They are part of the Collegeville Institute’s Communities of Calling Initiative. Ellie Roscher is a writer, theology teacher, and host of the Unlikely Conversations podcast. She is a board member at the Collegeville Institute and the author of 12 Tiny Things, Play Like a Girl, and How Coffee Saved My Life. Ellie holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in Theology from Luther Seminary. She lives in Minneapolis with her spouse and sons. Follow Ellie on social media at @ellieroscher [Twitter, Instagram, Facebook]. Matthew Ian Fleming edited the audio for this podcast. You can find Matthew on Instagram at @matthewianfleming and his other podcasts at www.alterguild.org. Discussion questions Carol talks about how her call to write evolved in childhood. What callings did you cultivate in childhood or young adulthood? How have those callings influenced your life today? Carol describes an important vocational experience when she received God’s grace. What role does God play in your callings? How do you experience God’s grace or Spirit at work in your discernment? Scripture is a valuable vocational companion and discernment tool for Carol. What Scripture passages connect with a current point of discernment for you? What wisdom does God have to share with you through the pages of Scripture? Carol posed a powerful vocational question to her students: When have you felt alive before God? How would you answer that question? Next Steps Check out resources to explore calling in your congregation on the Communities of Calling Initiative website. Do you have a call to write? Applications are now open for Summer and Fall 2022 Collegeville Institute Writing Workshops. Cultivate your call to write with other spiritual writers and expert teachers. Miss the last episode? Listen to Holy Trinity pastor Ingrid C. A. Rasmussen and Meena Natarajan, Executive and Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater, explore what happens when a church is called during a crisis to not just the people in the pews, but to the families, organizations, and businesses in the neighborhood. Follow the work of the Collegeville Institute on social media at @collegevilleins [Twitter, Instagram, Facebook] and subscribe to our email newsletter Like this post? Subscribe to have new posts sent to you by email the same day they are posted.