I am called

Written by Joel on April 25th, 2008

I continue to struggle with this dual call I have discovered: To enter into full communion with Christ’s Church, and also to enter into the ordained ministry.

Normally this would not be a problem, but married men are not normally considered as candidates for the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

My pastor has shared with me many other, quite worthy, ministries which are open to the laity. I could be a pastoral assistant, youth minister, cathecetical instructor, and some day a deacon. As I discern each of these calls I feel a certain hole in my being. That I would be falling short somehow of the call God has placed on my life.

My specific call is realized in the Army National Guard where I currently serve as a chaplain candidate. The chaplain candidate program is for seminary students who are preparing for the ordained ministry in their respective faith traditions. Chaplains must be ordained ministers within their own tradition. I would not be able to serve my brothers and sisters in uniform unless I am on a track that leads to ordination.

I shutter as I contemplate the thought of abandoning this call, especially as I see the great need for ministry in the armed forces. The workers are few as it is.

I believe my call to the ministry is stronger than my call to any particular church. I am seeking a path which will allow me to do both: to lay down the “protest” (i.e. enter into full communion with the Church) and to be God’s priest. I do not know if any such path exists.

God is above the brokenness of his visible Church on Earth. I will serve him, and submit to his call for me.

I have resolved to cling to my call to the ordained ministry. If I must choose between the two (ministry or communion), I will choose to serve the Lord – even within a separated ecclesial community.


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:

    What an unusual cross God is making you carry!!

    A cross is a cross I guess, may it lead you closer to Christ!

  2. tkeldm says:

    I am distancing myself from the label “Protestant” (although the verb protest meant something different back in the 15th and 16th century than it does now.

    I like the term Reformed better. But then I like the words Revitalized and rejuvinated even better

  3. Joel Walkley says:

    It is difficult to figure out what to call Protestants.

    I’m not a fan of the term “protestant” itself because it sounds like we are specifically against Rome.

    I can’t say I really favor the term “reformed” either because that might suggest that the Roman Catholic Church is not reformed (which it is.)

    Nor do I believe that the term “non-Catholic” is appropriate because Vatican II is clear that protestants are part of the universal church by virtue of our baptism. Protestants are catholic too, just not Roman catholic.

    I would advocate to drop all adjectives and just call ourselves Christians (that is, followers of Christ), we can all agree that Christ is our focus.

    I use “protestant” in my blog however simply to avoid confusion.

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