by Syd Brinkman
I once served on an important committee for the Northeastern Iowa Synod, and most time I felt a bit inadequate in my service. Serving with me were many fine rostered leaders, educated professors and others with extensive church history.
One of the fine things the committee did was an overnight retreat with workshops and brainstorming sessions. During one such session, we were asked to share our call story. One person said she had always felt called to ministry, just not ordained ministry.
We so often think that if we are not ordained, we have no call in this society. Or we may not look to our lives and service as a call. I sat in and listened to five other call stories in this group of candidates and committee members, and I’ve decided the word call is bigger than we can imagine.
We answer many calls
Early on, my call was working in service for others as a cosmetologist, which has been extended to service in clients’ homes. A call to be wife, mother and grandmother is profound. I have also been called to be a godparent to six children. How cool is that? I have been called to serve Women of the ELCA at its many expressions.
Can you imagine the many calls you’ve taken and served? Take a moment and put together that list.
In reading the letter sent to synodical women’s organization presidents upon the assignment of the representative to their SWO conventions, Jenny Michael, (former) president of Women of the ELCA’s executive board, wrote: “…God does not call us only once, but many times, to many different vocations. There are calls to faith, calls to family, calls to work life, but amongst all of that, there are also calls to specific communities and calls to particular tasks within those communities.”
So perhaps your call didn’t seem so important. Maybe you didn’t think the roles in your life were a call. I ask this of you: Become an active listener and uphold what you hear. Lift that call up, hold it proudly and shout it out for all to know. Listen to each other’s call and share what you see in another.
Perhaps acknowledging your call will give another person enough courage to answer her call. Each of us plays an important role for the good of the whole. May you step out in such bold faith to answer your call.
Syd Brinkman, Allison, Iowa, served two terms on the churchwide executive board. This blog first ran in 2014.