Unlikely Conversations from the Collegeville Institute
The Spiritual Practice of Discernment: A Conversation with the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

The Spiritual Practice of Discernment: A Conversation with the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson

December 21, 2021

Have you ever asked yourself: how does spiritual discernment work, practically? What are the signposts? How can I feel God’s subtle nudge?

In the final episode of this season, we discuss the ways that spiritual discernment practices reveal God's calling in our big and little decisions. Join our conversation with the Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson, who is Project Director of the Communities of Calling Initiative at the Collegeville Institute. Jane recently retired from Seminary of the Southwest, where she was Associate Professor of New Testament and Director of Community Care. She is a wise teacher and expert on spiritual discernment who works with congregational leaders, many of whom we’ve heard from this season on the podcast.

Creative Callings in the Pandemic at Plymouth Church

Creative Callings in the Pandemic at Plymouth Church

December 7, 2021

The pandemic has altered church life in ways we are still discerning. For Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York, the disruption dissolved lines between home life and church life, and it pushed congregational members to explore creative callings in new, innovative ways. In this episode, Journalist Eliza Gray and Pastor Brett Younger discuss the way COVID shifted their engagement and ministry in church community.

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

Writing as Prayer, Discernment, and Vocation

Writing as Prayer, Discernment, and Vocation

November 23, 2021

When have you felt most alive before God? In this episode, Carol Davis Younger shares her vocational story of becoming a writer, which 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.

The Call to Rise After Crisis: A Conversation with Meena Natarajan and Ingrid C. A. Rasmussen

The Call to Rise After Crisis: A Conversation with Meena Natarajan and Ingrid C. A. Rasmussen

November 9, 2021

What happens when a church is called during a crisis to not just to the people in the pews, but to the families, organizations, and businesses in the neighborhood? In this episode, we speak with Meena Natarajan, Executive and Artistic Director of Pangea World Theater, and Ingrid C. A. Rassmussen, pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Together, they tell the story of their friendship and partnership in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis following George Floyd's murder in May 2020. Pangea Theater produces community-based art and Holy Trinity is a Lutheran congregation located one block from the Third Police Precinct, which was burned during protests again police brutality in Minneapolis. Since those events, Ingrid and Meena have been meeting together with a coalition of community leaders called Longfellow Rising.

Holy Trinity 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.

The Call to Sing at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

The Call to Sing at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

October 26, 2021

Music can deepen and broaden our experience of joy and grief. In this episode, Ann Schrooten speaks about her calling to serve through music, and how that vocation transformed during the pandemic and following George Floyd’s murder near her church in Minneapolis, MN. She describes how the cries for justice in her community led her to ask a new question about leading music in her church.

Holy Trinity 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.

Addressing the Purpose Gap with Dr. Patrick B. Reyes

Addressing the Purpose Gap with Dr. Patrick B. Reyes

October 12, 2021

How do we understand God’s calling when not everyone has access to the same networks, resources, or opportunities?

In this episode, practical theologian Dr. Patrick B. Reyes speaks about his new book, The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive. Reyes writes about his own childhood neighborhood, which he describes as an education desert. He flips the white, western script of individual “shining stars,” and expands our view to see calling in terms of whole constellations.

Invited to Mission at Edgewood Church: A Conversation with Marcia Beer and Diana Farmer

Invited to Mission at Edgewood Church: A Conversation with Marcia Beer and Diana Farmer

September 28, 2021

Think of a significant calling in your life. Who invited you to explore that calling? And what role did community play in that invitation?

As a community, Edgewood United Church has been collectively invited by God to serve their neighbors through a specific, shared mission. In this episode, Marcia Beer and Diana Farmer speak how their community collectively discerned a common purpose. They also discuss how the pandemic disrupted and refocused their ministry in surprising ways. 

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.

 

Called Through Community at Edgewood Church

Called Through Community at Edgewood Church

September 14, 2021

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 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 doing a deep dive into personal and communal vocation with the Collegeville Institute’s Communities of Calling Initiative.

Embracing Communal Callings: Service at St. Matthew’s Church

Embracing Communal Callings: Service at St. Matthew’s Church

August 31, 2021

Some Christians have profound testimonies about how God has called them; but, it’s not everyone’s experience. More often, God calls whole communities to big things, not individuals. How can congregations invite members of all ages to embrace God's call to serve their neighbors?

In this episode, Pastor Kelly Kirby and Lynn Miller from Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church in Louisville, KY tell the story of how God called their church to step out in faith and start a food ministry. They also discuss the challenges and blessings of running the food pantry during the pandemic, which became an important place of connection for youth and adults alike.

St. Matthew’s 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.

A Multiplicity of Callings: Skills Sharing at St. Matthew’s Church

A Multiplicity of Callings: Skills Sharing at St. Matthew’s Church

August 17, 2021

Vocation is often understood as what we do for work, but God calls people to more than our place of employment. Can God's calling extend to skills or hobbies like bread baking, gardening, or cake decorating?

Leaders at St. Matthew Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky decided to find out by inviting individuals in their church to offer a course on something they love to do. In this episode, Pastor Benjamin Hart and Professor Justin Klassen discuss how the skills sharing classes at St. Matthew's transformed their understanding of God's calling in both their personal lives and the greater church community.

St. Matthew’s 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.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App