Change Font Size:   A A A

Aug 03, 2016

Discernment Opportunities Expand

Commission on Ministry Adopts Changes to Encourage Exploration of Call

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 


Today, our ministry must serve those who come to our church buildings as well as those who are outside of our buildings. We are called to go beyond our churches and spread the good news in a culture that is less and less Christian.  We are to be a manifestation of Christ as teacher, servant, listener, challenger and healer.


As we become more engaged with our neighbors, the ministries of our church need to support and promote a renewed missional orientation within a diversity of communities in which we serve.  This means the Church needs leaders who are entrepreneurial, collaborative, adaptive, diverse and spiritually trustworthy.


While we still need to identify those among us who are called to ordination, our discernment process must grow to encourage all Christians to seek their particular call, both lay and ordained.


The new discernment process in the Diocese of Texas is designed to provide greater access to explore ministry in many forms through an initial Discovery Retreat. Participants learn a theological model for vocation that gives them a framework for their own discernment. They explore a variety of Christian vocations, are allowed time for personal reflection and prayer and can learn about the canonical processes for ordained ministry in the Diocese of Texas.


Instead of the local, congregational discernment committees of the past, regional committees now meet with those who seek a deeper and intentional discernment, upon recommendation of a sponsoring priest. Trained discernment ministers from the person’s congregation and other local Episcopal congregations help guide this process. 


Response to the first two Discovery Retreats has been immediate and energetic. There is a heart to serve within our Diocese and many people are looking for ways to serve their God and their community on a deeper level. With the advent of new missional communities, the need for trained leaders continues to grow. Please consider joining an upcoming Discovery Retreat to see where God is calling you. Registration for the Discovery Retreats, which are offered each year (generally January, Spring and early Fall) is on the Camp Allen website at 


Mason is a deacon at St. John’s, Austin. 


For further information, please contact the Rev. Victoria Mason ( ) or the Rev. Francene Young ( ).