Discovery Retreat

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The Discernment Process of EDOT

Our Baptismal Covenant calls all Christians to be ministers. The Outline of Faith in the Book of Common Prayer (1979) defines the ministers of the church as “lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.” (See also Title III Ministry, Canon 1). We are all ministers of the church.

As the Church shifts to a missional approach to ministry, we need to raise up and identify more leaders who are innovative, “missional minded,” and have the willingness and capabilities to go out into the world on behalf of the Episcopal church to serve people outside of our church walls.

To meet the challenge of building faith communities, our Diocese has recently updated the process of discernment to help members in our churches discern their gifts and identify leaders for ministry: lay and ordained. By expanding the discernment process, our Diocese desires to be constantly discerning God’s call among us and raising up lay and ordained leaders who are willing to be the face, hands, and heart of Christ in our communities and in the world.

On the following pages are frequently asked questions about the new Discovery Retreat and the Regional Discernment process in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. It will be updated as additional questions are asked and answered and as the programs unfold.

Attending a Discovery Retreat is mandatory for those discerning a call to the ordained ministry in the Diocese of Texas. Participating in the retreat is highly recommended for those discerning a call to ministries as a Lay Leader. 

For more information on the Lay Training provided through the Iona School for Ministry, contact the Rev. Mary Lenn Dixon, Dean for Diaconal and Lay Formation, 979.547.4231 or Julie Heath, Administrator for the Iona School for Ministry, 713.353.2125.


Resources For Vocational Discernment

The books listed here have been selected from among the vast number of resources on vocational discernment that are available in print. The criteria for selecting these include their inclusion of hands-on, practical exercises that an individual or group can engage in, their focus on the spiritual and emotional elements of vocational discernment, and the Christian theological understanding of vocation.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
by Parker J. Palmer,1999
This gentle little volume began as a collection of essays and talks and is a reflection on Dr. Palmer’s own vocational and emotional journey. He is particularly helpful when talking about the importance of honestly and frankly coming to terms with our own limitations and using that insight to guide us to more successful and fulfilling endeavors.

How to Find Your Mission in Life
by Richard Nelson Bolles, 2005
In this intimate treasury of wit and wisdom, Richard Bolles, author of the job-hunting bible: What Color Is Your Parachute? explores the spiritual aspects of finding one's place in the work world. For anyone who has ever wondered how to make the most of their unique natural gifts, or how to find a vocation that is both socially responsible and personally fulfilling, this enlightening and empowering volume provides immeasurable guidance. 

Calling and Clarity: Discovering What God Wants for Your Life
by Doug Koskela, 2015
As a professor of theology at an undergraduate institution, Doug Koskela has had extensive personal experience with counseling young people when they come to him with questions about career choices, vocation and calling. In this volume poses questions and provides answers to common questions about calling and discernment and distinguishes between the various kinds of calling and their relationships to our gifts, passions and vocation.