Posted by: preacherjean | March 3, 2009

Scholarship Essay #2

As promised, here are two more essays from my scholarship applications.

God is calling me to…

…be a priest in his Church. That’s the simple answer, of course, but I do believe with all my heart that God is calling on me to use my unique skills and experience to serve his people as a pastor, a leader, a reconciler, and an instrument through which God shows his love in the sacraments.

I feel that my place is in a parish, and I know that being a parish priest is not just standing at the Red Sea, staff in hand, and pointing the way. I will have to be anything from a strategic planner to a plumber (okay, we’ll probably hire a plumber, but I’m willing to help) and I must recognize the unique talents and abilities of my parishioners and find ways to nurture and encourage them. One of principles I always come back to is that we are called be obedient to God and follow in Jesus’ footsteps of service and sacrifice. For me, even more than being of service to others personally, I have felt the imperative to tell others about following that path and to lead by my life’s example.

Another role that I feel God is calling me to take on, both inside and outside of a parish, is that of a reconciler. God reconciled us to him through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, and I feel strongly that we are called to live out that example in the world. This is not an easy path. We live in a broken world and every human being on the planet has experienced pain and sadness and loss, and not everyone wants to be reconciled. But it’s imperative to try.

Finally, a parish community is built and sustained through the sacraments. All of the talents and interests of a church are focused through the sacraments. Through Baptism, a parish grows, both physically by adding new members and spiritually by reminding that we are all children of God and we are all made new and whole by His grace. Through the Eucharist, the parish is fed and renewed, and, shoulder to shoulder at the altar rail, we are reminded that we are one Body. The Eucharist is community at its best. As a priest, it would be my sublime duty and honor to administer the sacraments and to give God’s blessing and absolution to His people. The blessing of being able to do that on a daily basis would only be exceeded by knowing that God found me worthy of it in the first place.

This is my sense, so far, of what God is calling me to do and be as an ordained priest. I suspect that it’s only a partial list that will continue to expand as I grow in faith and understanding of what God’s mission is for me. I’m looking forward to it.

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