Wonderful News!!

30 10 2007

At the age of 19 I received a very clear call to be an Anglican Priest. So I applied and was accepted, starting soon after my 20th birthday. I completed nearly 2 and a half years before it all began to unravel…

I found myself struggling with the expectations, the lack of support as well as the realization that my calling though to be a Priest, didn’t include working in a parish. It all came to a head when the Priesthood training program leadership suggested I take a year off for reflection. I never returned to the program as I got involved in Chaplaincy then Art Therapy. And so began many years of wondering why God would call me and then why this calling was unfulfilled?

clerical-collar.jpgNow some 15 years later I have an answer: it wasn’t the right time. So often we expect instant results. But I can say from personal experience that sometimes God calls us and then begins a period of preparation and formation before the calling is expressed.

About 18 months ago I approached the Diocese of Wellington with an unusual proposition : I felt called to be a Priest, but I had no interest in parish ministry. I was excited and surprised to learn that here in New Zealand exists a program called Self Supporting Priesthood. Basically you continue your day job and the Diocese ordains you as Deacon and then Priest. Your ministry is then offered around your full-time role.

In March of this year I received the Wonderful News from Bishop Tom Brown that he would ordain me as a Self Supporting Deacon this year and Self Supporting Priest the following year. WOOOHOOO!

The ordination to the Deaconate will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in Wellington on the 24th of November.

My Ministry

I will continue to work as Chief Executive of The Bible Society and also continue to oversee the growing Anglican ministry in Second Life and I am presently in discussions with my parish Priest, Frank Nelson as to how I can be involved there! So more news about this later.

I praise God for my calling.

Mark

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4 responses

30 10 2007
tim bulkeley

…and archbishop of 2nd Life the year after that… no, seriously, I rejoice in your news, and pray that this new form of ministry will enable you to bless others and them to bless you in new ways!

31 10 2007
Roger & Shyla Yarhouse

Mark; That is news that is full of wonder about this next step in your spiritual journey.
God Bless You,

4 11 2007
Rev Bosco Peters

I will keep you in my prayers – with thanksgiving;
please also pray for me
from a priest who appreciated parish ministry
but has now for 10 years appreciated non-parish ministry

Bosco
http://www.liturgy.co.nz

6 11 2007
Suzanne

This really IS wonderful news! I am very happy for you and hope you can post some proceedings from your ordination 🙂

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