I Believe I Am So Called

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Today’s CliffNotes is a guest post written by Meghan Scully, Assistant to the Rector.

“He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:16

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of sitting in the company of a group of seven people consisting of three recently ordained priests, three soon-to-be-priests, and Cliff, who gathered for the purpose of desiring to expand their holy imaginations for their ministry calling as priests.  Cliff led the group in conversation, various exercises and reflections, and prayer.  I had the sweet spot of offering meals and lingering in their company from time-to-time.

As believers, we are a “kingdom of priests” with an incredible invitation from our Lord to participate in His mission in the world through all our various vocations by the power of the Holy Spirit.  To some He has called specifically to be priestly servants within a kingdom of priests.  In the case of these seven, they are ones who have said, or will soon say, “I believe I am so called.”

There was a moment in their presence when I was profoundly struck by the uniqueness of their call, the weighty responsibility of their call.  They were gathering to more fully realize, with awe and humility, the calling that requires the offering of their own lives unto the Lord.  They are priestly servants whose life offerings, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are exemplars who equip and strengthen us in the giving of our own lives to be acceptable offerings to our God.

I was overcome with deep gratitude for their hearts that beat in love for the bride of Christ; for their posture not to garner power and authority, but to lead as wounded healers; for their heralding of the Gospel; for their faithfulness to plod and plant vision in all seasons; and for all the ordinary, hidden pastoral moments that cultivate us to live our daily lives as a royal priesthood.

This Saturday at Christ Church Plano, we will celebrate as Bishop Todd Hunter ordains Erik Willits of Plano and David Taylor of Houston as priests.  Our own Matt Dampier (our new Associate Rector, who will preach this Sunday) and Brian Wallace will also be ordained as transitional deacons before being ordained into the priesthood next year.

There is a portion of the ordination service to the priesthood called The Examination in which the Bishop states, “In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ’s people from the riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this life and in the life to come.  Do you believe that you are truly called by God and his Church to this priesthood?”

It is with pure love, Christ Church, that we are nourished and strengthened to follow Jesus!  Join me in thanksgiving and praise to God for the gift of these ordinands, and also for Cliff as our priest, whose answer to that question is, “I believe I am so called.”