Alex Clare-Young, one of our students and an ardent blogger, has kindly shared the below piece with us;
As a second year student at Westminster College, I am starting to explore my faith and calling in new ways. In particular, I am getting back in touch with my artistic side! You will be able to tell from the image that I am sharing with you that I am no professional artist. Faith and vocation, however, sometimes just can’t be explained in words alone.
This picture was inspired by my classmate Stephen, as he shared words about calling with us as part of his assessed service. What is it really like, then, to find ourselves here? Well, I can’t answer for everyone, but this is what it is like for me.
I am invited to unending change. Ministers are called to grow and to learn for life. The Church grows and learns and changes and shifts, particularly in our post-post-modern (???) age! Formation and ministry are not static. Change overflows!
My lips, heart and mind are set on fire and I am called to take this flame to others. I read Scripture and wonder what it is like to be touched on the lips by a burning coal, or to see a bush that burns but is not consumed, or to be refined like a precious metal. It all sounds a bit extreme… But it is what formation feels like. I am constantly challenged, burnished, polished, melted, passionately on fire for what I believe in. We are burned but not consumed, and we must not hide the flames.
Like all Christians, in fact like all people, I am welcomed, pardoned, cleansed, promised transformation. Both in this community and by the grace of God I am welcomed as the whole truth of who I. I am pardoned when I mess up, say something stupid, offend someone, misunderstand the gospel or cause separation instead of inspiring wholeness.
I am invited to proclaim a dangerous, maverick, radical message that has cost many their lives and has the power to break down walls. And I am called to do this whatever the risk.
I am called in You and You in me. In all of this change, fire, welcome, promise, truth and brokenness God meets us and we meet God.
So what is it like to be here? Does this blog clarify anything? Probably not. It is indescribable. What I want to leave you with, though, is this: I am privileged to be called, I am privileged to be here but… but God does not call me to speak from my places of privilege but out of my places of oppression and for and with all those who have been marginalised. Thanks be to God.