It has been a wild coupla weeks. At work, things have not slowed down since Easter- somehow, despite the fact that I still can't explain to anyone what my job description is, there are just more and more things to do.
Scott and I met with a deacon in Martha's Vineyard this week to learn about the Called & Gifted process. C&G is a process developed by the Siena Institute to help people discern their spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts, they say, are God-given, and meant to be shared/used in the world to bring about the Kingdom. So, there may be lots of other gifts you have, talents, secular gifts- but there is a difference.
We were met by the Deacon at the boat, and he took us to his inn to do the process. The way it works is, we took an inventory to see where our highest scores ended up- which gifts came up at the top of the list. But the most important part was that after the inventory came an interview. We looked at the gifts individually, heard a definition of that gift, and then looked at our own experiences to try end discern if that gift was something God had given us... or, maybe not.
The interviews were fascinating, and we both got a lot out of them. One thing that has stuck with me from the process was that he said "a gift is ours to give away... that means that if we don't use the gifts God has given us, then we leave someone in need." That puts a different spin on it. It means that the gifts aren't given TO us, they're given THROUGH us. How about that!
I'm hoping this process is one that we can bring to our parish- as we were being interviewed we kept throwing out names to each other of parishioners who we know would be great to interview. It's the difference between looking for people to fill volunteer positions, and helping people discern their gifts to see where God wants them to make a difference in the world. Like everything in parish work, it seems that the harder way is so often so much better.