Acceptance

Monday, January 13

1-13By Karen R. Fultz of Atwater, California, USA

Regarding priesthood, God calls whoever God calls from among committed disciples, according to their gifts, to serve and reach all humankind. Priesthood policies and procedures provide a clear way for disciples to respond to calling. They also define the difference between a sense of call as potential and the need to align one’s life with principles of moral behavior and relationships that promote the well-being of the church community.

—Words of Counsel, 2013 World Conference

I attended the USA National Conference in 2013. I listened to delegates express their level of support for extending priesthood calls to individuals regardless of sexual orientation. It raised memories of my own call to the priesthood.

About 18 years ago, I sat in a local conference. I publicly voted NOT to support the call of a friend, a sister in Christ, to the office of elder. I felt she had a tendency to ostracize people and make them feel unworthy.

A year or two later, when my own call to the office of elder came, the Holy Spirit fully embraced me. And in that, I heard God say to me, “You cannot accept your call to ministry until you accept her call to ministry.” In my testimony of acceptance to the office, I first publicly made it known that I did accept my sister in her calling and ministry.

After first hearing those words so many years ago, President Veazey’s presentation of the Word of Counsel at the 2013 World Conference affirmed to me again—God calls whoever God calls.

Jesus called into discipleship the common laborer, the tax collector, the traitor, women, and even a person who probably could have benefited from anger management classes. I believe in a God who calls and empowers the imperfect, broken, and differently gifted to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ. These people are of God’s choosing, not mine.

Prayer for Peace
Open our hearts, Lord, help us be humble and accepting. May we value the gifts of each person. As we embrace the ministry of others, we are better able to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call to Others
Reflect on God’s call in your life. Quietly reflect on the moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to expand your gifts. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When have you experienced God through the calling and gifts of others? How do your gifts connect with the call of God you notice in your family, friends, congregation, or international community?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will leave my prejudices behind as I try to discern your will.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you I needed to read this!

  2. Nancy Williston

     /  13 January 2014

    This is so true. I have been privilege to see this time and time again. I, also, have seen calls not processed because of unreported offerings. This one young man’s call was not confirmed because there was no report of his offerings….which he had placed in the offering plate (cash) with no name attached on many occasions. He was generous to a fault but yet he did not want it reported to headquarters. I have a problem with this administrative requirement.

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