We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

God’s Calling to us – What is it and how do we hear it?

From SALT Blog

What does God’s Calling mean ?

Several possibilities:
1. Exploring what should I do with my life
2. Organizing Getting my bearings in the new year.
3. Be still and reflective. Listen for God’s calling.

“(1) God’s calling can be about “what I should do with my life,” but it also can be about getting our bearings, especially in times of trouble and disorientation. In fact, the word “orientation” comes from the Latin orientem (“east”), the direction of the rising sun and also (for Europeans and North Africans) the direction of the Holy Land. In times of turmoil, God reorients us, bringing us back to what’s truly most important.

“(2) How do we hear and follow God’s call? When we sense a prompting, an encouragement, or a tug on our sleeve, how do we recognize its source? From Samuel’s story, one mark of a divine summons is repetition, and so we might ask: Does the prompting persist, or is it fleeting? Another clue is in Eli’s advice to be still and deliberately, thoughtfully listen, making time and space for reflection (“Speak, for your servant is listening”). And a third potential sign is those “tingling ears” (v. 11): the Spirit’s work in our lives will challenge and stir us, and that inspiration can mean we are moving in the right direction.

“(3) Likewise, from John’s story we can glean that God’s calling typically meets us where we are. Andrew gets a trusted recommendation and a day with Jesus; Philip jumps aboard right away; and Nathanael engages in skeptical debate. In short, there’s no one right way to respond to God’s call. There’s plenty of room under the tent of discipleship, both for those ready to take the plunge and for those who’d rather put a toe in first…

“(4) One of the most celebrated definitions of vocation is Frederick Buechner’s: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” It’s a lovely definition — but it sometimes doesn’t seem to fit. Moses, for example, doesn’t demonstrate much “deep gladness” when God calls him at the burning bush (Moses sums up the discussion with, “O my Lord, please send someone else!” (Ex 4:13)); nor does Samuel particularly glad when God calls him to deliver difficult news to Eli. In the Gospels, too, the disciples eventually experience their calling as leading them into struggle, not away from it. In the end, Buechner’s formula is still a valuable discernment tool, but so is its complementary opposite: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep discomfort and the world’s deep blessings meet.” Especially in times of trouble and trial, this definition of vocation can be illuminating.

“(5) Finally, Jesus’ words (and Philip’s echo of them) — “Come and see” — stand out this week as a witness and a challenge. For both Andrew and Nathanael, and for many of us besides, second-hand reports just won’t do. We want to come and see for ourselves. For John, this is the primary mode of spreading the good news and growing the community of disciples — and churches today are wise to do the same. Try this line of questions with your community: If we were to invite a friend to experience the best of our congregation’s life and work with this simple, three-word invitation, “Come and see,” to what specifically would we invite them? A worship service, a service project, a small group meeting? Where and when do we most vividly, experientially embody the Gospel we proclaim?