Candidates and vocations

Revd Caroline Weaver 

 The work we do as the District Candidates’ Committee is a vital and significant part of the candidating process enabling people to explore and discern God’s calling to ministry in its many forms. Within the District we support and accompany people offering as candidates for ordained ministry. We are not simply here to interview and/or ask hard questions. We also offer guidance, support and prayer throughout the whole discernment process. The committee’s collective judgement is shared with the Connexional Candidates’ Committee. 
If you or anyone you know is feeling a call to ordained ministry, even if only tentatively, please make yourselves known to us. We are now using the revised Criteria for Ministry agreed at the 2016 conference and there is a huge amount that candidates are required to have completed before they meet any of the committees and the sooner we are aware, the greater the support we are able to offer. We encourage people to attend events and courses, such as Vocation Exploration Days and Portfolio Days.
This year, at the District Candidates’ Committee, we met three candidates for ordained ministry: one for Diaconal ministry, and two who are offering for Presbyteral ministry. We are delighted that all have been accepted and go forward for training.
In her presidential address to the Methodist Conference in June 2018 Revd Michaela Youngson said: “God’s grace is radical. It goes beyond what is only fair, to a prodigious reckless generosity. It is prevenient grace, which flows from the Lover’s desire to seeing." This year our candidates were asked to deliver a creative presentation on The Radical Nature of God’s Grace, sharing with the committee: When is God’s grace uncomfortable and when is it comfortable? When and how can the church reflect this grace? What difference does radical grace make? 
We also received the candidates’ portfolios, the reports made on them and heard about their journey of faith so far.