The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Discernment

The Book of Common Prayer reminds us that God's Church participates in God's mission "through the ministry of all its members (BCP, pg. 855)." As baptized members of the Body of Christ, each one of us is called to participate in God's mission of reconciliation and renewal in every aspect of our lives–in work, in leisure, in community life and civic engagement, in advocacy, and in service. The Episcopal Church in Connecticut is a community that takes seriously the formation of disciples and apostles in God's mission. Yes, that means you!

Discernment is a an intentional, prayerful process where we seek God's direction to guide us in our next steps. If you have found yourself wondering about how God might be inviting you to use your talents and gifts to make a difference in the world, you might find a period of discernment a helpful practice. You will find more information about opportunities to discern in a wider community below.

Holy Orders Discernment

Holy Orders Discernment Cohorts are gathered on a rolling basis. A cohort consists of eight individuals who are putting themselves forward to discern the diaconate or presbyterate as well as two discernment leaders. The creation of a cohort occurs when eight completed applications have been received. The Episcopal Church in Connecticut works to ensure that each group contains a diversity of racial and ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations, levels of education, and more. We believe this diversity offers an additional layer of vocational discernment. Once the eight applications have been received, the Commission on Ministry recruits two discernment leaders to facilitate the group's gathering. The Cohort itself meets over-other-week for 6 months. The details of date, time, and location of meetings is determined collaboratively by the cohort.

Applications to be a part of the next Holy Orders Discernment Cohort are now available online. In order to apply to be a part of this cohort, you must be:

  • An adult communicant in good standing in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (Canon I.17.3)
  • Engaged in an ongoing conversation regarding discernment with your priest (or church warden in the absence of a priest)

A complete application will include:

  • A completed online application.
  • A reflection (500 words or less) from your priest or church warden who is sponsoring you for Holy Orders Discernment. They are encouraged to reflect on the charisms for ministry that the see present in your life, your involvement and engagement in the life of the local faith community, and areas for vocational development and growth. Reflection may be sent to the Dean of Formation and Administrator for Ordination Processes).
  • A reflection (500 words or less) from another lay person in the faith community sponsoring you for Holy Orders Discernment. They are encouraged to reflect on the charisms for ministry that the see present in your life, your involvement and engagement in the life of the local faith community, and areas for vocational development and growth. Reflection may be sent to the Dean of Formation and Administrator for Ordination Processes).

Spanish language translation coming soon.

A Discernment Resource Sheet to enrich your personal discernment and journey can be found here.

*All those interested in discernment for holy orders should first be in conversation with their local priest (or church warden in the absence of a priest). Anyone interested in exploring ordination must have been a member of a worshiping community in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut for at least a year. Following conversations with the local clergy person, if there is a desire for additional discernment, please contact the Dean of Formation.