Workshops Help Students Discern God's Call

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Jenni Fisher and three of her friends (all students at the University of Western Ontario) joined a dozen others in the bright, cozy basement of First Christian Reformed Church in London, Ontario, last fall for a workshop titled “Discerning Your Calling” (DYC).

Over pizza, participants spent a few hours sharing the stories of God’s work in their lives.

“God revealed himself to me through the workshop,” Fisher said. “I know I’m called into ministry and the workshop really helped to drive that home.”

Heidi De Jonge, pastor for discernment initiatives at Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS), facilitated the conversation. Duane Kelderman, CTS vice president for administration, and several seminarians were also present to listen, encourage, and share their own stories of God’s calling.

Through DYC events, Calvin Seminary is doing its part to renew a culture of calling in the Christian Reformed Church. By incorporating worship, small group discussion, and time for individual reflection, the workshops guide the participants through a series of questions:

  • What does it mean to listen to God’s voice and to discern God’s
    will?
  • What does it mean to be called by God?
  • How do I know if I’m called to vocational ministry?
  • What vocational ministry possibilities are there?

De Jonge also led a workshop for eight students in Lynden, Wash., in August, and 58 people joined De Jonge and Ron Nydam, professor of pastoral care, for a morning DYC workshop at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, in November.

DYC events can be shaped to fit the needs of high school, church, and college settings. An event will be held on the CTS campus next spring. Check the seminary website (www.calvinseminary. edu) for this and other DYC events or contact Heidi De Jonge (hdejong2@calvinseminary.edu) if you’d like to host an event in your area.

About the Author

Heidi S. De Jonge is the pastor of Westside Fellowship CRC in Kingston, Ont., She enjoys cycling, cake decorating, and digital scrapbooking. She and her husband have three young daughters.

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