VocationCARE and the Church
The purpose of any spiritual practice is to awaken us to our true nature as the beloved of God, called to love one another dearly. VocationCARE provides a context for awakening that is particularly suited to our contemporary life in a secular society. People of all ages—from teens through elders—find the exercises accessible. People with and without prior theological training report epiphanies experienced while engaging in the CARE practices.
The VocationCARE training engages the imagination and inspires participants to design specific initiatives to minister to the particular needs of their communities that they can enact with the resources at their disposal (time, skills, money). Thus, the great potential of VocationCARE for the Episcopal Church in the 21st century is to fling open the doors of the church and lead empowered people into their communities to fulfill the Church’s mission in the world.
What the CARE practices are primarily dedicated to is creating a context for awakening. That is the essence of any spiritual practice – that we become awakened to our true nature. That was the intent of those baffling and enlightening parables that Jesus tells in the Gospels. Our lives are like those parables. They need a key to unlock their true meaning, some practice that places us in the way of our life’s mystery, something to shed light on our purpose for being in the world. Our lives require attention to what Quaker activist Parker Palmer refers to as the “inner teacher,” as well as those compassionate, caring, and motivating other voices that are heard in our churches and in the wider world. They call us to a more mindfully engaged life, a life from which we may call others.
VocationCARE is ultimately intent on awakening action for the sake of the world that God created. As one of our practitioners has stated, “The dominant ecclesiology [today] is the church as refuge – not church as missional, out there in the world. So we use VocationCARE to help people imagine a different kind of church. It’s got to be a both/and. Our ecclesiology operates from the fact that the church is also this agent for transformation that currently plays way below its weights.”
We welcome the opportunity to speak with any and all church leaders about how VocationCARE may be adopted in your jurisdiction. Please get in touch!