Called to something smaller

Flow by Olivia Kuser -- a dark landscape showing a winding river, looking towards a sunset
Flow (etching ink on panel) 1996 by Olivia Kuser.

Reading through some old papers today I came across this prayer, which I used in an essay about my theology of ministry at New College, in 1998:

Called to something smaller

We are not ordaining you to ministry; that happened at your baptism.

We are not ordaining you to be a caring person; you are already called to that.

We are not ordaining you to serve the Church in committees, activities, organisation; that is already implied in your membership.

We are not ordaining you to become involved in social issues, ecology, race, politics, revolution, for that is laid upon every Christian.

We are ordaining you to something smaller and less spectacular: to read and interpret those sacred stories of our community, so that they speak a word to people today; to remember and practise those rituals and rights of meaning that in their poetry address man at the level where change operates; to foster in community through word and sacrament that encounter with truth which will set men and women free to minister as the body of Christ.

We are ordaining you to the ministry of the word and sacraments and pastoral care.

God grant you grace not to betray but uphold it, not to deny but affirm it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Found in Liturgy of Life by Donald Hilton (National Christian Education Council, 1991 ISBN 0719707609). Used by the Methodist Church in Singapore.


Monday 24 January 2022

I learned today that the original author of this was the Revd Emeritus Professor William Loader FAHA, NSW, Australia.

Thank you Bill for clarifying.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

One thought on “Called to something smaller”

  1. Thanks for priniting this I used it a long time ago but have been unable to find it for some time. Thanks I realy need this reminder!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.