DISCOVERING OUR GIFTS
As Christians we believe that each of us have been given gifts to serve God and others. A few years ago we invited the Diocesan School of Formation to lead an evening for us centred around an exercise in identifying more clearly the specific gifts that God has given to each of us and to build confidence in using these gifts to serve God, our communities, the church and one another.
Following this session we held some focussed training sessions to enable people to find specific opportunities to exercise their gifts within the Camelot Parishes. One person also felt called to offer himself as a Reader.
LAY WORSHIP ASSISTANT TRAINING
The first training course we ran was for Lay Worship Assistants (‘LWAs’). The object of this course was to train people who have a gift for leading worship. An LWA can lead Family Services and Morning and Evening Prayer (in both Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship formats). They are not authorised to preach but are able to use a variety of material including published reflections on the Scripture passages, personal reflection and discussion in place of a sermon.
We now have six trained LWAs working in various Camelot parishes.
LAY PASTORAL ASSISTANT TRAINING
The next training we undertook was for Lay Pastoral Assistants (LPAs). Pastoral care is a vital part of the Church’s ministry but often it takes place in unrecognised ways through individual members of the congregation showing the love of Christ in very practical ways.
Becoming an LPA is one way in which this work can be recognised and in which those with pastoral gifts can receive training. We have now undertaken two LPA courses attended by a total of 21 people.
SMALL GROUP LEADERS
Our small groups in the Camelot Parishes such as Alpha, Pilgrim and the homegroups draw on volunteer leaders and these also play a vital role in Pastoral Care. Please see Camelot Home Groups for further details on small groups.
Musicians of various kinds are an invaluable resource in the leading of worship. Currently, we have a team of 6 organists, a keyboard player and a guitarist playing in the services and occasional offices across the Camelot Parishes. Should you be a competent musician and would like to participate in our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Readers are lay people, called by God, trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work. We currently have one Reader in the Camelot Parishes, Mr George Renwick.
Clergy still have a special role to play in terms of teaching, pastoral work and leading Communion services. But they are also responsible for equipping and enabling others to fulfil their own God given ministry.
We set a high importance on working as part of a team. No-one has all the gifts, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. However, by working together we can be enriched by the different perspectives each person brings and try to place them in a role which draws out and encourages their individual gifts.
Luke 1:37 “For the word of God will never fail.”