Period of Discernment
What is the Period of Discernment?
The Period of Discernment (PoD) is a structured process that helps you consider God’s call through a combination of reflection, prayer, conversation and learning. A PoD is Phase 1 of the 4 Phases of formation in the UCA Assembly standards for ministry.
This is an exciting and important journey where you will be supported as you explore your call and gifts and how this can align with corresponding services in our church.
Who can do a Period of Discernment?
The Period of Discernment is available to anyone who is in good standing in a congregation or faith community within the Uniting Church, regardless of background. To apply, you will need to speak with your local minister or church council, who can assist you in contacting your Presbytery’s ministry oversight committee, who will appoint a mentor. A PoD is designed to assist in discerning any number of ministry opportunities including lay preaching, lay ministry leadership and local ministry of pastor roles, as well as potential candidating for ordained ministry. People seeking to explore becoming a candidate for ministry as a Deacon or Minister of the Word are required to undertake the PoD and have been a confirmed member of the Uniting Church for 12 months prior to applying for candidature. A PoD can be done while engaged in lay Ministry practice at any stage.
What is involved in a Period of Discernment?
- Presbytery approves a Mentor or Mentoring Group. At Eastwood PoD Group meets fortnightly and individuals meet monthly.
- Develop learning and serving agreement with your mentor.
- Engage in some theological, ministry and mission study. (usually 1-2 different things in the year)
- Think about ministry in the UCA. You might be encouraged to do the UME Living Our Values course. At Eastwood, we use the UCA Assembly materials:
- Develop a portfolio, with your reflections and learning during your PoD.
- Attend or make space for a retreat.
- Make a presentation or conversation to the Presbytery’s ministry, zone or Pastoral Relations Committee.
Information about Deacon
You will find information here: http://diakonia.unitingchurch.org.au/
This article is also useful: https://andrewfdutney.com/2018/08/06/whats-the-difference-between-the-ministry-of-the-word-and-the-ministry-of-deacon-in-the-uca/
Cultures of Discernment
A Keynote address given by Rev Amelia to the Synod Discernment Day on June 2, 2022