Monday, 5 June 2017

A new development in
resourcing ministries

by Canon Patrick Comerford

Patrick Comerford writes to introduce his new role in ministry and education in the United Dioceses

Since January, I have been living at the Rectory in Askeaton as the part-time priest-in-charge of Rathkeale Group of parishes. In recent weeks, my teaching roles at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and Trinity College Dublin have come to an end, and the I have taken up the second half of my appointment in these dioceses as Director of Ministerial Education and Training.

I hope to share some of my vision for this role later this month at both the Ministry Day in Glenstal Abbey on 17 June, and the Diocesan Synod on 24 June. In the meantime, I am contacting all clergy and readers who are active in the diocese, introducing some of my ideas of what a programme of ministerial education and development can look like, seeking exploring hopes and seeking feedback.

One area I am beginning to explore is the resources we need for ministry in these dioceses. A new dedicated website or blog could provide planning for the Sunday Lectionary readings in advance, with ideas for sermons, selecting hymns and relating them to intercessions, and pointing to wider web resources.

But these need to be explored together, and from autumn on I am planning a number of single-topic study days.

How do we nurture spiritual and personal development that can sustain us in our ministry, lay or ordained? How can we develop a life of personal prayer life and rule of life that underpins our role in in leading public prayer? How do we write, structure and lead intercessions?

How do we find resources for school assemblies, children’s addresses or confirmation classes? What new publications, books and resources are becoming available?

Readers and clergy alike may want to explore developing their ministries in a variety of ways. How can Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer be used creatively interpreted? How do we move from asking what can readers do to empowering and enhancing the ministry of readers? How do we prepare Confirmations and for the seasons in the Church Calendar, beginning with Advent?

There are exciting developments in Reader training in the neighbouring Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, and there are obvious benefits in exploring how these can be developed in this diocese too. There may be further developments in areas such as Communion-by-Extension, Ordained Local Ministry and team ministry that offer exciting challenges and that need creative resourcing.

I am considering regional meetings in places such as Killarney, Moneygal, Limerick and Ennis on a monthly basis, and can be contacted by email at revparrickcomerford_at_gmail.com; or by ’phone on 087 663 5116.

This half-page feature is published in the June 2017 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the Magazine of the United Diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert

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