Ep13 Women Living into Seasons of Vocation

Title: Women and Seasons of Vocation
Publish Date: March 13, 2023

The SHE-Team rethinks concepts of vocation as it aligns with the seasons of women’s lives. Author Kathleen Cahalan challenges thinking about vocation in terms of discovering my “lifelong vocation.” She proposes the idea that women’s experiences of vocation change through different seasons of our lives. In her book Calling All Years Good, she discusses how we can reflect on and discern the nature of vocation throughout the anticipated transitions of our lives. The team starts with a quote from Cahalan, “vocation we contend is inherently narrative. Its first language is story.” They share with listeners how the seasons of their lives have or have not aligned with a changing call to various vocations. Later in the episode they discuss the role of community in identifying and affirming women’s ministerial calling.

Twice during the episode the team invites our listeners to try out a reflective practice of discerning vocation through seasons of their lives and also to share their stories of vocation. The first 10 listeners to share their story get a free SHEcclesiology “Anti-donut ministry” t-shirt! Find us on facebook at SHEcclesiology Listening Community or on Instagram!

Kathleen Cahalan, Calling All Years Good: Christian Vocation throughout Life’s Seasons, 2017.
James Fowler, Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian: Adult Development and Christian Faith, 2002.

Fowler’s definition of vocation, paraphrased, is giving of ourselves to the invitation to partner with God in God’s work in the world. He says (building on Neibuhr) God’s work is threefold:
A – Creating – working to create, nature, foster the commonwealth of love and justice (kingdom of God); with people, with ideas, with things; eg, parenting, educating, discovering vaccines for viruses, earth care
B – Governing – working to ensure structures of restraint to protect equality, fairness for all people and groups; God acts as “a structure intending righteousness”!; law, legislation, use of power, good labor practices, ethically fair economics, etc.
C – Liberating/Redeeming – working towards solidarity with those marginalized, those in bondage of political, economic, social oppression; joining God in God’s “preferential option for the poor”, and giving up our positions of power, privilege, success for the sake of those Shane Claiborne comes to mind, and the Simple Way Community, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Community, etc. (James Fowler and Niebuhr; Fowler 2002, pp 68-75)

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