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How Rachel-Elizabeth Clark was called

We are continuing the series of stories celebrating our soon-to-be Reverends as we head towards the ordination weekend on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June. Today's story comes from Rachel-Elizabeth Clark.

How was Rachel-Elizabeth called?

Ever since making my first profession of faith at the age of 4, I have always felt a divine call on my life.

As a child, whenever I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, my reply was that I wanted to serve God. However, the tradition I was brought up in did not have women in leadership positions, so I thought that the only way I would be able to serve God was either as an overseas missionary or working with children, as these appeared to be the only areas where women were allowed to minister.

At the age of 18, I went on a short-term mission trip to Poland and was asked to preach at one of the Sunday services. I had never experienced a woman preaching but, with lots of encouragement from the rest of the team, I preached my first sermon. I knew in that moment that this was to be an important part of my call in the future.

Twenty-five years later, I was working for a church as a Children’s Minister. Members of the congregation and leadership team were beginning to ask whether I had ever considered ordained ministry, and my response was always, “Of course not, I am a woman.” But the more people asked, the more I began to wonder whether they really could all be wrong. So, I began my journey of discernment where I discovered that God did call women to ordained ministry and that God was specifically calling me.

It feels incredibly significant that I should be ordained during the year that the Church of England celebrates 30 years of ordained women as priests. It particularly resonates with me as it turns out that, on my ordination day, it will be exactly 30 years to the month since I preached my first sermon on that mission trip all those years ago.

I would encourage anyone who feels called to ministry of any kind that God will fulfil his promise to you, although it may be in a completely unexpected way, as it was for me.

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil His promises to her!

Luke 1:45

Find out more on our ordinations page.

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