Model 3 – A medium-sized suburban parish
This church’s discernment group meets once a month with the aspirant. There are four people on the committee; one is the Junior Warden. The committee is charged to frame its meetings in prayer. The members are directed to seek in their meetings to discern whether they believe that the aspirant’s call to ordained ministry is authentic. They are encouraged to ask difficult questions and to avoid any tendency to soften their approach based on friendship with a fellow parishioner. To aid them in their questioning, the rector shares with them the categories to be addressed in the letter to the Bishop sponsoring an aspirant for the priesthood or diaconate. The members of the committee include a psychiatrist, a lawyer, a librarian and a social worker. The committee reports to the rector regularly on their sessions.