Day 11: Heeding the Spirit’s Prompting

Day 11: Heeding the Spirit’s Prompting

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Dr. Edie encouraged us to delve deeply into the issue of vocation (calling).

At a Glance


Life in the Spirit: Heeding the Spirit’s Prompting

Faculty Speaker:

Rev. Dr. Fred Edie, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Christian Education
Director of the Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation

Lectionary Texts:

Jer. 1:4-10; Ps. 139:1-18, 23-24; 1 Cor. 3-4:1; and Matt. 10:1-14

Reflections on the Lecture

Dr. Edie encouraged us to delve deeply into the issue of vocation (calling). To what are we called? This involved a brief investigation into the temptations of Jesus immediately following his baptism, when Jesus was tempted to wield his power, perform spectacular miracles, and rule the world. He reminded us that even Jesus’ process of vocational discernment was fraught with challenges and temptations. We then spent some time in group reflection, discussing the question of vocation in light of the things we have learned about God during the past two weeks. Dr. Edie reminded us that all baptized members of the body of Christ are called to ministry, be it lay or ordained ministry, and that we cannot faithfully distinguish between our “jobs” and our vocational calling to ministry. He then asked us to think deeply about the places of the world’s deepest hunger and the sources of our own deepest joy in relation to vocational discernment.


“Every gift you have is to equip you for God’s work.”
— Brian Hardesty-Crouch during morning prayer

 “The whole purpose of our economic system is to enslave you to a life of consumption.”
— Dr. Edie during plenary

“You may be tempted to settle for less than you are in Christ.”
— Dr. Edie during plenary

“I’m gonna laugh if those birds poop on you!”
— Student, speaking to staff lounging on the steps of Duke Chapel

“Bacon is amazing. Even the frying of bacon sounds like applause.” 
— A DYA artist at breakfast quoting comedian Jim Gaffigan

Other Activities

Following the plenary, students were given time to intentionally reflect upon yesterday’s Durham Pilgrimage and the stories told of pain, reconciliation, and hope.  In addition, they were encouraged to reflect upon the ways in which God’s call is operative in their lives. After lunch we engaged in the final Arts Village opportunity, during which we were given the opportunity to “go deeper” with the artist of our choosing. Also, today was the final opportunity for us to engage in one of the prayer practices designed to open up the range of possibilities for prayer. Tonight we were treated to a delightful hospitality meal of turkey legs, rice, and green beans by our friends at Asbury Temple UMC in Durham. Our own Matthew Nickoloff and Brian Hardesty-Crouch led us in worship, during which we meditated upon and were annointed for our baptismal vocation.

Looking Ahead

It seems appropriate that on our final full day together, we’ll welcome Dr. Geoffrey Wainwright, Robert Earl Cushman Professor of Christian Theology, to lecture on “The Reign of God.” Our last time in mentor groups will be followed by an afternoon of free time to pack, relax, and enjoy time with friends. In the evening, DYA Assistant Director Katherine Smith will lead worship, and Faculty Director Dr. Edie will preside at table.