Nunez, who is Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Central Florida, said approximately 35 to 40 people turned out for the annual Conference on Ministry on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Church of the Messiah in Winter Garden. The event is an informational session for people who are sensing a call to ministry, possibly to become an ordained priest or deacon.
“For me, I’ve been going to this for eight years now,” Nunez said. “Every time I go, I get reinspired and excited about our ministry.”
The Rev. Chris Brathwaite, who is the rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Haines City, spoke in the morning session to the group about what it means to be a priest. Then, Cathedral Church of St. Luke (Orlando) Deacon Michael Matheny spoke to the participants about what it means to be a deacon, Nunez said.
In the afternoon, participants met in groups according to their calling. Nunez and the Rev. Canon Dr. Justin Holcomb, the Canon for Vocations, spoke to those individuals about the priesthood, and then the Ven. Kristi Alday, Archdeacon, spoke to those interested in the diaconate and/or licensed lay ministries.
“It’s very exciting to see how many people actually are looking into being ordained in ministry,” Nunez said.
Nunez said rectors and parishioners from around the diocese encourage individuals who are seeking information about more intentional ministry to attend the conference. Participants who discern that they are being called to pursue ordained or licensed ministries return to their parishes/missions to work with their rectors and vestries on completing and submitting an application to become licensed lay ministers or to enter the discernment process toward possible ordination.
– Marilyn Lang contributed to this story.