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Discernment in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

Discernment is personal, but not private. Discernment happens in community because God created us to be in relationship with one another. We need each other’s gifts, experiences and wisdom to further our own spiritual journeys.  Throughout the process of discernment, the individual engages in prayer, reflection, active inquiry with a spiritual director, and conversation with members of the community, always attempting to ascertain the character of the call. It is the responsibility of the local faith community and the Church at large to aid in the exploration, interpretation, and validation of a call by God to ministry.

There are three essential phases to all discernment processes, regardless of what the ultimate destination is. These essential components are:

  • One’s self‐understanding.
  • Community identification/recognition of a call from God.
  • Affirmation from the larger Church.

The steps in the following pages describe in detail these phases in the Diocese of Los Angeles, a rewarding process no matter the outcome, that usually takes three to five years.

You can find a one-page graphical overview of the process below .

For a more detailed, one page spreadsheet overview and a discernment glossary, click here.