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Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’

This is the most important, the first on any list.

But there is a second to set alongside it:

‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

Matthew 22:37-40

(The Message)

By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon

It is news to no one that Jesus’ first command is that we are to love God with everything that we are. Exactly what that will look like for you or for me may be quite different, but this is our first calling, our highest calling and the calling from which everything else will flow.

Jesus’ second command to love others as well as we love ourselves, again may be expressed uniquely in our particular situations, but along with this first truth, these two form the core of who we are and how we conduct ourselves as disciples of Jesus every single day, with every single choice that we make. Again, we know this.

It is not too far a step to take that in order to love God and our neighbours, we will be involved in service.

The idea of service is also something with which we are very familiar. Every day we are served in a whole variety of ways, whether it be at a counter, in a hospital, in municipal, provincial, or federal offices, or indeed in our faith communities. Most of those who serve us have received special instruction in their fields to allow them to serve. In our everyday lives we serve in particular roles and functions in our employment, our volunteer positions, supporting those around us, our families, our friends, and our parishes. For many of our roles, we undertake trainings and orientations of all kinds to make us better at what we do, improving the quality of our service.

So, to love is to serve, and to serve as expressed in the language of our faith, is to minister. When speaking to both those who are currently participating in Education for Ministry and to those who are still considering it, the question can sometimes arise that by speaking of Education for Ministry, we are giving the impression that studies of this kind are really meant only for those interested in ordained ministry. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

As Christians, we are all called to love and consequently we are all called to minister in one way or another.

The Apostle Paul will go into great detail about how we in the Church are one body made up of many parts and that the ministry of all the parts are of equal value (1 Corinthians 12). Peter too will chime in, affirming the importance and truth of the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Peter 2:9).

The love, the service, the ministry of each one of us contributes to the overall health and vitality of the Church and indeed of those we serve.

At Education for Ministry, the objective is straightforward, the materials, the reflections, the fellowship, the questions, the conversations, all of it are designed to support us wherever and in whatever function we are loving, serving, ministering. As we connect with the material both as individuals and in the group setting, by the grace and goodness of God’s Holy Spirit, over the weeks this process begins to inform our choices in whatever are our life and faith circumstances, preparing us for ministry as we daily live out of and into the Gospel.

In the months ahead we will be holding a number of virtual Open Houses to share with you more fully all that is available to you through this programme as we consider together what it is to love, serve and minister where God has placed us.

Please consider joining us: Wednesday, May 22, Tuesday, June 18, Monday, August 26 at 7pm on Zoom. To register for any of these Open Houses or to speak about an Open House for your parish, please reach out to either Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or me Val Kenyon at

Rev. Canon Dr. Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.