News - Calling: From Financial Advisor to the Clergy, Alumnus Paul Reese Talks Transition

Calling: From Financial Advisor to the Clergy, Alumnus Paul Reese Talks Transition

For more than three years, Paul Reese ’08 served PNC Financial Services Group in various capacities. A dramatic change is in the works, however, the result of his response to a felt call. He is pictured below (at right) with Bishop Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church U.S.A.

“A journey three years in the making has come to a critical point for me—I have been accepted into postulancy with the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.Paul Reese with Bishop Curry

After interviews, writing, professional evaluations, and many weekends of prayer, a person approved by an Episcopal Diocese then is permitted to attend seminary and, ultimately, become a priest in the Episcopal Church. I will pursue a master’s of divinity with a certificate in Anglican Studies at the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University. I have left my job as a financial advisor so that I can pursue God's calling on my life.”

A few things I’ve learned about calling

  • Listening for God's call always begins in community. I worshipped regularly at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, a diverse, vibrant community that encouraged me to explore life calling as a layperson first before considering a calling to holy orders.
  • Listening begins with a consistent, disciplined prayer life. It is then cultivated in the community through corporate worship and finally affirmed by the community in which it originated.
  • Calling is less about what one brings to the table like talent, resources and temperament.
  • Calling is discerned when a community seeks after God's voice. Everyone in that community plays a vital role, and everyone is changed by discernment—whether one finds oneself changing careers to pursue full-time stipendiary ministry, staying the course in your current responsibilities, or somewhere along that spectrum.

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This story was published on August 12, 2016

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