On PBS: 'The Calling'

by Maureen Fiedler

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On Dec. 20-21, PBS will air a documentary exploring what it means to be “called” to serve as clergy in the 21st century. It relates a fascinating set of personal stories, featuring seven young people who have felt a “calling” to serve God as either as priests, ministers, rabbis, imams or Islamic chaplains.

All of them try to balance their spiritual and academic lives with the demands of family, social activism and even doubt. There are fascinating contrasts in the film. The Catholic priest in the group struggles with the demands of celibacy. Yet a rabbinical students feels pressure to marry and has yet to find time for romantic relationships in the midst of his social activist ministry.

On Interfaith Voices, we interviewed the managing producer of the film, Danny Alpert, and two of the seven young people: a rabbi and a woman minister in the AME Church.

The most striking statement for me came from the young rabbi, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz. Asked what is unique about a calling in the 21st century, he said simply… “there are no ‘called’ and ‘uncalled.’ Everyone has a calling, and they are all important.”

Alson on the program, You can hear a discussion of the Top Religion Stories of 2010 (with Kevin Eckstrom of Religion News Service and Kim Lawton of Religion and Ethics Newsweekly) and a seasonal special on religious toys and dolls.

Here’s the link: http://www.interfaithradio.org/

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