Thursday, September 25, 2008

return from the mountaintop

I was absent from this space yesterday because I was up on the mountain. Our bishop has adopted an alternative approach to the typical Clergy Conference model of having an annual gathering of all the clergy with a specific program/retreat focus with a featured speaker. (There are regular times for us all to gather throughout the year, so this would not be the only time for colleagial sharing and fellowship). Instead of one large group, he has been meeting with smaller groups of about 8. Intimate groups for sharing and connecting, getting to know and knowing again. And, we got to talk theology.

Some of you may think, "Well, duh!" But this was different. In two different sessions we focused on three questions. Who is Jesus? What does he do? Is God at work in the Diocese of Tennessee? These were conversations more like what took place in seminary over the lunch table, in the common room with cups of coffee, in quiet voices in a corner of the library... This was heart and soul stuff, mellowed from the earlier years, yet earnest because now there is Experience under the belt, Wounds from the trenches, and Truth from butting up against the same kinds of challenges and obstacles that wear us down.

I was gone for less than 24 hours, but the time offered the refreshment of days. We were casual, we had the view from the bluff edge, there was silence and laughter and prayer. And like God said in the beginning, it was good.


Jayne said...

How wonderful that he is doing the meetings like this. So much more opportunity to share and grow that way. Glad the mountain was a source of peace for you dear friend. :c)

Jules said...

This sounds like a much better way of conversing than in a convention of hundreds and hundreds. YOur pic is lovely. When you get organized, can you come here and at least give me hints on this room? Love you and miss you!


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