I got home tonight from a pastors’ retreat I was attending for the past two days. It’s amazing how just a small amount of time can make a big difference. I come back feeling much refreshed, even with such a quick trip (I drove up yesterday morning). Here’s the highlights for me:
1. Good time visiting with friends. I’m blessed to have many gracious friends, some I’ve known for a while now and others who I’m just beginning to know. I immensely enjoyed connecting and reconnecting with my colleagues as friends. Good for the soul.
2. Hearing Ellsworth Kalas speak. Dr. Kalas was one of preaching professors and I always learn so much from him when he speaks. It includes but is never limited to the subject on which he is speaking and the point he is making within that narrow scope. Great preachers, as he is, are always teaching simply in the practice of their craft through modelling. And, Dr. Kalas has such insight into the stuff of faith–Christ, the church, pastors, people–and candor about what he doesn’t know, I’m trying to mentally soak up the wisdom the whole time.
3. Excellent preaching from colleagues in conference leadership. Just great stuff on servanthood and on truly being the body of Christ. Challenging words, which is what makes them invigorating words as well.
4. Lunch today with the bishop and younger clergy in the conference. We had a very good time of sharing conversation around important issues and perspectives relevant to the conference, the churches, and our experience as younger clergy. I was very encouraged by the time together.