Monday, August 22, 2016

Great Days fade fast

Last Friday's retreat day at National Cathedral was wonderful. I "wasted" a little time recording a podcast that didn't record properly but it was still a lovely day. This week, back to meetings, conference calls, visits, appointments, planning...but not a full sermon for one last week of Community Worship. It has been delightful in so many ways.

To see a full sanctuary each week, to visit a different church and hear a different preacher, to get to know others from our neighbor churches, this is the delight of August in Arlington, VA. So many have told me they want us to continue to do this! and perhaps best of all, the choir! A real community choir of full strength (for small churches) is a real gift.

This coming Sunday (27th) we meet at Lubber Run Park Amphitheater followed by a picnic at the pavilion. Another delight.

Meanwhile there is so much fall planning to do. I'm still struggling to design some meaningful Christian education in a format that works for today's churchgoers. How do I structure time beyond Sunday worship when it is so hard to get people to come any other time? (Unless there is food or a service project involved.) So we are working on some book group ideas that alternate, using Brethren Voices TV, maybe a Bible study where people bring their questions for us to wrestle with, and some engagement with Messenger magazine, our denomination magazine. Planning this (along with monthly "Big Sunday" which is Intergenerational) takes more time than I seem to have. But that's the work of summer's end and early fall. = Always!

For now, memories of a day of sabbath rest, worship, and quiet.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Spiritual Retreat

Spiritual Retreat Days are a part of my contract. I am to take one per month. I love the idea of renewal and refreshment on a monthly basis...but it doesn't happen. When your week is portioned out by scripture groups, regular visits, stops at the gym for fitness, evening meetings, weekly study of scripture, sermon writing, worship planning and scheduled appointments, it is hard to find a whole day to free up. Somehow that seems a luxury for which there is never enough time. What do I give up? Who do I put off, not visit, when does the sermon writing happen? and How can I write a sermon without spending a day reading and studying the scripture and other resources?

But today I plan to go off on retreat.

It's only a day, or maybe part of a day. (Just heard about impending traffic snarls this afternoon.) But I'm about to pack my backpack with writing, and some reading, some earphones and lots of water. I so need a time of renewal to take away the snarky negativity that has built since Annual Conference. Feeling that this is more like a doctor appointment that's needed than excited anticipation. That tells me a lot!

Here goes...