Friday, May 08, 2009

Home from Clergy Conference

I spent the last few days up at our camp on Flathead Lake with many of my colleagues. It was a good few days. The weather wasn't outstanding, but it didn't rain and we didn't freeze, so that's pretty darn good for this time of year.

I got to see several people who, because of the nature of this gig, I don't get to see nearly as often as I'd like to.

The retreat began Tuesday evening with our social hour. Mrs. Ref and I rode up with Jane, and on the way, we stopped at Wally World to pick up a pinata and some candy. I had also picked up some margarita mix earlier in the day. I mean, hey, what could be better than a bunch of clergy with margaritas and a pinata on Cinco de Mayo?

Well, it turns out that it wasn't as fun in practice as it was in theory. We let the bishop whack at it, and he broke it open, but pretty much all of the . . . ahem . . . older clergy . . . had vacated the premises by the time we got started.

Our speaker for the retreat was the Rev. Dr. David Gortner from VTS, formerly from CDSP, formerly from SWTS. Jane and I had him for a class or two during our jaunt through seminary. I've linked to a decent little bio about him if you choose to follow that link. I also knew his wife from my days at St. Augustine's in Wilmette.

He spoke about meaningful evangelism and, for the most part, I found it interesting.

I also had some time with the bishop to discuss the congregational development committee that I co-chair and let him know how things went in Omaha.

We had the opportunity to worship as a community, which is always something I look forward to. Compline both nights, MP and Noonday Prayer on Wednesday and our closing Eucharist on Thursday.

For the most part, it was all good. For that small part that wasn't . . . let's just say that some hymns work much better with different music. I'm learning to appreciate Ms. Emily and my ability to find better music for less-than-stellar hymnody more and more.

God help me if I ever leave this place for another and have to deal with a real organist.


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