Active and retired clergy, specialized ministers, parish ministers, and members in discernment are invited to attend the SWC Annual Clergy Retreat held at the beautiful Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, beginning at noon for lunch on October 30, and concluding at 9:45 am on Wednesday, November 1.
Calendar those dates now and register HERE.
Friends and colleagues, it’s time to go to our quiet place for rest, renewal, and deepening with one another, living out our ministerial covenant to support and walk with each other on this often-difficult path of ministry.
I’ve been struck in my own experience with how wearying ministry can be in these present days, when the demand on pastors is to be skilled experts in multiple disciplines ranging from theologians and preachers (for which we were trained) to fundraisers, to organizational developers, to counselors, to sociological diagnosticians, to political activists, to conflict managers, to facilitators of transition, to contemplative spiritual directors. And, when we add to those tasks our own anxieties about job security and adequate income, and even an additional job…well, it’s exhausting and impossibly overwhelming! Therefore, we are calling you away, as Jesus did his own disciples, to a quiet place where, perhaps for a few days, we can lay down our burdens together and through deep sharing and often some comic relief, we can find those burdens lightened.
This year, we will revisit a process we’ve done in the past, calling on our own wisdoms and leadership we’re calling Clergy Café Conversations. We will “serve up” a variety of small group discussion options on topics that are near and dear to us. We invite you to think about whether you have a topic of conversation that you would be willing to facilitate in a small group. You don’t have to be an expert, but some topic that you struggle with…or perhaps have had great success with, and can share some best practices or creative ideas. Be ready to give a one-minute verbal description of it to the group. Is there something that keeps you awake at night….is there something that challenges your perspectives on ministry in this day and age…is there something you’ve found particularly helpful to give meaning to your ministry…would you simply like to lead a small group in a restful and renewing practice that you’ve found helpful? All these are possibilities.
As usual, there’s always plenty of free times and worship times and times to socialize together, plus be updated on SW Conference news and projects.
We hope you, active or retired clergy, will join us. Those that are not present are always missed! Register now for our annual covenantal event…and allow God, through our beloved community, to give you rest.
Barb Doerrer-Peacock, Acting Associate Conference Minister