I just want to post a quick update about some of my activities of the past few weeks. I have engaged in activities that help me to grow and help me to really have a sense of God's work within me and within the world.
First, I took a week long course at Trinity Seminary in Healthy Congregations. Before the course began I read a book called Extraordinary Relationships and during the course we had a large notebook full of material that I continue to spend time with. I keep learning that to lead is to learn about self in order to manage your own anxiety and help others to manage theirs. A congregation is a system and we have to keep getting a "balcony perspective" in order to really see what is going on. There is more to share but the bottom line for me is that I get energy from being in a learning environment and I hope to find more courses that I can take.
Second, Audrey came to Columbus with a group of girls and a leader, Amy, to do mission work. They stayed at Kim and Alan's house and they really had a great experience. I was part of some of it - going to COSI, having them to dinner, joining in the Gay Pride Parade and lining up a couple of speakers for them. It was wonderful to watch these young women learn and really begin to have their eyes opened to the needs of others who were so much less fortunate than they were. Their testimonials in church indicated that their awareness of how they labeled and rejected others in ways that were not Christian. The two speakers I brought to them inspired me as well. Roberto gave a testimonial about AA and how God has worked within his life to slowly bring healing. He was so honest and real and I was happy to get to be part of that. We also had Kwesei come to talk about issues of immigrants in Columbus. Kwesei is a Seventh Day Adventist Minister who is part of our Northland Ministers group. He really described how difficult the journey is for people to come to America from other countries. And he shared that he now discourages others from coming.
Finally, I was able to go on retreat for two days this week. I joined two of my Wellstreams friends at a cabin at Hocking Hills for two days of silence, prayer and sharing. I cannot overstate how powerful it is spend time in this way. I really have to go away physically and be disconnected from all things electronic. Somehow in the midst of nature, walking, word, and prayer God really does speak and restore my soul.
And now I am working on a sermon about this Christian journey and the seemingly hard demands of discipleship from Jesus. Except that to follow this way of love, forgiveness, serving and growing is about the only way that makes sense.
I am grateful for the blessing of being able to do all that is part of my life - learning and serving opportunities and most of all getting some time away with the source of life who really does bring renewal.
God is good - all the time