Dear Christ Church,
One of the things that I appreciate about being Anglican, as a priest, is that I know I am not alone. We get together in a variety of ways throughout the year so that what we say of Christ Church as a parish, might also be true of the community of clergy: “no one stands alone.”
Last week fifteen clergy of our diocese (C4SO) who live in Central Texas gathered for 48 hours of personal growth and building community. Our time was filled with great conversation and meals, laughter and play, with Dr. Don Lewis of Regent College guiding conversation around four notable pastors of church history, from the 4th century to the 20th. In one fun exercise we went around the room and shared books, podcasts, life-hacks, music etc. that we’ve recently enjoyed, which we then compiled and distributed as this document that will give you a glimpse into the range of conversation. I am very grateful for these colleagues giving excellent servant leadership to our sister Anglican parishes in this part of Texas!
Next week, as it happens, is the retreat for our whole diocese, which is spread all over the country, a rich time of teaching, connecting with friends and colleagues, networking and sharing ministry ideas and experiences. I will be co-teaching, with Dr. Emily McGowin of Wheaton College, a workshop on “Theology as the Grounding Orientation of Spiritual Formation,” one of several breakout learning opportunities. You can learn more about the C4SO Clergy Retreat here.
Just as it is important that I am not isolated or alone as clergy, it is likewise vital that we know that we are not alone as a congregation. We are part of something bigger than ourselves, this Anglican stream of the church that is global and historic, not only mystically connected to each other, but also sharing life together practically and organically. I love the Church. She is broken but beautiful, the bride of Christ in whom he delights. Please join me in prayer for the clergy retreat, and the whole people of God in our diocese, that the unity, joy, and mission of the Triune God would be evermore realized in us all.