Piping plovers on the beach at Trinity Center
I spent the past week doing back-to-back conferences, first CREDO at Trinity Center in Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina, and then the diocesan clergy conference at Jouvence in Orford.
CREDO is a clergy wellness conference sponsored by the Episcopal Church Pension Fund (in which I was still active when I registered a year and a half ago!). In response to a growing wave of clergy burnout and breakdowns, the Fund began proactively gathering groups of clergy together to reflect on their spiritual, vocational, health, and financial lives, and reconnect with God and their sense of call. CREDO has now been going on for 20 years and ours was the 353rd group!
I spent six days with 18 other women clergy under 45, and 8 faculty mentors, learning, praying, and sharing – and renewing our spirits by walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, yoga, and observing the abundant wildlife. (Among others, I saw pelicans, lizards, and the tracks of baby sea turtles!)
I have emerged with a clearer sense of my calling to this place at this time, and a short list of changes to my spiritual, family, health and financial lives that will help me to stay balanced and present in the long run. I’m happy to talk to anyone who is curious about the details!
I flew back to Quebec on Monday and drove straight to Jouvence to join my diocesan colleagues for the 2019 Clergy Conference. These conferences are organized in three-year cycles and this year we began a cycle on preaching. The title of this year’s workshop was “Do I Have to Preach Again?!” and our speaker, Judy Rois, gave us practical tips for staying fresh and creative when preaching weekly (or, in some cases, more often!).
Many thanks to those who made worship and pastoral care happen while I was away, and this having been my last period of continuing education for 2019, we’re now settled in for the long haul through Christmas! It’s good to be back and there’s a lot going on – the Matthew course, the “Path” Bible study group, progress on Safe Church, the upcoming workshop on daily prayer on October 19, and of course the Roast Beef Dinner and Christmas Bazaar. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!