I’m writing this during my week of continuing education (I’m livestreaming this year’s Festival of Homiletics being held in Denver at Trinity United Methodist Church). It was halfway through the first day of watching preachers preach to preachers (500 of us online, 500 of us in person) that it dawned on me that Trinity Church was where I had my graduation from Iliff School of Theology 34 years ago. I searched for my Master of Divinity degree sitting on my shelf and found there the names of the 57 of us (including Lori Nielsen) who graduated that year. What a great memory this week of continuing ed stirred up!
The days leading up to this week of continuing education have been hectic. In late April/early May I had an all-day in person meeting with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry to interview prospective ministry candidates and then the following week was a two-day retreat, serving as a mentor for new ministers in the Minnesota Conference.
All of these gatherings are a gift that I feel privileged to be a part of, but all these obligations keep crowding out any time to take a deep breath.
I hope that you can find enough time to take a breath, even those of you who are “retired,” who often tell me you are busier than you were before retirement. And those who have young ones at home are going through all the last class picnics, sports events, and concerts that come at the end of the year. We could all use a break. And now that the spring/summer season (that seemed to both come all at the same time) is upon us, we can take some time to just breathe.
I want to say a word of thanks to all who prayerfully and carefully prepared for the vote in mid-May on our inclusion statement. Ninety percent of those voting, voted in favor of the statement to make clearer the kind of welcome we’ve been offering all along to people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities. Thanks for making our welcome clear. It matters.
Blessings to all of you as we go through these days, looking forward to all God has in store. And take time to breathe.