Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Semi-Sleepless in Seattle

I've spent the last week in Seattle, Washington completing the course of study at the Church Development Institute (CDI) that I started last summer at the beginning of my Sabbatical. It has been great being back here, seeing both new faces and those who, like me, started this journey last year. I'm also moving from the thought of "wow, I could use bits and pieces of this to tweak things we already do" to "wow, I could use a ton of this to radically reshape the parish I serve. Given that the Bishop's Advisory Committee (Vestry/church board) and I will be having a Program Planning Retreat on August 16, I'm in the process of thinking about how I might use the knowledge and expertise I've gained here at that particularly critical time in our congregation's life. We'll see what God has in mind, and if I'm listening clearly enough to understand God's will.

One unexpected blessing of being here is that there is little to no excuse to tune in on the news from around the Anglican Communion, which is generally depressingly more of the same anyway. I'm staying in the Greet Tortoise Hostel here and being with twenty-somethings from around the world who have no connection whatsoever with the church, much less the Episcopal Church, makes me realize just how insulated I can easily become as I serve God in both St. Alban's and the Diocese of Oregon. How much less earth-shattering the regular stream of local, national, and international news of the Anglican and Episcopal world means in this setting!

Anyway, I'm headed back to Albany on Friday and will be catching up on things and preaching and celebrating on Sunday, when we celebrate St. Alban's Day, our patronal feast. I will hopefully return with both new skills and a new perspective!

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