— Fr. David’s Blog of 8/7/2020 — Last fall I applied to a two-year program entitled, “Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership” hosted by the Shalem Spiritual Institute (Shalem.org). I was accepted into the program and will be taking one week of continuing education the week of August 13 to 20. Because of the pandemic, this first year will not be in residence, but the entire program/retreat will be conducted on Zoom. The program leaders encourage participants to treat this week as a retreat and so I will be unavailable except for pastoral emergencies beginning Thursday morning, August 13.
I am looking forward to this program as I deepen my skills in the field of contemplative leadership, especially during this time as we struggle as a country and as a church with the effects of COVID-19. The week will include a mixture of centering prayer, plenary sessions, and peer group breakout rooms. We will delve deeper into our spiritual practice. We will share with one another how God is leading and inviting us to go deeper. We will risk allowing ourselves to be known and loved by God.
Since completing the Living School Program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, two years ago, I have been hungry to do more internal work so that I can grow in my relationship with God and as the rector of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew.
Since I will be away on Sunday August 16, the Rev. Emily Gibson will be our guest preacher. Through E-Blasts and conversations, I look forward to sharing with you new learnings and insights that I likely will have during this week of retreat and learning.
Fr. David+, OA