Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Midwinter Day 2

Today I arrived at the Hyatt just in time for the beginning of my all day session on Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Ministry, lead by Helen Cepero and Philip Hakanson. It was what I had hoped and I think one would expect from such a workshop more an extended several hour conversation than simple didactic presentation on Spiritual Direction in Pastoral Ministry. In the fall I had read Eugene Peterson's the Contemplative Pastor, which had lead me to feel more confidant in the place of overlap and connection between being a spiritual director and being a pastor, and hoped that this seminar would help me think that through more thoroughly (partially by simply allowing myself to devote a day to thinking about this with other pastors.) And this was exactly what we did. Helen and Phil structure our day primarily by taking us through reflection and discussion of four aspects or attitudes that are central to spiritual direction in terms of their possible connection with pastoring a congregation. These four aspects are: Presence and welcome, evocative listening and teaching, prayer and discernment, and hope and blessing. In someways this time of conversation and reflection helped integrate aspects of both of the workshops of yesterday as I was able to begin to see how communication fit in here and that this encompassed such things and the call of the Gospel to address such evils in the world as slavery among many others. But we need to be able to do it from a place both as pastors and congregations that is centered in God and prayer, which is what spiritual direction is about ultimately. At the end of the seminar we were asked to reflect on what might be some invitations that were coming from our reflection and conversation and I felt that I was being drawn away from simply being able to lift people up to God in prayer and let them go as things I carried to carrying both those I direct and the congregation I pastor iwth God and not simply to God. Not exactly sure what that means entirely.

Had a good lunch today with a good friend though we only really see each other at Midwinter and have limited communication otherwise. But we always find time to hang out the two of us and share our lives of the past year or so and our ministry and what we have been thinking about and our struggles. Its good.

Wednesday evenings is a free evening, that is without an evening program, I simply ended up coming home after my workshop. I had a slight head ache and I have realized that with all the input and social interaction I needed sometime not to be engaged much. Came home and had supper and read Neal Stephens Anathema which I had received as a gift for Christmas from a member of the community. One more day of workshops and then on Friday there is a Breakfast and Midwinter is over. Tomorrow I am going to a seminar on Evangelism, which I don't remember why I decided to register for that seminar so we'll see, tonight I am feeling a little skeptical about that workshop.