Skip to main content

Permission to Relax

As a seminarian from The New England Synod in Region 7, I had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to this triennial WELCA retreat and won it. This was an excellent retreat on many levels. It came at a time when I desperately felt the need to get away and rest. I didn't even bring any homework with me!!

This is the only retreat I've ever been to, where we were told from the very beginning that it wasn't necessary to attend everything. Not only was there built in time to do as we wished, but we were encouraged to walk outside, take a nap, whatever we needed to do. That was different.

Worship and fellowship were wonderful at Mt. St. Alphonse in Esopus, NY. The retreat center overlooks the Hudson River. The picture at the right was the view from my room.

The keynote speaker, Sr. Anne Bryan Smollin, author, nun, counselor etc., was a hoot. She got her point across with wonderful humor. We were dying from laughter when she spoke. Other speakers and presenters were wonderful as well. We prayed, laughed, and cried together this weekend. It was so amazing.

And what did we take home from this? Not only were old friendships renewed and new ones made, but it was so vividly demonstrated to us what a teaching tool well done humor can be. If we all had God's joy bubbling up through our lives, people couldn't stay away from our churches.

Comments

OB said…
Thanks for sharing. It was a wonderful retreat even for those of us who have worked on it for three years. That can only happen when everyone carries their share of the load, and everyone certainly did. We'll start planning for 2012 in June. Hope you'll all be there. Blessing O'B
Ivy said…
Thanks O'B. Hopefully I will be there.
Pastor Joelle said…
I'm glad they give scholarships for this sort of thing. A former synod used to give scholarships to go to a Global Mission Event and my family took advantage of it and it was a great experience as well. Glad you had a good time. It is nice to relax!
Ivy said…
Indeed it is!

Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 


Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…