When was the last time that you felt renewed? I hope recently — as renewal is one of the hallmarks of the Christian faith. Indeed one of my favorite Scripture passages highlights the breadth of renewal that we know in Jesus Christ. “In Christ there is a new creation. Everything old has passed away. See, everything has become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
Renewal is not one and done either. Rather, it is an ongoing formative part of Christian living, reaching into every part of life. We benefit from regular experiences of physical, emotional and spiritual renewal.
The 2015 Gathering of the Orders is designed with many renewal opportunities for clergy spiritual leaders. The two hundred or so participating local pastors, deacons and elders will come with a variety of priorities, including:
Whatever your renewal goals are — the planning team for the 2015 Gathering hopes that the experience exceeds your expectations. We anticipate that participants will leave the Gathering re-energized for coming weeks and months.
We are blessed to have Bishop Paul Leeland as this year’s Retreat Presenter. He will focus on the topic “Finding the Fullness of Ministry.” The themes of his four sessions include: calling, the nature of spiritual leadership, decision making of spiritual leaders, and our common ministry.
A schedule, more information about Bishop Leeland and other logistical details can be found at www.umcna.org/eventdetail/553130?month=10&year=2015&day=1&display=m. If you have not already registered you are encouraged to do so today as lodging is almost full.
Back to my original question: When was the last time that you felt renewed? May the 2015 Gathering of the Orders be such a time for many of us.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference