To all of our Alaska clergy let me offer a suggestion when scheduling your continuing education this year...Consider doing it with other colleagues. It's way more fun!
20 experienced pastors from the west gathered in San Francisco in a Catholic retreat center with lots of signs beginning with "Do NOT" and blocking software that would not allow us to get on Facebook. Alaska had the most with six: Tom Telfer from Fairbanks, Kim Poole from Juneau, Ev Erbele from Ketchikan, Leila Disburg from Anchorage, myself, and Bishop Hagiya.
We learned about how to be an intentional interim minister which is different from filling the gap between pastorates. The interim minister has a specific time with specific tasks which include dealing with a church's history, see its identity, acknowledge changing leadership, strengthening the denominational connection, and living towards the future. One mantra we heard over and over was: The Interim Minister is responsible for the process, not the results!
This was Phase One. Phase Two involves doing two case studies with Phase three returning to San Francisco in January.
We walked around during limited free time. Ask Ev Erbele about her dumpster diving and finding a decent roller bag. People didn't know much about Alaska so it was fun to tell our stories. It helped that we had people from four different parts of Alaska.
So maybe your next CE experience could be done with a few colleagues. Maybe you'll laugh like we did in San Francisco. Here's a clip.
Grace and peace,