I returned home today from Jumonville, a beautiful camp and retreat center which is an important part of the ministry of Western PA Conference. I was facilitator for a retreat of our newest pastors (those commissioned to ministry in June), focusing on worship, liturgy and sacramental theology and practice in the United Methodist tradition.
It's a good group of pastors, and I'm encouraged that the future of the United Methodist Church here in western PA has talent, diversity and theological seriousness. I'm also encouraged that this is a group - like my own - which takes mission seriously but don't take themselves too seriously. They like to laugh and have fun, which is half the battle in ministry, in my opinion.
It's always good to get back to Jumonville. In June of 1983, I knelt at the altar of Whyel Chapel and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. This weekend, I was able to facilitate discussion of Christian worship in view of what for me is the planet's holiest spot. Way cool.
In addition, I was able to spend some time with the Right Rev. Randy Costolo, who serves in Hopwood (where Jumonville is located). Randy is a good friend and true brother in Christ, and he's also one of our Conference's best pastors; we served together in Dawson, PA several years ago. We ate junk food together, talked a lot, and watched the Cardinals/49ers game on Monday Night Football. Good times.
Tomorrow, it's off to beautiful downtown Reynoldsville, PA for a meeting with my accountability group...Thursday to Slippery Rock, PA with my oldest son for a college visit. Busy, busy week.
Not a very theological post, I know, but time for reflection is a luxury I haven't yet had this week! Nevertheless, God is very, very good!