Just so you know: pastors and associates in ministry are required as professionals in the church to attend continuing education events aimed at keeping ourselves up-to-date and engaged in learning that stimulates thought and benefits our work. In fact, both Celeste and I annually report to the Bishop what courses we’ve attended.
This February I spent several days in Tucson, enjoying my in-laws’ hospitality, warm temps, and learning about cult-based mind control. It’s both a personal and professional interest for me, and offers my pastoral ministry at Faith 1) better understanding of the history of religions, 2) increased understanding of power dynamics and the role of shame in pastoral relationships and congregational leadership, 3) growing awareness of the power and nature of our spiritual reality and of the intent and ability of God to intimately guide and support all persons for wholeness and healing, 4) gratitude for the humility and flexibility of our Lutheran tradition, and 5) strong motivation to pursue my own spiritual growth and individual and corporate prayer.
This May I’m looking forward to a “Daring Way for Faith Leaders” workshop hosted by our denomination’s educational ministry, the Northern Rockies Institute of Theology, and a free MDMH Hospice workshop on Complex Trauma. I’ve also applied for a two-year program of study in personal and congregational spiritual formation through the Renovaré Institute that will more than support my 50-hour annual requirement. THANK YOU!