restoration and encouragement from the clergy conference.
This one, it seems, needs more than a phrase — especially since I haven’t posted anything much of late, and my phone let me down with yesterday’s attempt.
Clergy conferences are tricky things. I suppose that those of us who had a hard time in training approach conferences with a mix of hope that this time, this time, it might be worthwhile, and the deep wariness that comes from so many hours of disappointment, pain, anger, and isolation in the past. Of course, there is the hope that seeing friends and colleagues will help — but some of those friends will have shared the earlier miseries, and no matter how glad one is to see them, they too stir the memories of things gone wrong.
Well this time — this time — it was blessed. It was what one first dreamed of as a dewy eyed ordinand: a space where people slipped fluidly in and out of roles as wise-guides and companions; a place where we were given space to learn and laugh, remember and refine the heart of our calling. And as a wonderful, life giving bonus, we were given new songs to sing, and worship that was fresh but simple — led collegially, without competition or judgement.
oh, I know. You can see the rosy glass glinting.
But truly, it was good. I went exhausted and deeply stressed, and came back ready to begin again.
Once again, deep calls to deep and I find myself at home in St Andrews. (albeit Kinross, really)
oh, and, The Green Hotel was superb. Large, comfortable rooms with our own bathrooms; superb, overabundant food; and a staff that chatted and bantered and seemed quite at ease with a room full of clergy. Bliss for a few days away.