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Clergy Retreat 2018

The Rev. Tim and Melanie Taylor report in from the recent clergy and spouse retreat in Pennsylvania.

The recent clergy retreat was our second experience attending a diocesan event as a couple (the first being Synod in May). We looked forward to it without being entirely sure what to expect. Being relatively new to the diocese the expectation of spending time with a room full of strangers was somewhat intimidating. And yet God knew what we needed.

The teaching was excellent. Bishop Dobbs shared with us the high expectations that God has for us and it was impossible not to feel convicted. He didn’t leave us in despair at our shortcomings, but pointed us to Christ. He shared his heart with us and his love for the church was clear and infectious. The announcement of Bishop Bena’s retirement was saddening, but we give thanks for his faithfulness and effective ministry. His positive influence on us as a diocese is incalculable.

We were also excited to hear Aimee Byrd. Bishop Dobbs has frequently talked about the importance of women in our diocese and how we need to train and cultivate them. Inviting Aimee, a layperson, to teach the diocesan clergy helps set the tone for the entire diocese. Aimee skillfully (and gently!) taught us God’s Word and pushed back against many of the cultural assumptions that we have unconsciously adopted while also providing us a constructive way forward.

Finally, we really appreciated the free time we had that allowed us to fellowship with one another. We got to connect with a lot of different people including a friend we hadn’t seen in over a decade. We didn’t realize he was Anglican, let alone in our diocese! As the retreat wrapped up on Thursday, we realized that the room full of strangers had been replaced with a close circle of friends and co-laborers. Thanks be to God!

The Rev. Tim and Melanie Taylor serve at Holy Cross Anglican Church Waukesha, Wisconsin

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