If I had to sum up my experiences in one word I would probably say, connections. We were challenged about connecting with God, with our emotions, and with one another.
It is interesting to see how often we can work alongside others without really ever connecting with them. They are our co-workers but we never really connect with one another. We experience ministry as something we do rather than something we share with God and with others. Our group was largely the same one as travelled to Bristol last year and that meant we had a head start as we tried to reconnect.
George Kavoor challenged us to do some prayerful listening to God in small groups. This was a very productive, if challenging experience. To attempt to listen to God on behalf of another person is a very humbling experience. You want to hear accurately and it begins from a position that God wants us to hear Him and be aware of his will for our lives. I should also say that to be prayed with in this way is also very humbling. To be with others who are praying that God would make his will known to you clearly, is very affirming.
My experience in Bristol has reminded me of the importance of paying attention to my own discipleship. It has also reminded me to pray for my sisters and brothers who are co-workers with me in the parish and in the diocese.
So connect! Connect with God and his children, be known by him and make him known.
Psalm 139For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. 1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.