In a recent Dean’s meeting with Bishop Shin, I was struck by something he said along the lines of, “I am worried for our lay leaders, and I am worried for our clergy, that burnout is coming.” He added, “There is so much unprocessed grief that we haven’t even begun to reckon with.” He certainly dropped a spiritual depth charge into the meeting, one that prompted me to contemplate offering a quiet day to explore themes of grief and loss as they relate to Advent. I reached out to member Sue Robinson, a General Seminary alum, to get a recommendation of who might be a good person to lead the retreat. She put me in touch with Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, an Episcopal priest, spiritual director, retreat leader and author of many books. Barbara agreed to lead the Retreat on Saturday December 4, 9AM to 3PM and offered the title: “Now in the Time of This Mortal Life.” She also wrote this invitation to all of us:

“Certainly we all knew life was uncertain. But these last twenty months have brought us uncomfortably close to the fact of our mortality. Covid upended everything we took for granted. Not since the immediate aftermath of 9/11 have we been so aware of how unprotected we are. Let us take some time apart together to consider what trust in God means. Advent is the perfect time to have this conversation – with one another, with ourselves and with Christ.”

Given that Barbara has retired to North Carolina, she will lead the retreat remotely, allowing for members to gather at church and also view from home, if they prefer. It also makes it possible to extend an invitation to all the churches in the deanery, including our next door neighbors at IPC to join remotely. Interestingly, Barbara is no stranger to our church, having led retreats here during Charlie Colwell’s time. To find out more about Barbara’s ministry, click HERE.

Onward in Faith,