Monday to Wednesday (Sept 23-25) our first call pastors are engaging in education and reflection with the other first call pastors in our Texas/Louisiana synods. My associate the Rev. Kris Totzke helps to form this event with the other synod staffs. This time their focus was on engagement with “the other.” Recognizing in the diverse settings of Texas and Lousiana our pastors and communities need to think critically about how they are formed and prepared to engage others.
Dr. Robert Smith, director of the Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center was one of the on site presenters. They also engaged via zoom the Rev. Lenny Duncan and had other stimulating and challenging conversation partners including the Rev. Vance Blackfox.
In the last three years we have gone from one pastor in this first call accompaniment journey to 14 (it is the first 3 years of their call). This time of formation is critical and the increase of these pastors in first call reflects my commitment as bishop to developing and raising up new leaders for the church. We are grateful for their congregations giving them the time to be away for this important work.
Tomorrow morning (Wed) I will be in Chicago for regional assignment consultation for candidates for rostered ministry. Please pray for those in the assignment process and for the regional representatives, seminary leaders, and all involved in this holy process. #NTNL #InMissionTogether