Spirituality Convocation 2014

The 22nd Annual Spirituality Convocation will take place Saturday, April 5, 2014.

CSE Spirituality Convocation 2014

Recently, I was reminded of a Lenten keynote address to religious educators over ten years ago, entitled "Whatever Happened to Hope?" The opening line has stayed with me ever since: "If the horse you are riding dies, get off." Citing the ways many of us respond to that "dead horse" in our own lives, our speaker went on to list a number of alternatives we try, instead of facing the fact that our horse is dead and we should get off. We might buy a new saddle, get a bigger whip, switch riders, or we appoint a committee to study dead horses (that one really resonated with all of us gathered!). We might visit other places where they seem to be riding dead horses more effectively, or sit around and complain about the poor status of dead horses these days. Through the gales of laughter, however, we got the message loud and clear. What are those dead places in our lives that no longer serve us or our communities? Where are we resistant to the new life being freely offered to us by a God whose love knows no conditions or bounds, even when we are seemingly at a dead end?

The readings on the weekend of the 22nd Annual Spirituality Convocation, April 5, 2014, as well as our keynoters and workshop presenters, challenge us to live in such a way that we embrace Jesus' life-giving Presence in all we do – and to trust in our own encounters with that living Presence. Like Mary and Martha, can we see those encounters as our own call to a greater commitment and "knowing" God's life in the works of Jesus being done in our own lives? When we are able to surrender through God's grace, we then become more authentic witnesses to that life, in ways we might never have imagined.

Won't you join us to share in the authentic witness offered by Rev. Jan Michael Joncas who will share his own experience with the God of rescue in his keynote: "Through the Valley of Death: Suffering, Hope, and Transformation. Rev. Terry Hershey will be there as well, extending his own invitation to consider new life in his keynote "Shall we Dance?" Our workshop presenters, seasoned practitioners in each of their areas of expertise, are at the ready to welcome you and share their gifts. Most importantly, you -the gathered community - by your very presence will give witness to the presence of the unseen God, offering one another the space to wrestle with those dead horses and be raised to the new life promised to all. It won't be the same without you!

We look forward to being with you in April. Register early – and consider inviting a friend or two who might be wrestling with a few dead horses themselves! In the meantime, stay warm! Spring and new life are just around the corner!

Peace,

Carol Pisani
Director
Center for Ministry and Spirituality