Friday, April 29, 2011

Last Retreat Update: 5 Minutes Max


A month from today I'll be living large in the Frio River Canyon. Our retreat for ministers to artists, occurring May 26-29, will be under way and frequent dips into the river will be a mainstay of our life together under the warm Texas sun. I can't wait. For info see here (on Frederica) and here (on Brooke Waggoner) and here (on the vocation of the artist) and here (on the virtuous artist, which will be the theme of my talk), and see here to register.

As I anticipate our time together I wanted to mention something new that we'll be doing. In addition to the talks that Frederica Mathewes-Green and I will be giving, I want to make space in our official program for an information-dump of sorts.

I'm calling it 5 Minutes Max.

For those of us who find ourselves in the business of shepherding artists, developing arts ministries, coordinating on-campus and off-campus art events for our churches, functioning as liaisons with the arts councils of our cities or serving as college chaplains or art teachers or cross-cultural missionaries, the one thing we ache for is wisdom. We want to do our work well and for that to happen we know that we need both information and knowledge which might somehow translate into wise living.

With a room full of people working in a similar field, it seems a crime not to share what we've learned along the way. To facilitate this possibility, I'm going to invite those attending to prepare a five minute reflection on something they've learned, positively or negatively, whether in success or in failure, alone or with others, over the past year.

If already know that you're attending the retreat, I welcome you to begin thinking of what you might share. We'll figure out the details at the retreat, but for now think of one thing that you'd like to share that pertains either a) to your pastoral work or b) to your practical work. The first category would cover such things as pastoral care, discipleship, counseling or leadership. The second category would cover any activities or programs that you've supervised.

The key will be to pick one thing only. The temptation, naturally, will be to want to share everything. But because we'll only be working with 5 Minutes Max, prayerfully consider what one thing you might want to communicate to the group and trust that over the course of the retreat you'll have ample opportunity to explore a whole range of ideas and discoveries together.

Ok. That's it. I'm proctoring an exam at the moment. Duke Divinity students, all of whom are graduating this year, are scribbling brilliant answers in their blue books, I don't doubt. Myself, I need to get crackalackin' on my paper for Jeremy: "Spirit and Beauty in Catholic Theological Aesthetics." Good times.

Good times indeed.

3 comments:

Jessie said...

Thanks for allowing this forum for the exchange of ideas and insight, wow! We anticipate learning much (and soaking in God's presence much) next weekend.

becomingwhoiam said...

David, I continue to be encouraged by your intentionality, warmth, and humility. Having recently criticized a conference for the lack of time spent in collaboration and corporate learning, I am HUGELY encouraged by your design for the "5 mins max". Unfortunately, I can't make it to this retreat/ conference...fortunately, a dear friend of mine will be in attendance. I look forward to basking in the afterglow.
-Kelsey Reed

w. david o. taylor said...

Kelsey, thank you for your kind words. We'll sure appreciate your prayers for our retreat. Hopefully we'll get to meet you next time around.

Jessie: looking forward to meeting you.