The Gathering Offers Time for Special Clergy Reunions and Rejuvenation
This year’s schedule is a little different than in the past, but all clergy attending will enjoy a guaranteed time of renewal.
Every year for the last decade or more, Rev. Guy Williams has made it a priority to attend the Gathering at Lakeview. This year he has served as the event coordinator. As the 2015 clergy event approaches on September 15-16, he is looking forward to attending again, for a number of reasons. “It’s a great opportunity to build and nurture friendships with clergy colleagues in person,” says Guy, senior pastor at The United Methodist Temple, Port Arthur, “and engage in renewal through worship and retreat.” Another benefit: learning about an area of ministry from an expert in the field. This year’s guest speaker is Rev. Dr. Constance Cherry, who will present “Authentic Worship: Let’s Get Real.” Rev. Elizabeth Duffin, Associate Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, says that some refer to Constance as a “worship architect.” During the event, clergy also enjoy time with Bishop Janice Huie, who presides over the closing worship service.
Notes Guy, “We have shortened the program time of the Clergy Gathering to a day and a half, this year which will help participants better manage their time.” Instead of 1 pm on Monday until noon on Wednesday, it will be 1 pm on Tuesday through 5 pm on Wednesday. Clergy that are unable to stay for two nights can still enjoy the full program of speaker, Dr. Constance Cherry, and worship together as colleagues and friends. Those that would like to use the Gathering as a time in the year to include unstructured retreat time may add a night or two through Lakeview before or after the event.
Adds Elizabeth, “I personally love the Gathering. It’s always great to be at Lakeview, and this event allows participants more time to see and visit with clergy friends than the often-hectic annual conference. The ice cream social where District Superintendents serve up the treats is always fun, as well,” adds Elizabeth. “Folks can go early, or stay late to have time for themselves.”
At the Gathering, the Texas Annual Conference Center for Clergy Development also offers Spiritual Direction and Birkman Coaching for $20/session as well as limited appointments for massages for $60. Rev. Peter Cammerano, Chapelwood UMC Lake Jackson heads up the coaching team for the TAC and recommends clergy sign up soon for the Birkman process to allow time to take an online test (about an hour) and time for the coach to assess the results and prepare for a face-to-face session to discuss outcomes. “Time with my Birkman coach has increased my self-knowledge significantly,” adds Guy. “With a better understanding of how I tend to function, I have improved how I manage myself and leverage my strengths, and it has equipped me to pay more attention to the styles and strengths of others.”
Registration information is online at http://www.txcumc.org/2015gathering. Questions? Contact Barbara Eoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713/521-9383.
Onsite registration for the Gathering begins at 1 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 15 and worship begins at 3 pm.