When 10 of our young members gathered last Spring for Confirmation preparation, I spoke to them using a metaphor that Saint Paul was fond of; that training in the Body of Christ is like training as an athlete. For a team to be satisfying, everyone commits together to common practice times. There are ways you live individually outside of practice in order to bring your best self to the team; eating healthy, getting good sleep. There may be additional training opportunities to give you a boost; sports camp, off-season pickup leagues.
The Confirmands really took this to heart, and it made their journey together rich.
Drawing inspiration from Saint Paul, and from our own saints who were confirmed last Easter season, I invite you, on behalf of the diocese, to two "special training sessions" for Christian disciples in New Hampshire.
I know so well that your lives are, like mine, full! And so I invite you out of confidence that each of these "training sessions" is a valuable chance to go deeper in your walk with God in a way that's distinct from Sunday morning "team practice".
The first is Revival: Reimagined, May 4 at Windham Middle School. Organized by the people of St. Christopher's, Hampstead and St. Peter's, Londonderry, it features speaker the Rev. Dr. Patricia Lyons, who is the dynamic Missioner for Evangelism and Community Engagement in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. She is as at home with the gospels as she is with the canons of Harry Potter or Star Wars. Revival: Reimagined is a holy, experimental offering that will include afternoon workshops on telling stories about faith, followed by (free) dinner and a celebration Eucharist. It would be a wonderful event (particularly the dinner & Eucharist) to invite church-curious neighbors and friends to attend. Tickets are free and available HERE.
Every time I attend a Christian conference, the best part, all attendees agree, is the reviving spirit of our (usually "alternative style") worship. This event makes revival the main event!
The second upcoming opportunity for getting in a "special session" in your Christian growth is Spring Renewal. Spring Renewal will be held on May 11 at Manchester Community College. Spring Renewal will offer workshops in three blocks - Renew, Revitalize and Reconcile - that lead us along the Way of Love. There will be live worship and a ministry fair. Come to Spring Renewal to be encouraged in your faith and equipped in your ministry. Keynote speaker, the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, priest, cartoonist, and founder of RenewalWorks (which St. Andrew's will be jumping into in the Fall...more on that to come), will share how the renewal work of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire is connected to the church-wide Way of Love. I'm hopeful that with a number of us will going, we'll experience multiple of the sumptuous and diverse workshops. Workshop descriptions and Spring Renewal registration can be found HERE.
Teaser: Our own Lucy Crichton and Anne McCausland are each leading workshops!
If I go too long without eating a hearty serving of greens, or too long without some activity that gets my heart rate up, my body always lets me know...if I'll listen to its quiet signals and cravings.
If you listen in to the quiet cravings of your spirit for a minute, what is it asking for? Would either of these workouts hit the spot? If so, I hope you'll be bold and come along.
I'm all signed up for these two events, and I hope I'll see you there! Now, thanks to my little check-in with my body, I'm off for a couple laps of my own around the yard!
Training for the Kingdom,