When I agreed to go to a preaching program, I truly had no idea what I was getting into. Bring a sermon, your prayer book, and a Bible, I was told, so I anticipated sermon feedback and worship And hoped there would be helpful, practical workshops.

I was was not disappointed.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the joyous fellowship of getting to meet and visit with others in our Episcopal Church–seminarians, those newly ordained, and those who have been at it a long while. And I didn’t expect all the poetry.

For some, they’re stuffed full of the poetic comments and commentary.  For me, I’d beg for another. Some voices I could listen to all day, and others I would rather read myself.

Most importantly, I found that somewhere between the feedback, the plenaries, the laughter, and the many lines of poetry, I heard God. I heard myself being told that I was here not by accident.  I heard that I was here to see and hear for myself things that otherwise I might have missed or taken for granted, and I heard that I am a wordsmith neglecting my trade by not giving the time to hone my skill.

So I am left with a challenge, but it is also permission.  Going forward I know how important it is to read a variety of material and to live gathering diverse experiences. I am challenged to do these things but also granted the permission to do so. I cannot deny the excitement of the possibilities and the intimidation of taking full advantage of the abundant life God has blessed me with.

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