I write to encourage you to slow down for a minute and consider a gift: take a close look at the upcoming 4th annual Duke summer reconciliation institute, May 28-June (April 1 application deadline). And pray on it, as this space is dangerously beautiful – based on past experience, I assure you these 6 days could change your life. Nearly 400 people have attended the institute the past 3 years, and we have seen this become a place of breakthroughs: personal, organizational, missional. The institute is not a conference for the many, but a place to go deep. It’s a space for 150 Christian leaders from across the U.S. and world to go deep in learning, community, reflection, renewal, and worship with a leading faculty of theologians and practitioners. A number of you I’m writing have attended before, and you know how unique and powerful this space is. Perhaps you should bring a team from your church or organization this year. I know cost is an issue for many of us. Scholarships are available, and I encourage you to apply for one.
Some of you are at turning points in your life and ministry. You have been working hard for a long time. You are in need of rest, renewal, retooling, a word from the Lord. We’ve created a space precisely for you this year:
Sabbatical for Seasoned Leaders
This seminar is designed as a sabbatical week for leaders long-engaged in work for peace, justice, and reconciliation (whether in church, institutional, or grassroots contexts) in need of reflection, retooling, and renewal that contributes toward building resilient leaders. Join veteran ministers Bill Lowrey and Alice Petersen for guided reflection, contemplative prayer, time for personal retreat and guidance on how to nurture resilience while working in the midst of turbulence and how to develop a sustainable support system for holistic well-being. Alice will be available for individual spiritual direction and Bill will offer individual consultations about personal and professional development. Participants need to have been involved in vocational ministry for at least ten years.
The core of the institute is three daily movements: vibrant worship in Goodson Chapel to begin and end each day; gathering in morning plenaries to walk through a journey of reconciliation from new creation, to lament, to hope, to leadership, to a spirituality for the long haul (day one pairs up my mentor John Perkins with Duke Divinity Dean Richard Hays, author of The Moral Vision of the New Testament); and afternoon seminars which go deep, each participant in one seminar. See full list of seminar themes and faculty below.
Some other highlights:
- § Peter Storey (who worked with Tutu) and Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela are coming from South Africa to lead a first-ever seminar “Healing the Wounds of History.”
- § The restful, beautiful setting of the Duke University campus is a wonderful place to detach from the busyness and get into a different time with God and fresh community with others – last year participants were from 25 states, 18 countries, 20+ denominations.
- § This is a space where your organization can make a significant breakthrough by coming as a team. This has been the case with past teams from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Hope College, the Evangelical Covenant Church, Reformed Church of America, St Luke’s Methodist Church in Houston, the Creation Care Study Program, and a team from Jos, Nigeria.
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Anybody interested in this? I think it is worth it. I have been involved in it last summer and it was a really impactful event.