Kristy Wallace and I just returned from a retreat outside of Nashville that I had been eagerly anticipating and even so it exceeded my hopes and expectations! Simply titled “Nourish”, it was offered by the Center for Formation, Justice, and Peace (the order matters), led by Bishop Todd Hunter of the Churches for the Sake of Others Diocese in the Anglican Church of North America. I love the important work of the Center which is an “interdenominational community seeking to develop the Christlike character necessary to activate justice, leading to a life of deep peace for all people.” When Todd asked if I’d serve on the Center’s board, it was both easy and happy to say yes and doing so is a great privilege. The heart of the Center beats an awful lot like ours does at Coracle, “Spiritual Formation FOR Kingdom Action.”
The Center does this by providing resources and spaces for Christians wanting to go deeper into God in order to see more of God’s justice break into the world (again, sound familiar?). If you want to be both blessed and inspired, take 3:39 minutes and watch this overview of the Center and get to know and feel Todd a little bit. For something a little longer, the Center’s video and podcast series of “Peace Talks” is a treasure trove of thoughtful and brave conversations with trusted Christian leaders on important topics for the Church and Christians.
We were led on retreat by Vanessa Sadler, Tim Head, and Curtis “CZ” Zachary, whose book Soul Rest sums up well what we all experienced at the retreat…our souls rested, and were refreshed, nourished indeed. If you’ve heard me speak a couple of times, it’s not unlikely that I will have shared one of the most important things I’ve come to learn, that “God can do infinitely more through us than we can ever do for him.” CZ dropped some related thoughts that I’ll be pondering (prayerfully) for a while to come, and I offer them for your slow consideration as well: “Beware doing for God but not being with God…God wants to be with us before we do for him.” More than simply considering this deep wisdom though, let’s hear that sweet invitation to each one of us to guard and cultivate our times of simply being with God.
Friends, I’m so glad to be on the journey with you and these folks and somehow all of us together, and hope that all the threads will continue to be woven as the journey continues. John O’Donohue put it so beautifully, “I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”