Oct 11th, 2007 by Tom Lyberg
• What would you do if you could set aside all the responsibilities that come with full time ministry?
• What is the one thing you would love to explore to grow as a pastor just for the sheer joy of it?
• If you could really create some “away time” for you and your spouse, would you do it?
We, as professional clergy, work on the Sabbath, and then peck away at our days off, and still work the other six days, because we are so intent and serious about serving God. Continuing education is driven by skills you need to develop or topics that small groups want to discuss and rarely do they include the Sundays rostered leaders are given every year for study. Time is divided among visits, committees, and appointments that are carefully managed in calendars and PDAs. In the midst of it all, a personal life with family and friends is wedged in and often has to vie for its own time slot.
Given enough time, the scent of the fresh breeze of the Spirit disappears, the natural creativity that springs from Sabbath dissipates, until healthy ministry and a healthy life gives way to the routine and mundane.
The 2008 Transformational Leaders Gathering, known for its unique style of peer-to-peer learning and interaction would like to invite you to let the creative chaos of the Spirit into your life for some serious Sabbath renewal. By intentionally offering a Sunday Continuing Education event, not only do you get to use one of those two Continuing Education Sundays rostered leaders are given every year, but it means you get a real Sunday Sabbath for a change. If you are a lay leader, a weekend event means less vacation time used for a continuing education event.
The event is shaped around the intimate connection between Sabbath and creativity that God has hardwired into us from birth. In our large group, pot-stirring gatherings, we explore ways in which we often struggle with Sabbath and our need to be grounded deep in the rest from God. From there we will move into creative conversations in flexible peer groups to dig into how we integrate and live out creative Sabbath in our life and ministry.
To stimulate our peer-to-peer interaction, we will be inviting participants two read two different books to open different avenues of transformation.
Creative Chaos – Leadership Sabbath
In the Creative Chaos track, you are asked to read Morph: The Texture of Leadership for Tomorrow’s Church by Ron Martoia. The book includes journaling exercises for you to complete prior to your arrival, either on your own or on conversation with friends at home. In peer small learning groups, chapters of Morph fuel your Sabbath creativity in the area of pastoral leadership. Registrants are invited to offer their interests and guidance in discussions of what feeds innovative, transformational leadership in their settings. Learn more about Ron and his ministry Velocity Culture by clicking on this link.
Soul Sabbath – Personal Sabbath
In the Soul Sabbath track, you are asked to read Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller prior to your arrival. As congregational leaders, finding personal Sabbath for spiritual renewal is hard when you always seem to be out front guiding everyone else. You are asked to go to this link at Don’s web site and complete the journaling exercises for you to complete prior to your arrival, either on your own or on conversation with friends at home. In these peer small learning groups, you will use parts of Blue Like Jazz to find ways to feed your soul on God in ways you have never experienced or have forgotten. Here too, registrants are invited to guide groups in our creative conversations to discover creative ways in which your soul is fed and renewed. Learn more about Don and his writings on postmodern life and faith by clicking this link.
Even better, you are invited and encouraged to shift between tracks. If you are interested in a peer group in personal creative inspiration, jump into a Personal Sabbath topic. Looking for creativity in ministry options for your congregation, shift over to Leadership Sabbath group. In reading both books, you will be ready for wherever the Spirit may lead for the week.
Intentional Sabbath Time
In the midst of it all are intentional times for Sabbath, “off” time to experience rest, relaxation, and fun in Orlando, the vacation capital of the US. Free time and intentional time away are all part of the experience this year, including opportunities to even bring a spouse for some time away or get away with friends, old or new.
Saturday, January 19
11:00PM Registration and Check-In
2:00 PM Opening Time – Creative Chaos Welcome and Mixer
4:00 PM Soul Sabbath – Hearing God Again
6:00 PM Dinner at the Hotel
7:30 PM Deeper Sabbath
8:45 PM Evening Prayer
Sunday, January 20
8:30AM Sabbath Sending Service with Communion
Sabbath Day Experience – Go an experience a day of rest and refreshment with friends, spouse, or new TLG colleagues for the day. Specific options will be offered for golf, amusement parks, and beach travel. If you have requests, let us know in advance.
8:00PM Sabbath Reflection
Gather to discuss the day and process the joys and guilt of a Sunday Sabbath in small groups
Monday , January 21
8:30 AM Morning Prayer and Meditation –
9:00 AM Creative Conversations – Self Care
10:30 AM Break
11:00 AM Creative Conversations –
Noon Adjourn for Lunch Off site
1:30 PM Creative Conversations – Dare To Dream
Prepare for a special experience out in one of Orlando’s best known worlds of creativity – EPCOT at Disney World. Through special interactions and activities, we will consider how the tools and practices of Disney can stimulate your personal and leadership creativity.
Tuesday, January 22
8:30 AM Morning Prayer and Meditation –
9:00 AM Creative Conversations – Creative Inspiration
Processing the Disney Experience
10:30 AM Break
11:00 AM Creative Conversations – Integrating Creativity and Leadership
Noon Adjourn for Lunch
1:30 PM Creative Conversations – Integrating Creativity and Ministry
3:15 Creative Conversations – Creative Community (Networking)
6:00 PM Closing Dinner
7:30 PM Sending Worship
Registration and Costs
The registration cost for the 2008 Transformational Leaders Gathering is $150. This registration fee includes dinners on Saturday and Tuesday and snacks during gathering times. Other meals and entrance into EPCOT will be separate (we are looking into discount rates).
A limited number of scholarships are being offered through the ELCA on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact Ruben Duran or Pat Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-380-2675 for applying.
All registrations and checks should be mailed to:
2008 Transformational Leaders Gathering
c/o Mary Dureksen, Registrar
2600 Pontiac Rd.
Auburn Hills, MI. 48326
Holiday Inn International Drive Resort
6515 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: 866. 253.3500 or 407.351.3500 – Ask for Transformational Leaders discount
Go to the following web pages to learn more about the 2008 Transformational Ministry Gathering, download registrations and schedules, and come join this unique gathering of leaders from across the ELCA. A registration form has been attached to this email for your use. You may also contact our Lead Coordinator, Tom Lyberg at email@example.com.