Pastors and commissioned pastors from Missouri Union and surrounding presbyteries gathered for the first time in two years for an in-person retreat in Kansas City. The theme of the retreat was Come to the Waters of Renewal. Kili Wenburg, Spiritual Director and Life Coach at Meaning on the Journey , followed the theme in worship services as well as taught spiritual practices and offered spiritual direction. The Rev. Bill Tenny-Brittian, author and managing partner at The Effective Church Group, led workshops on church growth in the 21st century, including a workshop on virtual church.
Being together at this retreat was rejuvenating for the pastors and CPs. They were also refreshed by the prayer practices presented. Many anticipate adding the centering prayer, the Ignatian Contemplation and the examen to the spiritual practices.
Bill Tenny-Brittian is passionate about church growth. For some, this was a plus, hearing him push hard for pastors and congregations to make changes that will welcome people to church and to the kingdom of God. For those serving small congregations in small communities, this was a challenge to hear. It was shared that an online presence may be a key difference to help these small churches foster growth.
One evening, eight PLR pastors gathered in the hotel lobby to play 9Truths, a game that promotes storytelling and discovering who your friends are. The conversation and laughter were invigorating, so much so another hotel guest overheard and asked to join the group. In a curious way, the relationship building for church growth that Bill encourages was illustrated right there in that lobby through a game, conversation and laughter.