|. .Weekly Newsletter. .|
September 28, 2014
Hold that Thought…
Just wanted to let you know what I am doing this week. First, and perhaps most importantly, Tammy and I will spend Friday and Saturday on the campus of Furman University. Daughter Caroline, a sophomore, is planning our participation in Parents’ Weekend. That she will have two days of our undivided attention sounds like a gift to her. It is really a gift to us! We will return in time for Early Sabbath on Thursday, October 2. While it will be good to return to Greenville for a little while, I cannot tell how great it feels to call Myrtle Beach home. We are most blessed!
From there I will continue the journey to Montreat, NC. For many Presbyterians, this hallowed conference center is almost a piece of heaven on earth. For me, it is an opportunity to gather once again with wonderful colleagues in ministry. For more than twenty-five years, twelve of us (the number is coincidental!) have met on the mountain to discuss the art of preaching. We come from healthy, growing churches throughout the southeast. We know each other as both dear friends and respected pastors. For four days we share approaches to preaching we have tried in our home churches. In addition, we distribute ideas, including books and stories that might strengthen this aspect of our ministries. The bond of fellowship over much time is strong. Our time together is sacred. At least for this brief retreat, Montreat becomes a “thin place” for us, a place where heaven and earth nearly touch each other. Yes, we are most blessed!
One of the colleagues who shares this experience with me is Alex Evans. You may recognize that name as the minister who preached Cam Thomas’ installation this last Sunday. And what a day it was! From start to finish, the Spirit was moving in our midst. When I saw all the people who were so appropriately proud of Cam—family, friends, members, youth—I was overwhelmed. Imagine all that was happening for Cam. He was right in saying that words do not do this day justice. But there is one thing that was abundantly clear to all. Once again, we are most blessed!
Dr. John C. Brearley
Dr. John C. BrearleyDr.