Every three years the Diocesan clergy are whisked away for a couple of days to spend time together, learning, worshipping and getting to know each other better. This summer we were at Warwick University where we have been taught by Dr Graham Tomlin (the new Bishop elect of Kensington) and Dr Paula Gooder, theologian and trustee of the Bible Society.
The theme of this year’s school ‘Becoming an Engaging presence’ was wrapped around the word ‘engaging’. It left us with much food for thought; such as to ask ourselves questions ‘do we present our faith in an engaging and accessible way’, are we as Christians ‘engaging’ in our attitude to others and do we make the most of every God-given moment to be the ‘church’ to all we meet? Possibly a question to ask ourselves cold be ‘If I was the walking breathing advert for my faith and my church and I was to meet myself would I want to come on Sunday and find out more?’ Challenging but worth a think!
We were also treated to some thought provoking Bible Studies by the retired Bishop of Monmouth Dominic Walker whose gentle yet insightful way led us into much reflection on the nature of our calling and the work we do.
He guided us to think about the Benedictine rule of life of prayer, study, work and of course reflection.
At each of his morning Bible Studies he began the day by asking us to tell God how we were feeling that day. Just to take some time to quietly sit still and reflect on that question, and give those feelings to God in prayer, or simply think about the day ahead and the things to be done.
For me, it is not to look back on the day before for nothing can change that, but to have a prayerful attitude that can change the day that lies ahead for you and for those you meet!