“Who are you, what gifts do you bring to your team, and what do you need from the team to be effective in your work?” Those were the three questions that opened the Group Spiritual Direction Retreat of the Provincial Elders’ Conferences (PEC), South and North. Members from each PEC came together at the St. Francis Springs Retreat Center, north of Greensboro, North Carolina, a beautiful setting that fostered peaceful contemplation and attentive listening to God’s leading.
The Rev. Dr. Jane Williams, professor at Moravian Theological Seminary and Spiritual Director, led the retreat that was specifically designed not to be a business meeting, but rather a time for spiritual direction. The group used Ignatian spiritual exercises to ponder what brought them closer to God (consolation) and what kept them distant from God (desolation) as it related to their work as PEC members.
Daniel Crews, from the Southern Province, found it “refreshing in our meeting not to be trying to figure how to get our agenda done, but rather through prayer to be seeking to learn what the Lord’s agenda is for us.” Bruce Nelson, from the Northern Province felt it was “very good that we chose to pray for our brothers and sisters from the ‘other’ province going forward. I felt like I was gathered among saints.”
Perhaps Peggy Carter from the Southern Province summed it up best: “In the quiet of St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, voices of faith, love and hope replaced the din of life that too often drowns out the voice of God.
“Discouragement and concern about church challenges were overridden by the collective hope of Moravians North and South that God is indeed omnipresent in the world he created, and he loves and walks with every generation he creates through the evolution of thousands of years.
“In our departure, we carried a renewed and joyous hope as well as reaffirmed trust that God is the God of all time and space and our brief glimpses are but one slice of the eternity of the Trinity.”
All participants covenanted to pray for another member of the PECs each week. Although both PECs meet once a year to receive reports from our Interprovincial Agencies and discuss matters of mutual interest, this gathering helped strengthen bonds of friendship and partnership as we celebrated the good news that we have much in common, and many gifts to share with another – all with the goal of building up the witness of Christ through the Moravian Church in America.
From the June/July 2017 Moravian Magazine