Dear Friends in Christ:
The clergy of the diocese will be gathering for our annual clergy conference – this year being held in Lincoln City – April 27-29. The yearly conference allows clergy to come together from around the diocese for fellowship, prayer and study. This year the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, dean of academic affairs and Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, will be our speaker. I have been finishing up reading her new book, Missional Worship, Worshipful Mission. The book is the product of many years of study and reflection on worship in the Christian tradition and I am finding it a helpful reminder of what we are about in our Sunday morning gatherings. It is also serving as a catalyst for my own thinking about my role as a leader in the liturgical assembly.
I hope some of the clergy getting ready to attend the conference will read this message be inspired to purchase and read the book in advance of her visit so that we can get the most out of our time together. I also invite the lay leaders of congregations to consider this book and topic as well. What we do in liturgy is critical to who we are as a people gathered in the name of Jesus Christ. Our liturgy defines us and is itself a part of our response to a loving God. The book, in my opinion, is worth the time, energy and is money well spent.
I am writing to you from Brookings Oregon in the midst of a week-long trip to the south coast and southern regions of the diocese. I have gathered with congregations and with clergy from the area as we continue to be people of God’s mission in the world. It has been a blessing to be here and I hope that everyone gets a chance at some point this year to head to the coast, it is a beautiful place to be. God’s presence is everywhere revealed.