So this week I have the huge honor of being with the pastors of the Evangelical Friends Church from the Pacific Southwest U.S. I was blessed to learn that they made their theme for the year “Embodying Our Faith,” and as part of that asked me to speak at their annual pastors’ retreat. Pretty humbling, pretty exciting.
My wife warns me continually about saying things I think are funny that are only funny to me. So I’m happy to report that I got through day 1 without a single reference to (a) oatmeal or (b) the hat the Quaker oatmeal dude wears. Though I confess I smiled a little when I had breakfast in the hotel lobby (you guessed it, oatmeal), and I did comment on the Quaker-ness of one brother’s utterly righteous beard. But the humor was totally appropriate and very well received, I promise.
But seriously, these people are awesome. I’m humbled to be among them. A seriously warm and welcoming bunch, astute, inquisitive, and altogether wonderful in teaching sessions, and their denominational leaders are awesome – shepherds in the truest sense, and men one would be honored to follow into battle. You get the sense these people are family to one another, a much too uncommon experience in denominational gatherings. Other than in our own tribe (go Covenant), I’ve never experienced this kind of great connection between pastors.
Dinner is served, and then off to another session. Good good times . . .