The retreat will be different for me this year. Instead of being present as a participant I will be facilitating the retreat. I am grateful for the privilege of leading this time together with our group, but a little apprehensive as well. The Scriptures reference my trepidation. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home." (Mark 6:4) Since we are leaving town and these people aren't my relatives, I am hoping this verse of Scripture does not apply.
Spending as much time at work as we do, my co-workers sometimes feel like part of my extended family. We work together; we pray together each day before leaving for lunch; we share many of the joys and struggles of life with one another. My co-workers know my good points; they also know my weaknesses. Leading this retreat will be in the context of simply being a pilgrim with them on the journey. We are all in need of God's grace and mercy, and I will share the joy of experiencing that compassion from God on a daily basis.
Someone asked me today if the bishop attends the retreat. I said he usually does as long as his schedule permits. The person continued, "You work for the bishop, right?" I answered in the affirmative. He continued. "The bishop will be attending the retreat as a participant and you are the speaker leading the retreat. Do I have that right?" Once again, I answered yes. That led to a final question from him. "Won't that make you nervous knowing the bishop is sitting there evaluating you as you give your talks?" Well, it didn't until now that you brought it up. Thanks!