When first mapping out a plan for this sabbatical, I wondered what would be the best space that would allow me to simply show up and worship – no planning, no prep work, just show up. Space where a tired and weary soul could be replenished and rehydrated, with a schedule that allowed for rest. No expectations to overload the day, but to pick and choose worship, and an occasional lecture that I might want to attend. To visit with friends, to laugh, and enjoy a slower pace.
I’ve attended the Festival in the past and have always walked away encouraged, challenged, and full, (and I’ve learned over the years of attending a variety of conferences that I no longer go from sun up to sun down … but rather choose the ones I WANT to attend so that I will be able to be present and not walk away exhausted or overwhelmed). When it was noted that the focus and theme for the week would be “After the Storm: Preaching and Trauma” I was intrigued. There seems to be so many events as of late that have heightened the level of trauma that we all experience and absorb, so this topic and conversation is not a new one to me, but I am looking forward to the conversations, preaching, and opportunities to engage in trauma-based theological learning and understanding.
Knowing I would be in Denver for a week was also a draw, and I’m staying a walkable distance from the venues (and we all know there is something to getting out of our own element and space). Escaping the expectations, the routine, the work and responsibilities are easier to do when you are not at home. Reading that the organizers were taking safety protocols to ensure the safety of each participant made me feel better.
So hopefully, this helps why I’ve decided to attend this year’s Festival of Homiletics ~ for the worship, the nourishment provided, the change of routine and pace, and for the idea that there will be space for a theological discussion around trauma. oh, and did I mention – it’s in Denver!?
Tomorrow I’ll share a few thoughts about why the Grand Canyon – stay tuned.