[From Deacon Sally Bosler]
The Clergy/Staff Retreat of the Moravian Eastern District was held at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, PA on May 23-25, 2011. This year, The Rev. David Bennett, the President of the Eastern District of the Moravian Church, invited Bishop Paul Marshall to send three clergy persons from the Diocese of Bethlehem to attend the retreat, thereby expanding the process of exploring the full communion between the Moravian Church and the Episcopal Church. Joining the thirty-plus Moravian pastors, gathered from New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, were The Rev. Andrea Baldyga, Church of the Redeemer, Sayre, PA., The Rev. Sally Bosler, St. Gabriel’s, Douglassville, PA., and The Rev. Terrence Wible, St. Luke’s, Lebanon, PA. The retreat, entitled “Cultivating Attentiveness” was led by Kairos: School of Spiritual Formation.
I arrived tired, still burdened by unfinished work, half relishing the promise of retreat and half begrudging the time set aside from my busy schedule. I was immediately welcomed by our Moravian brothers and sisters, who were also tired, but eager to journey together. My heart, mind and body all reacted to the deceleration, the conscious letting go of distractions advised by the team from Kairos. Cell phones, computers, books, unwritten sermons, etc. were to be left in our parked cars! I was invited to ‘simply be’, to rest and allow myself to be refreshed. I began to approach and then to practice silence, often awkwardly and imperfectly. Our shared “speaking” times together were rich with insight and the comments shared were often accompanied by nods born of common experience. It was a time for listening to God, to self and to others, both when we were together and when alone. The retreat was a constant invitation to draw near. I embraced the diversity of people and experiences. With distractions at a minimum, conversation progressed past social convention into dialogue and relationship. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to greet several former classmates and to begin additional new friendships among the Moravian clergy. Deacon Sally