DOXOLOGY: The Gathering Review

The Gathering Review

April 25 – 28, 2010

On Sunday, April 25, I began my journey to Allenspark, CO for the first of three parts for DOXOLOGY, The Gathering.  This part of the program was held at the St. Malo Catholic Retreat Center, as will be the second part.  Due to MapQuest “forgetting” to tell me to make one all-important turn, I found myself driving 90 minutes out of the way and getting lost.  Fortunately, I found a Walmart and after purchasing a GPS, made my way to the retreat center just in time for dinner, having missed the welcome and event preview session.

There were 25 men from various congregations in The LC-MS and a few from the WELS.  Some pastors gathered have been in the ministry for a few short years, while some have been in the ministry for 20+ years and everything in between.

During the time of The Gathering, we met for worship three times a day at the Chapel on the Rock (Morning Office, Afternoon Office, Evening Office), an integral aspect to DOXOLOGY and the spiritual life of the pastor.  Sunday evening consisted of a single module or session.  Monday and Tuesday consisted of 5 modules each and Wednesday consisted of 2 modules and a section for closing comments and preparations for the second part of the program, The Encore.  Each module lasted anywhere from 75 minutes to 120 minutes, with a 30 minute break between sessions.  In order to minimize the amount of time DOXOLOGY has the pastor away from the parish, it was necessary to maximize the information taught.  Therefore, a day began at 7:00 am and ended around 8:45 pm.

The following modules were conducted during The Gathering:

  • Word, Sacrament and Psychotherapy
  • Shepherding Souls: The Classic Model for the Care of Souls
  • A Noble Task: A Christ-centered Paradigm for Pastoral Self-Care
  • Pastoral Ethics and Spiritual Care Challenges
  • The Silent Epidemic: Compassion Fatigue
  • Authority vs. Power: The Pastoral Pitfall
  • What Pastors Need to Know About EQ (Emotional Intelligence)
  • Out of the Depth: Sadness, Despair, and Recovery
  • Depressions, Dysfunction, and Despair: Clinical Realities & Treatment
  • Lead Us Not in Temptation:
    Sexual Misconduct
  • Deliver Us from Evil:
    A Christ-Centered Strategy

The best way to summarize the information received is very similar to drinking from a fire hydrant.  The information came at you very fast and was very information-packed.  During this time, we met in both the large-group setting and also in smaller group settings to look at real-life casuistry issues and to discuss how we would provide pastoral care in such instances.

The objectives completed during The Gathering included:

  • Immersion in a worshipping community at the heart of the program’s experience through the praying of the Daily Office.
  • Affirmation of pastoral vocation, reflection and refreshment for ongoing pastoral work by exploring the essential habits and practice of the classic care of souls and the application of Christian counseling concepts.
  • Enhancement of personal skills through didactic and discussion models to sharpen professional competencies essential to the art of counsel and care.
  • Cultivation of essential tools and strategies for responding to the burgeoning (growing) personal needs of today’s parishioners.
  • Formation of working peer groups of pastors to address matters of congregational casuistry from the perspective of shepherd of souls.
  • Creation of ongoing mentoring and coaching relationships between participants and consulting theologians and/or psychologists.
  • Provision for facilitated conversations among pastor participants for interpersonal support and encouragement (the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren).
  • Renewal of personal pastoral habits in prayer, meditation and ongoing pastoral growth.
  • Optional personal consultation, help and healing for pastors’ emotional and/or spiritual concerns (care of psyche and care of soul).

Overall, The Gathering proved to be very informative and covered a lot of information within a short amount of time.  At The Encore, (June 18-20), I will be bringing with me a layperson from the congregation to take part in DOXOLOGY as well.  During The Encore, there will be 12 modules, 4 for both pastors and laity, 4 for pastors only and 4 for laity only.

The third and final part of DOXOLOGY, The Reunion, will take place August 27-29 at the St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska.  For The Reunion, the pastor’s wives are invited.  Wives in attendance network with other women who share the unique blessings and challenges of living out their marriages in the context of parsonage life.  This event allows clergy to hear presentations on pastoral work from some of the finest theologians and practitioners in the area of spiritual care and will allow for a fast-paced and intensive review of their training in the earlier portions of the program.  Dr. John W. Kleinig, renowned Australian scholar and pastoral theologian, will serve as the featured presenter for the 2010 Reunion.

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2 thoughts on “DOXOLOGY: The Gathering Review

    • I forget who it was. There was one listed in the manual (which is in my office), but he was not there. Shawn Kumm (one of the participants) helped Dr. Senkbeil with the daily offices. How did you like DOXOLOGY? After The Gathering, I thought it was very good. Looking forward to The Encore in a few weeks.

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