The convocation was held in a retreat center run by an order of nuns. It was in a beautiful neighborhood with a view overlooking an area called Valley of a 1000 Hills. I didn’t get a picture of the view because a picture wouldn’t have done it justice. The view was stunning. You could see for miles and miles and it seemed like you could see the 1000 hills. On the tops of the hills were a mixture of modern, large expensive looking homes and then on the hill sides and in the valley were hundreds of little mud or block homes some of which where round and some rectangle. The facility itself was an older, but very well kept up small hostel. It had about 20 small, but adequate rooms very simply furnished but very clean. It also had a couple of meeting rooms which were more like living rooms, a chapel and a dining room. There were 34 of us at the convocation. The shower was hot, the food very good. Unfortunately, the bed and pillow were extremely hard and I had a crick in my neck and a headache each morning.
The Deacons were some of the most loving, and welcoming group of people I think I have ever been with. They ranged in age from probably late 20’s to 70’s, possibly 80’s. They were from all over
The week’s schedule had time for the Deacons to take care of business regarding their calling and training. There was time to deal with issues and for the Deacons to know what was changing in the Book of Rules and Disciplines of the
Wednesday was a most unusual, unsettling and depressing day. We took a “Cradel to Grave Toxic Tour of South Durban.” We were taken by bus to the various serious toxic sites in
On Thursday, the day’s program was on burnout and stress. A Sister from a different Order than those who ran the retreat center who is also a Psychologist presented the material that day. She was such a delightful, caring person with a wonderful sense of humor. She admitted readily that she herself needed to be reminded of most everything she was talking about. Her major theme was that God instructed us to not only to love God and our neighbor, but to love ourselves. We so often forget that we are to love ourselves and take care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of us, we don’t have anything to give our ministry and others. She talked more about listening to our heart (and God) – taking the time to truly be silent and listen. She said if we can’t be quiet and listen to our heart, why do we think we can hear God speak to us? Good point. It is so hard to “be still” let alone “and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)
I rode back to