As one of the requirements in The Mission’s credentialing process, 18 postulants gathered for an ordination retreat June 9-11 to learn about The Mission, how it’s ordered and what life in a Society of Mission and Apostolic Works looks like. The intimate gathering in Inks Lake, Texas, also provided an opportunity for participants to build relationships and spend personal time with Apostolic Vicar Philip Jones, The Very Rev. Bob Grant, the Very Rev. Dr. Allen Hughes and Bishop Sandy Greene.
The group of gifted leaders, ranging from new clergy to seasoned, came to the retreat seeking guidance toward the best fit and application of their calling within The Mission. Bob Grant hosted the retreat along with Rector General Allen Hughes to present a holistic environment that was at once relaxing, spiritually directed, and focused. Participants engaged in conversation around important theological and ecclesiastical matters. They were presented with ideas and thoughts, shared feedback and broke into smaller groups for discussions—participating in a total learning experience that was visual, auditory, relational, conversational and reflective.
“Participants were invited into an atmosphere of worship and prayer,” Bob explains. “There was ample opportunity for questions and answers, as well as downtime when participants could just sit on the back porch and visit with Bishop Philip or Bishop Sandy.”
The retreat also prioritized fellowship among postulants and the sharing of delicious meals. Vicki Kessler, mother of the Rev. Matt Kessler of Grace Fellowship San Antonio, and Gail Wacker from Austin, Texas, prepared tasty food and provided generous hospitality. The schedule even made time to be outdoors in a beautiful setting. On the second day, participants organized into teams for challenges like kayak races, three-legged soccer and BB gun target shooting.
“The highlight for me was the rich fellowship and doing theology together,” Bob says. “It was a living conversation.”
Upon leaving the retreat, participants began the task of completing a marital and psychological assessment and sitting for their exams. After successful completion of those items, they will move into the ordination phase, where all ordination documents will be put in order anticipating ordination on Sept. 27 in Little Rock or early winter 2015. Also present were previously ordained clergy being received for ministry in The Mission.
“I was grateful to learn more about how the Society is structured and governed and excited to connect with other men and women who are passionate about reaching the lost in North America with the gospel,” says Nathan Hale, a postulant from Desert Mission Anglican Church in Phoenix, Arizona. “It was a spiritual re-charge and at the same time, challenging as we reflected deeply on what it means to be ordained in The Mission.”