A Time for Teaching and Making Friends
February 11-13, 2015
Serra Retreat Center, Malibu
Our Annual Los Ranchos Pastors’ Retreat is looming over the horizon, scheduled for February 11-13, 2015, once again at the Serra Retreat in Malibu. As is the case each year, we feature being together as the primary attraction, collaborating in fellowship, worship and great fun with a bit of rest and renewal. The site, overlooking the blue waters of the Pacific from the foothills of Malibu continues to beckon. This year we will be joined by our colleagues from the Santa Barbara Presbytery. The collaboration seemed to naturally come our way and we are happy to welcome them to this time of renewal for pastors.
Our presenter this year will be Dr. Russell Crabtree, a Presbyterian pastor and founder of Holy Cow Consulting in Columbus, Ohio. Since leaving the pastorate some years ago, Russ has written a number of books about the plight of the contemporary mainline church and speaks around the country to help pastors focus the clarity we have regarding how our people are experiencing the church and how pastors are coping with all the change. He believes our hopes for the future, our patterns of thinking and our behavior, unique to our congregation, must be addressed to realize our vision. In his acclaimed book, Owl Sight, he explains how owls survive and thrive by seeing what other creatures do not see. As churches pay attention to the quality of the experience that members find by being part of their worshiping community a whole new landscape opens that was previously invisible.
Russ’ background with degrees in physics and theology, his experience in the business world and his recent work as pastor and consultant to churches and presbyteries across the nation, he has much to say about our circumstances in this time of change and uncertainty. In our conversations with him, he is most anxious to share with us and to learn from us about our situation here in this area of the vineyard as well.
As we are planning the retreat, our goal is to integrate not just the practical, technical aspects of dealing with the ministries we serve in, but to learn how to nurture the personal and spiritual dimensions of our own soul in the midst of these challenging times. Russ can help us with that from what he has learned and we can help one another given this time of renewal we spend together each year.
Our friends at Serra Retreat have provided us some options. If we choose to share a room with a colleague the cost would be $300 each person for the two nights. If you would prefer a single room, the cost would be $350 for two nights. This of course includes room and board, the worship and presentations and the wonderful menu that only those descendants of Fr. Serra can offer, along with the restful fellowship and spectacular venue we are known for. You can sign up through the Los Ranchos Presbytery website (www.losranchos.org), or call or send an email to Bonita at 714-956-3691 X122, or email@example.com , letting her know how many nights and single or double rate. You will be expected to pay ahead of time (we can process credit cards in our office if you call) or pay at the door (only by check or cash at door), but however you do it, we ask you to get it done soon. Should you find the cost a bit too much to handle, please let us know. We have funds set aside for the purpose of making sure we do all we can to get all of our pastors there for this time of refreshment.
Registration begins at 1 pm on Wednesday, with our reception for our newest pastors scheduled for 4 o’clock. The retreat concludes with a communion service and some final thoughts from our presenter on Friday with the plan to wrap it up by late morning. If you have any questions, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at 714-557-3340, ext. 100.
This is a unique time for us to gather together and help shape who we are to become as God’s called ones in Los Ranchos. You won’t want to miss this opportunity.