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Bishop's Convocation for Rostered Leaders

Planning is underway for the 2019 Bishop’s Convocation being held September 16-17-18 at Antiochian Village and Conference Center in Bolivar, PA. We are looking forward to a time of learning, rest, and renewal. We’ve made some minor adjustments to the schedule for our retreat. The presentation time will be more interactive so we will sit at round tables to help facilitate conversation.

Our theme this year will be “Listen, God is Calling”. Our time together will focus on listening to ourselves, listening to God, and listening to others. Our presenters, Deacon Tammy Devine and Dr. Bob Skelly will lead us through helpful exercises and discussion to facilitate our listening and discernment. Deacon Tammy Devine of Devine Coaching, is passionate about Health, Healing, and Wholeness. Through coaching, consulting and retreat leadership, Devine shares her passion of walking with leaders to live and lead well. Dr. Bob Skelly is the program director of SpiriTrust Lutheran® Counseling Services and oversees the day-to-day operations for the Chambersburg and State College offices. He is a Licensed Psychologist in Pennsylvania and has nearly 35 years of experience providing behavioral health services.

As we step away to listen deeply, we want to limit the distractions (phone calls, texts and emails) that may get in the way. We ask that you have a conversation around boundaries with your staff and leadership. This boundary is around time, definition of emergent and urgent concerns. You will be able to be in contact with anyone who calls, texts, or e-mails you. We request that you refrain from that activity during the session time in order to give your full attention to the presentations. Alternate ways to take notes will be provided.

This is a helpful article that addresses that topic nicely. Ponder both the gift and challenge of technology and its impact on relationships. Please take a moment to read the article before we begin.

What we’re trying to do together is build a healthier culture in our Synod. It began more than a year ago when I asked Deacon Tammy to come lead a training with the staff of the Office of the Bishop. We recognized our need to learn more about ourselves and each other in order to be better leaders and communicators. That training has been invaluable to us. We have come together as a stronger team. We are beginning a process with our Synod Council to assist them in their leadership by identifying their core values and facilitating education about those values through the next year. Our hope is to continue to move outward to you, our leaders, and eventually to our congregations.

We have seen big changes in our culture just in the last 5 years. Some of it has been good; some not so good. We want to push back against the “not so good” and find ways to be healthier leaders for a healthier church. I am inviting you to come along on this journey of discovery with us.

Following Convocation, there will be an opportunity to be involved in an ongoing relationship of listening with your colleagues. We will learn more about that on our last day together.

TO REGISTER: complete this registration form and return it to the Allegheny Synod Office NO LATER THAN August 31, 2019.

I look forward to being with you soon.

+Bishop Michael

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