I dislike phrases like life changing and mind blowing. But CREDO was all of that and more. I've made a bunch of new friends, learned a lot about myself and begun the next phase of my life in ministry and in general.
I also have a much better grasp of what CREDO is all about. It is a wellness program supported by the Church Pension Fund. It is offered for both clergy and lay employees (separate events) who are invested in the pension fund. We had everyone from a Canon to the Ordinary, to church musicians, parish administrators, youth/Christian Ed leaders and sextons. And everyone had something profound and moving to bring to the experience. It is a long experience, 8 days, but it's not one single second TOO long. I got the chance to learn in large groups, discuss in small group (there were some really awesome small groups for CLE 9 but mine was the best) and consult with experts privately. We talked about our spiritual lives, physical lives (health issues), vocational lives and financial lives. It was beyond description. The first thing I did after I got home (OK the FIRST thing I did was sleep) was thank the bishop for his support in sending me.
Amazingly, astoundingly the refusal rate for invitations among the lay employees runs something like 40%. So let me make this perfectly clear. In my not so humble opinion if you get a CREDO invitation and turn it down for any other reason than you can not possibly physically be there:
You're an idiot. And I'm absolutely serious about that.
I suppose that your life is so perfectly balanced, you are so utterly content with every aspect of your life and everyone around agrees that you are a paragon of perfection who could not possibly improve in any way (come on people, even Mary Poppins only claimed to be practically perfect) then maybe (and only maybe) you wouldn't gain from attending a CREDO event. For we mere mortals it's an opportunity too good to pass up. There is a small $500 fee that isn't covered by the pension fund - your church, organization or diocese should pick this up! And you should make them feel guilty if they don't. They will benefit as much as anyone from getting back a healthier, happier, more focused you.
There's too much to process or discuss in a single blog so I'll pick this up over the next couple weeks. Truly amazing. My thanks to our faculty, to all my CREDO friends and the folks at Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center in Oviedo FL for a wonderful experience.
Here's a photo of the lake at Canterbury(fixed so you can see the cross):