Thanks to all of you who made #C4SOClergy2017 so special!

Last week, about 100 attendees comprising clergy, bishops, ordinands, lay ministers and spouses met at Christ Church Plano in Plano, Texas, from Jan. 3-6, for our fourth annual Clergy Conference. It was an unforgettable time of building relationships and enjoying communal worship, prayer and hands-on learning as we explored the theme #lifeabundant in service to Christ. Many said it felt like a family reunion; others were welcomed into the family for the first time. If you weren’t there, you were greatly missed! Here are the highlights—including videos of Bishop Todd’s sessions.

Location and Volunteers

A huge thank you to Christ Church Plano and the Rev. Canon Paul Donison for hosting us this year! We held most of our sessions in the Youth Praise Center but also utilized the Youth Café for meals, the classrooms for meetings, and the beautiful chapel and sanctuary for ordination services. Christ Church and nearby Redemption Church and Restoration Church provided many awesome volunteers to help staff the conference experience. We appreciate your selfless service!

Many attendees chose to stay at the beautiful NYLO at Legacy, the official conference hotel, just minutes from Christ Church. It featured modern industrial décor, convenient shuttles and a tasty breakfast buffet.

We also want to congratulate Father Paul on his induction as rector at Christ Church on the Sunday following the conference. We rejoice at what God is doing in and through him!

Worship Services

An important part of the conference was worshiping together. Each day, attendees came together for Morning and Midday Prayer Services led by a member of C4SO’s clergy. The Very Rev. Michael Swanson also led a Healing Prayer Service on Wednesday night that touched and encouraged many.

After Morning Prayer on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we dug into God’s word with the Very Rev. Patrick Wildman, the Very Rev. Canon David Roseberry, and the Rev. Canon Paul Donison for Bible studies focused on John 10. We are grateful for their shared hearts, wisdom and leadership.

Videos of the studies coming soon!

Brand-New Offerings

This year we introduced a few new ways to better connect and resource our clergy.

Deanery Dinners

Honoring the requests we’ve received for more deanery connections, on Monday night we shared a meal with those in our geographic region. Not only did it put names with faces, it allowed our Deans to share about themselves and the vision for their deaneries in 2017. Clergy enjoyed celebrating new plants and hearing stories from those doing ministry in their area. The smaller group size also fostered more intimate conversations. We’ve gotten overwhelming feedback that these dinners were a hit!

Deacons’ Lunch

C4SO’s Vocational Deacons met for lunch on Thursday to connect with and encourage one another—the first time C4SO’s deacons have gathered in an official capacity. It was a great time of collaboration as they focused on developing ways to promote and support this often under-utilized vocational role in the church. Bishop Todd offered his own support and encouragement for the invaluable work of deacons.

Gravity Pilot Cohorts

C4SO announced at the conference that several clergy and ordinands have been invited to participate in a pilot leadership training/coaching program with Gravity Leadership, led by C4SO’s own the Rev. Matt Tebbe and the Rev. Ben Sternke. Over lunch on Thursday, they discussed what the training entails and how the cohorts will function in 2017. If you’re interested in joining a cohort, please contact Canon Kimberley.

Ordinations

The ordination services on Wednesday and Thursday nights were filled with incredible joy. We welcomed the Rev. Nobie Hendricks, the Rev. Markene Meyer and the Rev. Kolby Kerr to the Priesthood, and we also welcomed the Rev. Terri Fisher, the Rev. Emily McGowin, the Rev. Jeff Still, the Rev. Shay Gregorie and the Rev. Lauri Diamond to the Diaconate. Thanks be to God!

Twelfth Night Party

On Thursday night, we celebrated the Twelfth Day of Christmas at C4SO’s new headquarters. Now renting offices in the Yeager, a newly-built shared workspace, C4SO welcomed conference attendees for a lively evening of fellowship. With the scent of wassail wafting through the building and foot-tapping music provided by Clay Davis, it was the perfect time to grab hors d’oeuvres and let loose with friends. The Rev. Canon Paul Donison graced us with a dramatic Shakespearean performance, and the group highlight was belting out a parody of “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

What a great week!

Thanks again to all who invested in attending #c4soclergy2017. We look forward to gathering again next year—your deans will be in touch about localized deanery events in between. We pray that each of you is able to take hold of the #lifeabundant that is yours in Christ, with renewed energy and focus to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sessions and Speakers

We had a chance to hear from an array of godly and talented speakers on many aspects of the #abundantlife available to us in Christ.

Tuesday Opening Session: “State of the Diocese” with Bishop Todd Hunter

Wednesday Session 1: “Becoming Servant Leaders” with Bishop Todd Hunter

Wednesday Session 2: “Obstacles to Following Christ” with Canon Tony Baron and Dr. Gary Barnes

Thursday Session 1: “Why Rural Matters” with the Rev. Bryan Jarrett

Thursday Session 1: “Always Forward” with the Rev. Canon Dan Alger

Thursday Session 2: “Living Your Mission: LAMB Institute” with Suzy McCall

Thursday Session 2: “Living Your Mission: Syrian Refugees” with Emily Kerr

Donate here to support Restoration’s mission to the Syrian Refugees

Follow along to Emily’s slide deck here

Thursday Session 3: “Leading Through Small Groups” with the Rev. Canon Paul Donison

Friday Session 1: “Missional Communities” with the Rev. Ben Sternke & the Rev. Matt Tebbe

Friday Session 1: “Stewardship” with The Very Rev. Canon David Roseberry