Thanks to the seminar for a helpful week. Let me speak beyond just the time away to renew in good Christian fellowship, meaningful conversation on church issues that matter with trusted friends, and wonderful food in large quantities—which would in itself be rewarding enough to continue. I refer now to the heart of the matter, and the reason for this Foundation. I am pushed—this year, more unwillingly than before—to move beyond my comfort zones in reading and thinking to delve into the roots of my Reformed faith and to struggle with how it speaks significantly to my ministry in my congregation and to today’s Church as a whole. As much as I (lovingly) voiced my issues with wading through Karl Barth’s writing, no doubt that venture has affected my preaching and liturgy. Our review of Barth’s sermons has forced me to review my own with an eye toward ensuring that Jesus and His word, and not my stories pointing toward Jesus and referring to His word, are the focus. Sounds so simple, but so important. There is the power of the gospel we proclaim!
Another thing I appreciate is how each member brings differing strengths and perspectives and adds to the complexity and depth of the seminar.