Listening to clergy

We host our first workshop, Fr. Amanze and I, listening to clergy about their hopes and needs for theological education and ministerial formation in the Diocese of Botswana.

We are located in the ‘Upper Room,’ upstairs in the Cathedral, seated around tables, fifteen or so of us. I begin with a meditation on 2 Timothy 2:15, the passage that led to my great Sword Drill victory at Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh in 1955. ‘Study to show thyself,’ the passage used to read.

I draw out a chart as clergy introduce themselves, hoping to learn names as they speak. If only they don’t sit at different places after lunch.

For lunch we walk down the street to the YWCA, which operates a lunch room for whoever appears. Today they have seswaa, boiled beef that is then pounded to a stringy consistency, served next to a pile of rice with a nice dab of gravy. A bit on the fatty side, but I’m taking my cholesterol meds.

Happily, the priests return to their same seats.

Fr. Amanze asks what they do to continue to grow in the faith. What do they study, do they read? There is an awkward silence. As with us – clergy and lay – some have more substantive answers than others.

Fr. Amanze asks what they do to continue to grow in the faith. What do they study, do they read? There is an awkward silence. As with us – clergy and lay – some have more substantive answers than others.

I draw out a chart as clergy introduce themselves, hoping to learn names as they speak. If only they don’t sit at different places after lunch.

For lunch we walk down the street to the YWCA, which operates a lunch room for whoever appears. Today they have seswaa, boiled beef that is then pounded to a stringy consistency, served next to a pile of rice with a nice dab of gravy. A bit on the fatty side, but I’m taking my cholesterol meds.

Happily, the priests return to their same seats.

Fr. Amanze asks what they do to continue to grow in the faith. What do they study, do they read? There is an awkward silence. As with us – clergy and lay – some have more substantive answers than others.

We want something to come from this, several remark at the end. It should not stop here, they say.

We’ll see. We meet with lay leaders next week.