BLUE RIDGE REGIONAL RETREAT RECAP
BY BUDDY HOCUTT
MARCH 31ST, 2017
It is hard to believe the Diocese of Christ Our Hope just completed its second regional retreat! But, here we are, three weeks removed from the Blue Ridge Regional Retreat that took place at Church of the Holy Spirit in Roanoke, VA.
Including churches from the Greensboro – Winston-Salem – Roanoke region, as well as the Shenandoah Valley, and West Virginia, the Blue Ridge Regional Retreat brought over 100 clergy and lay leaders together for three days of learning and growth, highlighted by four ordinations on Friday evening.
Husband and wife Jack and Mary McDonald from The River Church in Blacksburg were ordained together, something Bishop Steve Breedlove was not sure he had ever done before! Keith Breault of Holy Cross Mission in Crozet and Drew Dilday of Church of the Incarnation in Harrisonburg were also ordained, rounding out the Diocese of Christ Our Hope's four newest deacons. The ordination service took place in Church of the Holy Spirit's beautiful sanctuary followed by light desserts and coffee courtesy of Church of the Holy Spirit's incredible volunteer team.
Aubrey Spears, rector of Church of the Incarnation in Harrisonburg, VA gave the plenary address. In conjunction with Tommy Hinson's Piedmont Coastal plenary, Aubrey reminded those in attendance that the world and the culture craft enticing narratives that captivate those who struggle with issues of gender and sexuality. In response, Aubrey admonished the Church to craft a greater narrative of what it means to follow Jesus and live out God's beautiful design for human sexuality as revealed in Scripture.
Issues of sexual orientation comprised the bulk of the retreat, but Aubrey and the other retreat speakers reminded attendees that marriage, singleness, and divorce are included in God's vision of sexuality, as well. The Church often overemphasizes the necessity of marriage and in doing so marginalizes those who are single, divorced, and widowed. The Church must repent, therefore, before crafting a better vision of human sexuality.
There is much work to do, but the these regional retreats are an excellent step in the right direction. Our prayer, and hopefully yours, is that the Lord would guide us and grant us wisdom as we wade deeper into this most difficult issue.