My apologies for the delay of this blog. To be truthful, I have been consumed with the pace of life and what’s next. This past season of my life, and that of the life of my family, has been an incredible one-a fun summer sprinting into a new school year, youth sports, camping and more-taken to another level with a wildly successful wedding season and an amazing political campaign. That being said, I feel like we could use a retreat. A place and time to step back, reflect, rest and renew. We have that planned, thankfully, as our family will vacation in New York City, taking in the magic of the season, together.

I have also been thinking about our recent vestry/staff retreat at Cathedral Ridge; and, the juxtaposition of the word: retreat. In my previous example, retreat serves as a vehicle for renewal. However, our retreat at Cathedral Ridge served to provide a place and time for work. When I say work, I don’t mean the busy-work, paper shuffling kind. I mean deep, rich, get-your-hands-dirty, forward-thinking work. The kind of work that sets the course for a new chapter, where we will more fully live into our purpose and our calling for the benefit of our families, neighbors and world.

After thinking about this juxtaposition, it is clear to me that I am in a place of true retreat. Where I need reflection, rest and renewal; but, where I know that I have work to do. This place has me thinking a lot about the upcoming season of Advent. To me, Advent is the epitome of retreat. A time for quiet, reflection and prayer to prepare for the work that will be done. Divine timing, huh?

Upon leaving Cathedral Ridge this past Sunday, Father Bill asked us to write what we are taking out into the world with us from the weekend retreat. Through all of our conversations, thinking and work, one word was a constant for me: vulnerability. When we are doing God’s work and truly following Jesus, we are engaging with the world in a risky, vulnerable way. And, that feels good.

I don’t know what the work ahead of me will be. But, I do know that it will be there. And, as I continue walking through this season of retreat, I am thankful for all of it-my family, the time, the space, the reflection, the rest, the renewal and the work.

Jackson Dreiling