Behind the Curtain at the SEC Annual Spring Retreat

As devoted Lent Madness fans will know, Tim and Scott (a.k.a. the Supreme Executive Committee) meet every spring to unpack and contextualize the previous Lent Madness and engage in vision-casting and missional strategy for the next year.

This year's meeting is taking place at various coffee shops in and around Cincinnati. The meeting began with the gentle sound of a Tibetan prayer bowl inviting relationship with the Spirit and/or spirits. After Tim and Scott removed their shoes, they proceeded to "check in" while in the Lotus position at a prie-dieu so as to integrate Christian spirituality into the global context in an entrepreneurial fashion. Both Tim and Scott shared their public narrative about their ministry settings from strengths-based perspectives, taking care to map their assets.

Once they were fully present to one another, they spoke into the circle of trust while reviewing the previous year's minutes. Using "I statements" they corrected the minutes. For example, "I feel that there should be a comma in the third sentence." In order to prevent deforestation and respect the dignity of Staples, they used PowerPoint to review the minutes.

Two hours passed, and it was time for a fresh contextual check-in to process their insights. Assured of growth in emotional intelligence and personal well-being, they mindfully moved into African Bible Study of the temptation in the wilderness. Following Bible Study, they enjoyed an ecologically sustainable, free-range lunch (that died a natural death).

Later, they opened themselves to the movement of the Spirit and/or spirits to begin to discern the 2015 bracket of Lent Madness. This was done both in plenary and small groups, with frequent reporting back. Tim and Scott made use of the latest techniques for writing down the names with both markers and brightly colored dots.

At this time, to preserve confidentiality, Tim and Scott are unable to reveal any details. However, we have a few photos to share. Stay tuned for news from the SEC tomorrow, but don't expect to see a bracket.

For now, the SEC is resting after compline -- and a lively hour-long debate over who would officiate at said office.


Tim and Scott search for an undisclosed, secure, marble-clad location
Searching for Secure Location

The SEC pores over the nominations

The SEC attempts to use modern art as a source of inspiration, with mixed results
SEC looking for Saints

Is there any Wisdom to be found in the fountain?
Wisdom in Water?

Though they are ineligible for the bracket, Tim and Scott check to see if they can glean anything from Jesus or Mary
Mary Jesus and SEC

Last photo by Faith Lang. All others by Sherilyn Pearce.


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59 comments on “Behind the Curtain at the SEC Annual Spring Retreat”

  1. You can't fool me by hiding behind the greenery I'd know those all-but-tonsured heads anywhere!
    And you get to go to Compline you lucky so and so's.
    Peace out,

  2. It is posts like this that not only give me hope for the future of the Episcopal church and the entire Christian faith, but make me laugh ice tea through my nose. Thank you for using your talents this way!

  3. So grateful for all the work that goes into creating Lent Madness. Thank you, thank you. Looking forward to 2015.

  4. Looking forward to spending retreat time with half of the SEC this week end. I wonder if we can get anty bracket news.

  5. OK guys, you neglected to mention having a sea change to acheive a paradigm shift!

  6. far so good. No begging on bended knee. So, I'll break the ice and say/write/whatever...Upon pain of death, do not cave into threats from anybody, inclusive of the "Peace out" lady, requesting that you add Mr. Rogers to next year's bracket. Promise me , oh mighty SEC, that you will not acquiesce and give in....Be strong, be valiant, be brave !!!

    1. Or at least burn some sage to smudge the room. Don't want any evil spirits interfering with the work of the SEC.

      1. Say it, sistah! (With all due respect to the nice gentleman and all his loyal fans)

  7. Is height important? Does modern art clarify ancient thought? How about Cincinnati? Was the plant true or false?

  8. I was just thinking the other day that I was starting to experience the symptoms of LMW...This helped immensely.

  9. And here I thought I'd outlived all that squishy talk.
    But this post reminds me of being part of a large group that operated by consensus--not majority, not unanimity, but consensus. Our nearest-thing-we-had-to-a-leader defined "consensus" as "anything that doesn't make anybody [throw up]." (The leader used a slightly more earthy term.) Sounds like you guys are trying to find consensus.

  10. I can't believe I fell for it. How about a real retreat.? What is a Tibetian prayer bowl? I think I need one.

  11. Well good morning Aleathia, it's a beautiful day in the Neighborhood and I'm certain that Eddie Murphy would agree.
    Peace Out,
    Madeleine 🙂

  12. Wait a second! I was so pleased to read that the SEC takes such care to prepare for such ministry. I was pleased until I began to suspect trickery indeed... One can't do Lotus at a prie- dieu. I think we'll have to form a episcopal commission to investigate.

    1. You can, but it involves balancing on the knees in an advanced positioin known as a prie-dieu-knot.

  13. I find this oh so affirming! But have you thought to consider and live into your growing edges? Thanks for the humor

  14. Oh, how you do delight! We had a celebration at Trinity (Branford) last
    Sunday afternoon, a seaside Victorian Garden Party for the Founding Members of our new Legacy Society. Obviously we share concerns about the future of the Church. Your hysterical/brilliant approach belongs on network tv. Meanwhile, let us know when you come to town (maybe Battell) and we'll take you to Mory's! (Write a song for the Whiffs and we'll try to get them to sing it on a Monday night there.)

  15. Oh my gosh! I am laughing so hard that I can no longer read all this out loud to my boss (the Rector), who now realizes the error of his ways and will join Lent Madness next year. (He is secretly jealous that I had more fun this past Lent than he did.)