Friday, December 5, 2008

Tribute to a Friend

Thanks to Sr. Mary Dennison, the Founder and Director of the Spiritual Direction Institute at the Cenacle Retreat House in Houston.
  • Who, on the threshold of a sabbatical, has shared her wonderful gift of listening and empathy, of clarity and intellect to everyone she encounters
  • Who, in welcoming and accepting others, frees their gifts for joyful service and love
  • Who first told me that my love of reading and study was not weird but a valid spiritual discipline and tool for prayer and growth
  • Whose dedication and joy in her ministry these many years is not only beautiful but smart and contagious
  • Whose Midwestern spunk, good humor, and patience always brings fresh air to the seriousness and judgment of our Bible belt religion
  • Whose permission-giving, thought-provoking, and authority questioning gave me the freedom to rethink, discern, and repent
  • Who tells the stories of saints and martyrs with reverence as well as friendliness
  • You have embodied in the classroom and beyond the ideals of my spiritual heritage: "First do no harm, practice doing all the good you can, and stay in love with God."
  • Thank you, friend and sister in the Lord, for all you have done for me and for the church we share in Jesus.
  • Thank you for inviting me into this safe and healing place, and for all your encouragement in the SDI, in spiritual direction, and as a pastor!
We in the SDI third year are deeply grateful for your bringing us together! What a wonderful gift you have given the church and our city! May your sabbatical be filled with hope and rest and light and life.

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