Monday, January 01, 2018

Thoughts from the Theopoetics Retreat (Spring 2017)

by Terry Link

The 2017 gathering for fellowship and CEU credit for credentialed ministers in our IL/WI District was held at Bishop Lane Conference Center on the Rock River, just south of Rockford. Approximately seventeen attended. Scott Holland, of Bethany Seminary, was our facilitator on the subject of TheoPoetics. One might say TheoPoetics is receiving and expressing Holy inspiration via a diversity of genres.

On Monday and Tuesday my phone received an early morning text that a resident of Pleasant Hill Village had passed. Tears began to fall during those days, as the angst of that old helpless feeling arose. Some containment was felt as the following was written before a walk to breakfast.

all my friends are dying - each of us in time
the world that closes in- opens up in thine

sunlight through a broken blind
claims a spot of ground
another cycle in the wheel
going round and round and round

happy 4 each day - and the moments that are given

the beetle on my knee - sorrows company
clings tightly to my pants - in a day long belly laugh


(During class, a brown lady-bug looking beetle had appeared on the knee of my blue jeans and we kept company, until break when I stepped outside!)

That afternoon, we went out into the grounds for poetic inspiration to arise. Some walked, others sat, and contemplation abounded. I wandered and found myself upon a wooden bridge over a clear, gently, running stream.

going upstream is the call
sometimes in spring - sometimes in fall
we wonder where it's going - knows only where it's been
toss a stick into the waters
hear them gently flow

the little boy tinkles - into the endless stream
as Elders dream those endless dreams...........

Terry Link, is an ordained Brethren minister, serving in his seventh year, as Chaplain for the Brethren Home of Girard (Pleasant Hill Village ) and is a member of First Church of the Brethren, Springfield IL.