Last November, the first retreat for Seminary Presidents was held for the Mesoamerica Region in the city of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. All the leaders of the regional schools were present, with the exception of the presidents from Haiti and Trinidad who were unable to attend.
The main speakers for the event were Dr. Dan Copp the Commissioner of Education for the Church of the Nazarene who shared inspirational messages, and Dr. Samuel Perez, the pastor of the Abundant Life Church of the Nazarene in Puerto Rico, who masterfully addressed the tough issues related to ministerial fatigue. Dr. Perez also led the time of Holy Communion on the final day of the retreat.
In addition, the participants discussed various topics including the following:
- Character Credentials: The importance of spiritual formation for faculty.
- What is theological education good for? Suggestions for changing local and district apathy.
- Seminars and theological education in the local church: Why should we be dealing with the plan of discipleship and School of Leadership?
- Theological Education Multimedia: Resources for ministerial education in the 21st century.
Dr. Edgar Menendez, the President of the Nazarene Theological Seminary of Guatemala, and one of the conference speakers, shared these words:
“The retreat was significant for me because of the time spent with colleagues, the trainings and the spiritual edification. This type of retreat is important since it allows each president a time to breath and let go of daily stresses that come with this type of work. A special thanks to Dr. Ruben Fernandez and Dr. Monica Fernandez for the work involved in this retreat.”
Dr. Samuel Perez shared these words about the retreat:
“This retreat invited us to look at our ministries in an integral way, giving attention not only to the responsibilities of each participant, but also taking into consideration personal and family life. It was a moment to concentrate on the need and urgency to develop a community of care among educators. This time signified for me an “oasis in the desert” or a “spa” for the body, soul and spirit, where it was possible to be refreshed in the presence of the Lord and by the care and fellowship of all the participants. The retreat was a time of inspiration, awareness, confrontation, challenges and rest.”
Everyone looks forward to the next retreat where it is hoped that the presidents’ spouses will be able to attend as well. The retreat is being planned for November of 2014 in Varadero, Cuba.
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