Showing posts from October 12, 2008

Credo: sixth and final report

Before you read my final report on CREDO (which I know you long to do!), please watch the marvelous John Cleese on Palin/McCain


It was wonderful to see two former Western Massachusetts colleagues at CREDO, Marilyle Sweet Page from Rochester, NY, and Denis Ford now in Colorado.

Marilyle had been in Westfield, MA. Denis had been in Springfield, MA, and later he was in Lee MA.

I enjoyed these colleagues in Western Mass, and it was great to see them again.

Since those days Marilyle’s husband had died, as had Dennis’ wife. Denis is now very happily re-married.

There were new colleagues to meet. Most were fine and enjoyable new acquaintances, but there were also two or three doozies. I relaxed in the thought that I’d never have to meet the doozies again. (Perhaps they thought the same about me!).

But on the whole I am happy to say that I was with a good group of retired colleagues, all my peers.

I liked most of them, and most of them …

Credo: fifth report

CREDO provided a skilled faculty, members of which enabled plenary sessions, workshops, worship and individual consultations.

We were led in such on the four themes of health, finance, spiritual life and vocation.

Daily Worship in the Chapel was gentle and filled with lovely quietness. The rhythm of daily worship and the lusty singing of hymns brought a sense of well being.

But I lamented the lack of inclusive language. God was always referred to as “he”, and most of the pronouns were in the masculine gender.

John Harris of Cincinnati, OH and Phyllis Strupp of Scottsdale, AZ excelled in the areas of finance. John was particularly good in matters relation to taxes; the Church Pension Fund; and Social Security/Medicare. Phyllis excelled in her plenary and in an individual consultation on long term financial planning.

Mary Margaret Davis RN, of Alaska was great on health. She had a “guilt free”, and encouraging attitude to matters of diet and exercise.

Ernie Bennett of Florida was a joy t…

Credo: fourth report

One measure of a Conference Centre is the quality of the food. Duncan Conference Cente excelled in this field.

We were provided with a constant supply of reasonably healthy snacks, sodas, juices and iced tea. Coffee (that great Sacrament of the Church!), was available from 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Breakfast included oatmeal, grits, sausage, egg and bacon, together with sweet pastries. For diet conscious folks like I there was also fresh fruit in abundance.

Lunch saw good salads and soups, together with a hot main course, or sandwich fixings.

For dinner there was the usual meat (usually pork or chicken); lovely vegetables (crunchy and not over-cooked); and various carbs., such as pasta or rice.

So I was able to stay on diet, and gained but a pound in one week.

I did let loose on Friday night when we were served a barbecue. I enjoyed a cheeseburger (without bread), a barbecued chicken leg, and barbecued shrimp. I enjoyed being off diet for one night!

Hats off to the Duncan Conference Ce…

Credo: third report

Behold “Generation Y” (thanks to Pam B who sent me this). =================================

Here is the CREDO “Mission Statement”
To provide opportunities for people to examine significant areas oftheir lives and to discern prayerfully the future direction of their vocation as they respond to God's call in a lifelong process of practice and transformation.

Sure sounds like gobble-de-gook to me! But then again, I take a dim view of most “mission statements”.

I believe that most groups/committees/ boards etc take endless hours to produce a “mission statement”, then having published the same with a fanfare of self-congratulation, the statement is ignored or forgotten.
(I also take a jaded view of words such as “vision”, or “transformation” which are employed by organizations such as CREDO. “Planning” is a much more realistic word than “vision”, and “change” a more realistic word than “transformation”!)

But at CREDO 156, we did take a look at significant areas of our lives viz: health…

Credo: second report

Duncan Conference Center, Delray Beach, FL ======================================================

On the first two days of the CREDO conference we were all much like cats.

Some folks were sniffing at each other, wondering if they’d get along.

Others (such as I) were prowling around on the edge of things, showing up for food, but all the while looking for an escape route should one be necessary.

By the end of the conference there had not been one single cat fight. We were each resolved to get along.

But I was sharpening my claws “just in case”. One woman “drove me crazy”. She kept up a running commentary in the plenary sessions, and was always the first to answer a question.
Then I realized that she was not a constantly mewing cat, rather she was simply “thinking out loud”. So I was able to tune out her babble and did not need to get mad.
Inevitably a couple of participants prowled at the edges all week. I could but hope that they were enjoying the event even though they were not “joiners”.
Of …

Credo: first report

With two former Western Mass colleagues, at CREDO Dennis Ford and Mary Lyle Sweet Page

I have just returned from CREDO # 156 at Delray Beach, Florida, (a four hour drive from my home)

For more information about CREDO see

I’ll write about the Conference every day this week.

For now, I’ll tell you about the moment the ice was broken.

Conference attendee Alan Grant of Minneapolis was talking. He told us about his recent bout with prostate cancer, and the removal of a cancerous place on the tip of his tongue.

He said: “because I had surgery on the tip of my tongue I talk funny. If you can’t understand me --- tough shit”.

From then onwards we each let down our guards!

A couple of days later Alan came up to me and without explanation began to recite a very old limerick. I’d heard the limerick years ago, but was still reduced to helpless giggles

“On the chest of a barmaid from Yale
were tattooed all the prices of ale;
and on her behind
for the sake of the blind,
was …