Pearls for the Journey: Reclamation of Joy
By Rev. Elizabeth Dilley*
I had been familiar with the Episcopal version of CREDO, so when I learned that the Pension Boards would be developing a UCC version, I was eager to participate! I was thrilled to be a part of the inaugural Pension Boards – United Church of Christ (PBUCC CREDO) Seminar, and looked forward to our gathering.
Following some intense experiences that shocked my sense of confidence leading up to my Seminar, I found myself operating so far from my core gift of ministry - of cultivating joyful excellence in ministry – that I was literally in a daze. In fact, I was so raw emotionally that I was unable to share the depth of my pain with anyone at the week-long retreat. At the same time, I knew I had to take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
During a period of prolonged silence and reflection, I felt some deep stirrings to reclaim joy as a central focus of my call. I chose PBUCC CREDO as the place where those things hindering my deepest call to ministry would be stopped. I reclaimed God's identity for myself as a person who leads from joy and is called to bring joy and delight to the world.
The holistic framing of PBUCC CREDO around wellness in four areas was compelling. I was surprised at how deeply the program engaged and interwove physical, psychological, financial, vocational, and spiritual wellness throughout the Seminar. The financial elements were also especially helpful. I had always learned that one should save some portion of their salary for retirement and had been so discouraged that I was saving so little. It was transformative to learn that the contributions to our pension are, in fact, those "retirement savings" I had always heard about. Coming from a family of origin where retirement savings or financial planning were not a thing, this Seminar shed some light.
The reclamation of joy as a clear focus and center of my ministry was the key takeaway that brought high relief during my time at PBUCC CREDO. I’m grateful for the experience.
About PBUCC CREDO
PBUCC CREDO is a holistic wellness benefit that offers clergy space and resources to examine significant areas of their lives and discern prayerfully the future direction of their vocation as they respond to God’s call in a lifelong process of practice and transformation.
The CREDO experience is anchored in a week-long Seminar and includes a pre-Seminar assessment and post-Seminar resources so that participants can deepen their commitment to lifelong wellness. Learn more about this program here http://bit.ly/PB_CREDO.
*The Rev. Elizabeth Dilley serves Minister for Ministers in Local Churches and MESA, Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization in Cleveland, Ohio, for the United Church of Christ national office.