As previously mentioned, earlier today, it snowed for the first time at Conception this year. In the afternoon I was informed that there is a tradition of playing football in the snow in the afternoon of the first snow. I’m new so I can’t verify this tradition, however, I can say that at first I was really looking forward to the idea. I really like playing football (played all four years in high school) and love playing football in the snow.
However, this afternoon the junior class had a reflection group meeting during which Rory Rowland came and spoke with us about pastoral leadership. The title of his talk was, “Pastoral Leadership from the Parishioner’s Perspective.” Rowland was a student at Conception in 1977, but then discerned out and received an MBA, and has been traveling the country giving talks on leadership, he has also published a few books.
Anyway, before the talk began, I was still thinking about the possibility of playing football in the snow. However, as soon as he began speaking I was so grateful for the opportunity.
Rowland spoke with us for a little over an hour, he was an absolutely fantastic speaker. I found that I could relate to many of the stories he told. I also found much more to be learned out of his stories, particularly as they pertain to pastoral leadership.
One of his key points was the ability to be a good preacher and specifically tell good stories. I find this to be true in my experience growing up in the church. When I lived in New Jersey, my pastor was an fantastic preacher. His preaching helped me to better understand and grow closer to Christ. I have also found that whenever I’ve been asked to offer reflections or talks I find myself relying on some of his techniques, and I fully intend to do so, if, God-willing, one day I am ordained.
I think today was a beautiful example of what can be so great about the seminary. Just when you think there is something else “fun” that you want to do, God provides an amazing experience. Today that was the case with a fantastic speech by Rory Rowland. If you ever get an opportunity to hear him speak, I highly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity.