Clergy members of the Diocese of San Diego gather this week for the annual clergy conference at Vina de Lestonnac retreat center in Temecula. The retreat begins on Monday, October 5 and concludes on Wednesday, October 7. It is an opportunity for clergy members to “let down their hair” said the Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas said that she plans the conference with intentional free time built in, and many opportunities for clergy members to simply be with one another.
“We have so much great talent right here in our diocese, and we don’t need to be over-scheduled,” she said. She and the Rev. Joseph Dirbas, rector of All Souls’, Point Loma, work to make sure the schedule provides rest and relaxation as well as stimulation and points of connection for those who desire it.
The annual clergy conference is just one way that donations to the Bishop’s Appeal support the diocese. Without those generous donations, the Diocese of San Diego would not be able to offer this important source of rejuvenation to its clergy members, who often lead a lonely life as leaders of congregations. These three days with their companions provide the recharge and relational support they need as they look toward the next church year, which begins Advent I.