Co-directors for new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal arrive!

Pamela Johnson Benedictine Bridge, ECCSR Leave a Comment

On January 10, 2019 the co-directors for the new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal (ECCSR) arrived at Holy Wisdom Monastery and began their work! The ECCSR is the newest expression of the monastery’s ecumenical ministry weaving prayer, hospitality, justice, and care for the earth into a shared way of life.

The co-directors arrival culminates the work of more than 16 volunteers, many of them oblates, who served on the Lilly Foundation Inc. grant writing team and the search team to find the co-directors.

The new co-directors are Reverend Jerry Buss and Reverend Nancy Enderle.

Jerry Buss is an ordained Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) clergyperson who, across 30 years, pastored three congregations in Washington state and served as a judicatory leader in the NW Washington Synod of the ELCA. While working for the synod he guided the development of 15 new church starts, supervised clergy engaged in new innovative ministries, designed quarterly support gatherings of first-call and multi-cultural clergy, and collaboratively started a coaching and mentoring ministry for clergy and lay leaders.

Jerry says—

“In my heart-of-hearts, I know how important spiritual renewal is for clergy. My knowledge begins with my own experience and need for renewal. After many years as a pastor, my renewal journey began with a contemplative-based, emotional intelligence intensive. A few years later, my sabbatical included training and practice in both centering prayer and mindfulness. This helped me establish these practices in my daily life and to maintain them as I returned to my work. Trusting that God can bring new life out of impossible situations is a trust that the Holy Spirit has shaped within me. I am energized to start new things, where the Spirit guides and with the skills I’ve been given.”

Jerry and his wife, Darlene, moved from Seattle, Washington to Madison, Wisconsin in 2018 to be near their new grandson.

Nancy Enderle, an ordained Presbyterian Church (USA) clergyperson, pastored congregations in Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York and served as Interim Executive Director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians where she guided the work of a national movement toward inclusion and ordination of LGBTQ Presbyterians in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She leads retreats and workshops nationally, and in 2018 completed the Living School program from the Center for Action and Contemplation, where she was introduced to transformative teachings about contemplation and spiritual practices by Father Richard Rohr, Dr. James Finley, and The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault.

Nancy says—

“In 35 years of ordained ministry, I have witnessed and experienced the exhilarating sense of purpose that grows out of a call to serve God, as well as the sometimes soul-crushing weight of the demands and requirements of religious leadership. Key words of the ECCSR speak to what I value most in my ministry: Ecumenical points to the movement of the Spirit to unify us and create a new vision for Christ’s church in an age when so many are leaving organized religion; Center indicates that this is a place of gathering—not defined by a particular tradition; Spiritual is at the heart of attending to the transforming, indwelling presence of God’s living Spirit; and Renewal highlights the ever-present possibility of God’s Spirit breathing life back into us when we have run out of ideas and our activities leave us exhausted.”

Nancy and her husband, Gordon, live in Madison, Wisconsin. They have two children in college.

Please stop by Nancy and Jerry’s office beside the Garden Room in the Retreat & Guest House and introduce yourself!

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