This is going to be one of those weeks where I spend a great deal of time thinking about and planning for the next year, and very little writing.
I’m going to be the “Theologian in Residence” for the Diocese of Arizona’s Strategic Youth Ministry planning retreat. We’re hosting some folks from around the country to help us make plans about our next steps in Arizona. Notably we have one of the bright lights of the youth ministry program in the Diocese of South Carolina spending the next three days in conversation with us. South Carolina is important because it is one of the few dioceses that have managed to grow over the past few years – and its growth is in large part attributable to the focus youth ministry was given by their former bishop Ed Salmon. Hopefully we’ll find ways to apply the lessons they learned into our own different context here in the Southwest.
The staff at the Cathedral will be on retreat too in the middle of the Diocesan retreat. (I’ll excuse myself that day and join with our staff – bilocation is still a grace not granted, though much longed for.) We’re going to be talking about “branding” which sounds much more secular than it is. What we’re really doing is trying to figure out the methods and symbols we will consistently use to communicate the Gospel and the special ministry of Trinity Cathedral to the neighborhood and city in which we live. We’re going to be led in this work by a parishioner who is expert at doing this in the commercial world and who charges a very big amount because she’s very good. So her gift to us is all the more appreciated.
On the downside, this is probably going to mean that the communications committee is going to have to do a redesign of the Cathedral website’s templates. (The Joomla technology that we use to serve up the site is still working great as far as we’re concerned.) But given the quality of the visual elements of our newest site that we’ve put for the Cathedral Center for the Arts, I don’t think we’ll have much to worry about.)