January 2008 Go to the Laity Lodge website Subscribe to Laity Lodge News

Introducing Laity Lodge News

Welcome to the first edition of Laity Lodge News, an e-mail newsletter for people associated with Laity Lodge.

This newsletter will be sent out on a monthly basis (most of the time). It is meant to help you know what's been going on at Laity Lodge and what's coming up in the future. It will let us keep in touch with you on a regular basis.

Highlights From My First Three Months

by Mark D. Roberts

On October 1, 2007, I started my new job as Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence for Laity Lodge. In fact, however, my first two days on the job involved driving from California to Texas. Not exactly normal days in the office! But I was able to listen to lots of recordings of Laity Lodge speakers as I rumbled along Interstate 10. (If you're wondering why I chose to leave my position as Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church and join the Laity Lodge team, check out a series on my website: Why Move? Stewardship, Wineskins, and the Enigmatic Will of God.)

My first three months on the job were a thrilling whirlwind of activity and opportunity. There were many highlights for me. Let me mention three of the top ones.

1. Getting to Know and Work with the Amazing Staff of Laity Lodge and the Foundation

If you've been connected with Laity Lodge for a while, you already know what I discovered in the last three months: we have an amazing staff! The people who work in the Laity Lodge office are top notch: energetic, committed, wise, and fun. The folks who work in the Canyon are faithful and hard-working. The Foundation staff, including the youth camp, the High Calling, and so on, are consistently outstanding. I've been excited to get to know these folks and to begin to work with them.

I'm especially grateful for my new partnership with Steven Purcell, the Director of Laity Lodge. He has already become a good friend and treasured colleague. Steven and I will work closely together as he takes a more direct role in the ministry of Laity Lodge while my job description includes broader responsibilities, including writing, speaking, and working with other ministries of the Foundation such as The High Calling.org.

2. Lloyd Ogilvie at Laity Lodge

Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, Pastor Emeritus of Hollywood Presbyterian Church and former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate was the speaker for our leadership retreat in early November. Lloyd did a predictably fantastic job with the teaching. But it was a special joy for me to have Lloyd at Laity Lodge so early in my tenure, because he has been my pastor, my boss, and my mentor. No person outside of my family has had a greater influence on my life than Lloyd Ogilvie. It was a thrill to spend time with him and Howard Butt, Jr., whose role in my life today is rather like Lloyd's in the past. I am deeply blessed to have such incredible men in my life.

Pictured above from the left: Howard Butt, me, Lloyd Ogilvie

3. N. T. Wright at the Pastors/Leaders Retreat

In late November N. T. Wright spoke at our retreat for pastors and other church leaders. His combination of themes from his book, Simply Christian, and texts from the Book of Acts was brilliant. I was honored to convene a Q & A session with Bishop Tom, who is, in my estimation, the most important and influential biblical scholar in the world today. It was a privilege for us to host him at Laity Lodge and to be challenged by his timely exposition of Scripture.

Pictured above the from left: you know who and Bishop Tom

How grateful I am to be on the Laity Lodge team. We have wonderful times ahead, thanks be to God!

An Exciting Laity Lodge
Artists Retreat

by Steven Purcell

A few weeks ago, a group of 45 people representing the fields of music, dance, the visual arts, film, and theater gathered at the Lodge for three days of conversation and encouragement. Contributors included a young faculty member from Baylor, a playwright from the United Kingdom, a Slovak cellist, an Austrian actor working in New York, a 3-D artist from Seattle, and many others.  Apart from the solid content, and it was extremely good, it was exciting to be with a group that represented so much diversity in terms of age and background, yet a common commitment to Christ and a desire to express this faith through the arts.

For those of us who spend a lot of weekends in the Canyon, this was a good picture of what we’d like to see happen in more of our retreats. Similar to the way a gathering of attorneys, medical professionals, or pastors is able to offer mutual encouragement, this weekend created a space where followers of Christ whose vocational life is in the arts were able to support and inspire one another.

The Summer Schedule Is Out
and Retreats Are Filling Up

Our summer retreat schedule has been up online for a month, and already several of our retreats are filling up. Be sure to check the schedule and sign up soon. As you know, spaces at the Lodge are limited.

New Speakers for Laity Lodge

Each summer at the Lodge, we're delighted to welcome back old friends such as Earl Palmer, Marjory Bankson, and J. I. Packer. But we're also thrilled to welcome some new speakers, people who are outstanding Christian thinkers and communicators. Among these are:

Gordon MacDonald: a highly regarded author and Pastor Emeritus of Grace Chapel; Lexington, MA

Marva Dawn: award-winning author, teacher, and instructor at Regent College; Vancouver, BC

Lauren Winner, author of the acclaimed Mudhouse Sabbath and teacher at Duke Divinity School; Durham, NC

These speakers, along with many others and a great lineup of musicians and artists, offer the promise of a fantastic summer at Laity Lodge. Don't miss out. Check our schedule now.

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Daily Reflections at
The High Calling.org

Mark Roberts is writing the Daily Reflection for The High Calling of Our Daily Work.org, a website of the Foundation that features the radio spots of Howard Butt and lots of other encouragments for daily Christian living. You can find the Daily Reflection on the main page of The High Calling.org, or sign up to receive it in your email inbox each day.

Sharing Laity Lodge

If you'd like to keep up with some of what's happening at Laity Lodge, check out the series on Mark Roberts' website: Sharing Laity Lodge.

The Laity Lodge Team . . .

Tim Blanks
Director of

Ann Jack

Steven Purcell

Mark Roberts
Senior Director
and Scholar-in-Residence

Liz Short
Administrative Coordinator

 P. O. Box 290670, Kerrville, TX 78029-0670                   Phone: 830-792-1230                      Fax: 830-792-1237