We will welcome the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Rigby to our church this weekend. She will be leading a workshop for our officers on Saturday morning and leading us in worship on Sunday morning. Dr. Rigby, a professor of theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has been identified as one of the top twelve theologians in the United States today. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Rigby contributes to the wider cultural conversation about theology through her column in the Dallas Morning News, the articles and books she has authored, and the numerous workshops she leads for clergy and laypeople alike.
I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Rigby at one of those workshops. She was leading a brief retreat for clergy at the Montreat Conference Center in NC. As she guided us to see how important imagination and, surprisingly, joy, were in thinking about and understanding more about God, I became more excited to figuring out a way that I could bring Dr. Rigby’s insights and presentations to our church family. I came to know Cindy, as she invited us to call her, as a down-to-earth and accessible teacher. Practicing what she was preaching, she made the workshop fun, creating an environment in which it was easy to learn and understand.
I believe we will have a similar experience as Cindy comes to be with us this weekend. On Saturday, she will be talking to our church officers and their spouses about how we live as “Christians” in a society that puts increasingly more demands on our time and energy. On Sunday morning, she will be preaching on the story of Jesus appearing to his disciples after his resurrection. She will also lead a discussion in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30 where breakfast will be served.
There is a perception in church circles that the Sunday after Easter is characterized by low attendance. There is certainly some reality behind this, but the trend need not continue this year. I hope that each of you will invite at least one other person to worship with us this Sunday. This is a unique opportunity for us, and I believe everyone will be blessed by Cindy’s message and presence.