Holy Week Writing at Mount Hermon

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It was an amazing way to enter into Holy Week, recalling Christ’s last week here on earth as Jesus of Nazareth. I joined about 300 people – writers, agents and editors – for the Christian Writers Conference in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. Mount Hermon is a glorious site filled with both young and ancient coastal redwoods: an inspiring place for walking, writing, worshiping, and consciously being with God.

 Mount Hermon is a place already filled with good memories for me, since our family rented a cabin here several times when I was young, and one weekend a year our entire congregation would close the church building and take over these campgrounds for worship, learning and community.

 But I have cherished it differently the times I’ve come for the Christian Writers Conference, and especially this year. Yes, individual appointments with editors have given the opportunity of a lifetime, as we’ve come with our book proposals and writing ideas. But the most moving dimensions have been seeing so many people for whom the passion to write is normal, and worshiping together as Christians with this common call. The variety of theologies and church brands made no difference, as we knelt on common ground – particularly inviting Jesus Christ to enter into our spiritual Jerusalems once more.

 Holy Week can be an emotional roller coaster, between the depths of sacrifice and self-giving that Jesus gave us, and the Easter glory yet to come. It reveals the extremes of faithful human living in response to God’s incredible grace. In the face of all this, how can we strive to be anything less than stewards of God’s grace?

 Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub

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