I have just returned for the Cabinet’s annual inventory retreat. At this retreat, we take stock of coming retirements, incoming seminary graduates and new licensed local pastors, those pastors and or churches considering or requesting moves, etc. As we live into the new reality of a post- Christendom age, we continue to be governed by the notion of trying to make mission field appointments. Our focus/guide remains: Our clients are: 1) God, 2) The Mission Field, 3) The congregation, and 4) The clergy – In that order! People readily agree with that focus. The implementation, however, is painful. The old “ladder” system no longer holds. This is a painful part of our exodus journey. Switching topics, I want to call attention to some recent articles in Ministry Matters (www.ministrymatters.com). F. Douglas Powe, Jr. has written a thoughtful article entitled “Revitalizing African American Congregations for the Post-Civil Rights Generation” (Posted on February 1st, 2012). It is an excerpt from his book Pouring New Wine into New Wine Skins: Revitalizing African American Congregations. Another Ministry Matters (www.ministrymatters.com) article worth reading is Church, Take Up Your Mats by Christian Piatt, Posted January 30th, 2012.