Mel ConantMel and Nancee

Thirteen months ago I was invited to attend the Men At The Cross weekend. I was somewhat skeptical. Having been in vocational ministry most of my adult life as a youth minister and pastor, I had been on so many retreats (even lead quite a few) and I was just not up for another one.  Reluctantly, I said “yes.”  I was in for a wonderful surprise!  It was different than any other retreat I had experienced. Through the weekend’s unique format I experienced significant emotional, spiritual healing and greater awareness of ways that I show up in life.  For example, having been through theological training and many years of Christian ministry I was fully aware of the concept of being a “fallen” human being living in a “fallen” world. I understood that I was broken by my sin and the sins of others against me. But I was constantly looking for ways to not be “broken” anymore!  I wanted to be fixed!

Through my experience on that weekend and my continuing connection with men in my R group, I am learning to embrace my broken humanity. This is the meaning of the cross and why it continues to be a central piece in my life journey.  But I’ve also discovered in new ways how much I am loved by God.  There is freedom for me in both truths. I am experiencing new freedom to live out more fully who I am as man in Christ. And practically speaking it is helping me to be a better husband, father, grandfather and friend.