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John McLarty at Michiana Adventist Forum April 20: A Clergyman’s Journey to Late-life Happiness

The Michiana Adventist Forum meeting takes place this Saturday, April 20, at 3:30 P.M. at the Berrien Springs Courthouse (1839 County Courthouse), 313 N. Cass St., Berrien Springs, Michigan. John McClarty will be the speaker.

He posted on his Facebook page about the event, “My title is, ‘From Reformer to Contemplative: A Clergyman’s Journey to Late-life Happiness.’

“It seems to me that a young person thinking of a career as a pastor ought to have fire in their bones and a dream of making ‘a better church and a better world.’ But at some point in our lives, it ought to become clear that the capacity of people to change is small but our capacity for affection and admiration is large. As we age, devoting more of our energy to the cultivation of our own affection and admiration for the cosmos is wise.

“There comes a time when our convictions (opinions, notions, ideas) about how society and the church should be structured become irrelevant to the actual course of the future. People young enough to be our children or grandchildren will be making the decisions. It’s smart to leave it to them.”

John McLarty was employed for 40 years as an Adventist clergyman. He began with a young zealot’s dreams of saving the world and fixing the church. He was full of theological and philosophical conviction … and angst. He devoted his life to the church, and the institution was uncommonly good to him.

Since retiring three years ago, he has turned his attention away from ecclesiastical concerns and focused on cultivating spiritual/religious practices that are compatible with his current station in life — a retired, institutionally-irrelevant old man. Along the way he has experienced unexpected happiness. In his presentation McLarty will describe his current practice and some of the insights and convictions that have followed from that practice.

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