Considerations when planning a retreat
- Retreats can be held locally, at your church or other regular meeting place, or your group may choose to go away overnight. There are benefits to both. If you choose to go away, you are likely to attract fewer but more committed people because of the expense and time involved. If your goal is to introduce people to the concept of a retreat, holding it at your church or other regular meeting place will allow "the curious" to sample a retreat, but it is more likely that they will be distracted and will "come and go" as they try to juggle other commitments.
- It is important to identify your purpose(s) in having a retreat. For example, is the primary purpose fellowship? rest? learning? deepening? healing? growing? prayer? mutual support? experiencing God?
Lynn Holden is a professional counselor and spiritual director in private practice in the Pittsburgh area. She earned her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degree from Chatham University, and has completed Pittsburgh Theological Seminary's Spiritual Formation Certificate Program and a 2-year Ministry of Spiritual Direction program through the Center for Spiritual Formation. Lynn has been married for 34 years; she and her husband are the parents of 2 young adults. She is passionate about integrating the spiritual, mental, physical, and relational dimensions of life, for herself and others.
Beloved is Where We Begin
by Jan Richrdson
If you would enter into the wilderness,
do not begin without a blessing.
Do not leave without hearing who you are: Beloved,
named by the One who has traveled this path before you.
Do not go without letting it echo in your ears,
and if you find it is hard to let it into your heart,
do not despair,
that is what this journey is for.
I cannot promise this blessing will free you
from hunger or thirst,
the scorching of sun or the fall of the night.
But I can tell you that on this path there will be help.
I can tell you that on this way there will be rest.
I can tell you that you will know
the strange graces that come to our aid only on a road such as this,
that fly to meet us bearing comfort and strength,
that come alongside us for no other cause that to lean themselves toward our ear
and with their curious insistence whisper our name: