22 07 2011

by Edith Gallaher, Spiritual Formation Team

About a year ago I bought my childhood home. It is in a rural, unpopulated area with woods and hills surrounding it.

I took most of the year having the place remodeled. I spent hours painting, scrubbing, decision-making, supervising, and traveling from one home to the other. It was exhausting and rewarding.

I knew from the beginning I wanted the place for family gatherings and for a get-away for me. I also felt like it would be involved someway in my ministry. I wasn’t sure how.

Slowly I began to dream of using the place for small retreats and started to develop ideas of what might occur and how. It felt right until I began to talk about it to others who might help and to those who might attend.

Then I heard a huge “Stop!” in my heart. As a group, we do some good work with workshops and instruction, but that was not what this place felt like it wanted to become. It called for a different sense of connection.

Through prayer and a little experimentation I began to sense a real need for true retreat. It feels now like this place is to be used exactly that way.

It is a sanctuary for those who need rest, renewal, and time to contemplate and pray. It is a space for those who want time to reconnect to the Spirit and again feel the breath of Christ. It is a place to remember the sacredness of creation. It is a place to again hear Jesus say, “Peace be with you.”

Jesus often went away to spend time alone and pray. When we take the time to be in nature, to release our schedules and busyness, we give ourselves a better chance of sensing and hearing the Spirit speak to us.

Take the opportunity to schedule some retreat time. Intentionally choose two or three days (or more, if possible) to leave your usual surroundings. Do not take work with you. Leave your computer at home, and turn off your cell phone. Don’t take an agenda other than just to “be.” Allow yourself periods of silence and “let the Spirit breathe.”

At the end of your time, journal about your experience and thank God for the time.



One response

23 07 2011
Sharon Postma Troyer

Thank you so much, Edith, for this very personal invitation for our taking time for solitude, spiritual renewal and retreat. And thanks also to everyone who developed so nicely all the tools now available on-line for Discipleship Formation. I think the language used in these discipleship formation resources suggest a process that fits our faith tradition well. I want to wholeheartedly recommend it for broader mission center, congregational, and individual use. Finding balance between our “doing” and our “being” as a prophetic people will, like the Mary and Martha story, usher us into living our the Enduring Principles in ways that will be be amazing!

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