This two-night overnight training retreat introduces leaders to numerous resource materials and teaches them ways to use them effectively with groups large or small as a means of drawing members closer to God and into deeper relationship with one another.
This program is (1) for spiritually grounded parish leaders—lay or ordained—including those who work with youth groups, and (2) for groups of university chaplains.
Summary of Content
This residential retreat gives participants experience that weaves together imaginative engagement with Scripture, song, creative meditation activity, and contemplative sharing in small groups. It provides them with a wide assortment of material to use in a variety of ways to deepen the spiritual life of their worshipping communities.
Some of the things participants have listed that they are particularly eager to pass on to others in the church: *What is discernment and how do we use it? *Detachment and letting go *Centering silence *Listening *The discernment listening guidelines *The “Primer” *Quiet meditation, beginning with very short sessions *Contemplative sharing in small groups *Spiritual consensus *The practice of discernment listening *Periods of time spent in silence *The difference between discerning gifts and discerning God’s call.
“Focusing my inner core gave me a new perspective.”
“I felt I got a tremendous amount of ability to get closer to God through the centering silence and sharing this experience with a group I really felt brought a strong presence of God for me.”
“The meditations were extremely valuable particularly with expressing our thoughts through the craft activities. Sharing our thoughts with others was also of great value to me.”
“I didn’t come to the program with any preconceived expectations of what I would take away from this but feel this time has definitely moved me forward in my spiritual journey.”
“At various times during this retreat I felt God’s call to me and the loving presence was always with us. It continues to be there & I want to have that sense as a continuous part of my life every part of every day.”
“Movement between large group and a small group was of greatest value to me.”
“I grew very much closer to God in the course of the retreat. I came in almost closed because I was nervous, but through the course, I was opened.”
“Each [meditation] allowed me to dig further into myself.”
“… all exercises were wonderful.”
“I think the time use was excellent; There was just enough ‘down time’ to let things move around and settle in my mind and heart.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and will want to do much more.”