Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
This past week I took three days to go on retreat with my closest seminary classmates. This year we gathered on Lake Martin near Alexander City, Alabama. Our group has gathered every year since seminary to break away from the rigors and hectic schedules of our lives and to listen, support, and share Christ's love with one another.
Retreats are a modern answer to modern living. Going on a retreat means taking time away from your ordinary life and situation. It is a special time to give yourself some peace and calm. You might be stepping away from a hectic lifestyle full of being too busy. You may be taking a break away from the responsibilities of children or caring for someone. You may be escaping from a bad emotional situation. You may just want some quiet and to be left alone for a day or two. You may just want some tranquility in which to consider where you are in life.
A retreat lets our feelings open out and gives us access to both the light and dark corners of our deep feelings. It can bring understanding of where we are in relationships too. All the great spiritual traditions are about discovering ourselves in ways that help us to grow in happiness and love. For many people a retreat will be an awakening to the presence of God in their lives.
Every single one of us have always needed times to withdraw temporarily from daily living in order to nourish our inner life of the spirit. Moses retreated to Mount Sinai. Jesus went into the desert. Buddhists annually make a retreat. Muslims go for a day of prayer and fasting within the mosque. The Hindu withdraws to the temple or wanders alone across the land. Native Americans journey to the spirit world. In our ordinary lives, the kitchen or the shed at the bottom of the garden may be where we go to retreat from the world.
In returning from retreat I wanted to thank the people of All Saints who annually give me days for education and retreat, we call it Continuing Education. Without this time I would be distancing myself from my God and your God. Retreat is an important part of all of our lives. If you practice retreat, share it with those who might not practice retreat yet. If you don't yet practice retreat there are a number of people at All Saints who can assist you, specifically Fr. Gary, Chris Butterworth, Julia Madden and Deacon Anita to name just a few.
Blessings & Peace,
See ya Sunday!
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