We had a great one day Create in Me retreat with the women's group of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Springfield, Virginia. The compressed schedule that we created worked well. We spent the morning looking primarily at the first creation story in Genesis and talking a bit about the more well-known Adam and Eve story. And in the afternoon, we looked at God's response to his creations not behaving as he had asked. It went very well.
We had 5 drop-in stations. People could make a small flower arrangement or a bow out of paper. We had a station where people could use markers and stamps to make cards for the troops, and we had a yarn station where people could work on prayer shawls. I led a drop in station that focused on spiritual journaling and haiku. Everyone seemed engaged.
The food was wonderful. One of the women makes cinnamon rolls that are worth every dense calorie. We had sandwiches, salad, and fruit platters brought in from Wegman's for lunch. Yumm.
Our closing service was simple, yet meaningful. We sang some songs, read some Bible passages, and ended with the anointing of hands.
It went very well, which surprised me to a certain extent, because we relied on the women's group to get a lot of it organized (the food and the drop in stations) with little help from us. Before, my mom still lived in the area, so she did a lot of the organizing and set up. This time, to make the situation more interesting, one of the leaders of the women's group had to leave for a trip just weeks before the retreat when her mother died suddenly. But other women stepped up to the challenge.
In some ways, I feel it went better than it had any right to go. In other ways, I think that it's a great way to run a retreat: give everyone a chunk and trust that it will come together.
At my mom's new church, they have a week-end long retreat. I'm impressed that people can be convinced to dedicate a complete week-end. We've been thinking about ways we could lengthen our Create in Me retreat. I want to start thinking about Bible studies that I've led and how to have several of them in my files, studies that can be expanded or compressed, depending on what the group needs.
As we left the retreat and drove to my sister's house, my sister said, "You have really missed your calling. Or maybe you haven't missed it, but you sure have an additional calling."
I felt those Holy Spirit nudges throughout the week-end. As I sat at worship service with my parents yesterday, I felt this whisper that said that I can't stay in my current work situation forever. The time may be coming where I need a place that's more in sync with my values.
That whisper was before the passage from Isaiah (55:2):
"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food."
That passage has always spoken to me. It shows up when I need to hear it. I should probably paste it to my walls.
I'd love to do a collage. Or maybe I already have. Last week-end I created a collage that you can see in this post on my creativity blog.
Now is the time to come down from the mountain of my week-end retreat. But happily, soon it will be time to head to Lutheridge for the longer Create in Me retreat.
There's still time and space for you to come too! Go here for more details.
If you can't come this year, put it on your calendar for next year; it's always the week-end after Easter.
And if you'd like a shorter Create in Me retreat with a group at your church or other organization, we can bring the experience to you. Contact me for all the possibilities.
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago