Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reflections on a Retreat One Week Later

A week ago, I was still at the women's retreat at Luther Springs.  We gathered to talk about our addiction to hurry. 

Much of the program time was a bit closer to therapy sessions than I would have wanted.  Plus, I've done a lot of it before:  creating a personal timeline to see the permutations of the problem, writing a letter to my younger self, those sorts of things.   As I've said before, I'm in touch with my issues, how I hurry, how I worry, how I let those emotions wreak havoc.  I'd have liked more focus on how to keep that from happening, something a bit deeper than "Just pray more."

I did love the pastor/leader's channeling of God's voice, the Holy Spirit saying "You don't have to fix everything."  I'll try to remember that when I get bogged down in my frustration at not being able to make things right.

I was looking at my notes from the retreat, and I want to post some ideas here.  I was most taken with the pastor/leader's admonition to be on the lookout for those who need us, those "who know not their worth."  She encouraged us to connect with those people.

She also reminded us that we can't afford to go through life in an angry mood.  There are too many people out there who need our stability, and our anger destabilizes us.

Her church begins many a service by asking people where they've seen God this week.  Our closing worship did the same thing by asking people where we've seen God at the retreat.  In some ways, it was intriguing.  In some ways it was predictable.

Our closing worship consisted of 40 minutes of sharing and then the Eucharist.  I missed the other parts of the liturgy.

If I was in charge of the service, I wouldn't have unlimited sharing.  I'd limit it to five or so.  And of course, the danger is that the same five people would monopolize the service week after week.

I realize that I shouldn't see it that way.  But I do.

My artist self wonders if there would be a different way to do that sharing.  A bulletin board, perhaps.  A monthly art project, collaging or weaving maybe.

I also wonder why I'm resistant to 40 minutes of sharing. 

So, I did learn a lot at the retreat, but not what I expected to learn.  As I've said before, the main benefit to me was in spending time with the women of my church and with women from across Florida.  It was good to get away, but a different sort of getting away than most retreats.  I haven't spent the last week yearning to be back in north-central Florida--that landscape doesn't tug at me.

But overall, it was a good experience, as retreats almost always are. 

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