What is a retreat and why might I need one?
A retreat is a chance to step aside from your everyday life, once in a while, to rest and to ‘be’ in a welcoming and peaceful place. Retreats are for absolutely anyone, at any time in their lives. You don’t have to be especially religious, or a regular churchgoer!
Retreats come in different shapes and sizes. But, whatever the location, the context or the theme, they usually offer the opportunity for an individual or a group to find some space, to reflect or to pray, and to undertake a shared experience with others, such as worship or creative activities. But it’s also perfectly possible to go on a retreat to spend some time alone, too.
It's easy to tell ourselves that it’s impossible to take time out from our busy lives to do things like this. But Jesus often withdrew from the people around him, during his public ministry, to spend time alone with God, to nurture his relationship with the Father and to return to his work restored and revitalised. And Jesus offered us all this invitation to rest in Matthew 11, translated here by Eugene Peterson in ‘The Message’:
‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’
If you’ve read this far and are feeling like a retreat might be for you, why don’t you try it out for a day on Saturday 24th June? Details below – and all are welcome.