Saturday, January 6, 2007

Going On Retreat

For the next eight or so days, there will be no new postings on this blog because I will be on retreat. This is a specially structured "Centering Prayer" retreat for which I signed up last September. It consists of eight days of focused prayer with a group of about twenty-five people in a mountain setting, where we will also have time to take long walks in the crisp air. We will begin each day with an early service of Holy Communion to set the tone.

The main idea is that we turn our attention to God with as few distractions as possible. There is a phone at one end of the hall which we are to use only if someone we love dies. Most of our meals will be taken in silence as we eat together three times a day. We have to turn off our cell phones, and of course the internet is out of the question.

I have worked hard to carve out this time to go away. I treasure it as a rare occasion to step back and review where I have been as I look forward to the future. I want to sort out my failures from my successes and see how I can improve. I am hoping that a lot of new ideas for The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek will bubble up so I can write them down for use. But for all my plans, retreats seem to take on a life of their own and I am always surprised by what I come away with. There is something about the silence that knits up any frayed edges of my life and causes unimportant things to fall away.

I hope you will make room in your life for a retreat at least once a year. It doesn't have to be an eight-day mega-retreat, but any change of pace can be refreshing both physically and spiritually. If you go on a Centering Prayer retreat, you might find that the silence is golden.

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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