Every time I hear people talking about “retreat” my mind wanders to the various scenes in Monty Python & the Holy Grail – Where King Arthur commands his Knights of the Round Table to “RUN-AWAY!”
Take a look and enjoy:
So what is retreat?
I’ll get straight to the point, retreat is not about escape, but rather the need we all have for a healthy rhythm in life. It follows the example of Jesus’ lifestyle. His life was a mix of intense engagement with life and people, but also balanced by intentional withdrawal.
On FORM – I’ve been challenged this year to think hard about how I allocate my time. Practically I have been encouraged to get a diary – not only that but to USE it to PEN in times of intentional withdrawal. We need to recognise that time is a great gift from God… and some of us may feel like we’ve got more to spare than others. But we’ve all been given the same amount and it’s our responsibility to put things in place to help us use it in an effective and Godly way.
So what are the advantages of retreating?
In the stress-filled, deadline-fuelled university lifestyle, it has never been more important that students have the space to step back, and be refreshed in body mind and spirit. A time to get perspective. Also a time to ready ourselves to engage again with the communities God has placed us in.
My experience of retreat – This has been the time of year where I got the chance to really get to know the community I was a part of. Each year I’ve come away with stronger relationships. Meeting people I just seemed to (somehow) miss at church. Which has been a tremendous encouragement, to hear and see what God has been doing across the church – It takes me out of my own little world and allows me to see into what is going on in other people.
But also it’s been a time when I’ve felt the passion and the focus really shift up a gear. It just feels like a time where through the worship and the re-telling of vision of what the Student church is all about – we are brought onto the same page. We realise once again that God can do great things and that we have a role to play in all of what is to come.
So what about this year’s retreat?
Get ready for the 17th & 18th of February 2012 at St Paul’s Hotel located in the heart of Sheffield City center.
We feel, as the student team, that God is calling us back to the city we’re placed to make a difference in. Firstly, we will gather as a community to meet and listen to God – for all sorts of things. But the goal is to see as many students as possible come together and allow God into & do stuff with our lives.
There will be time to hear teaching from someone with experience & opportunity to join in practical seminars looking at how we put discipleship into practice every day of our lives.
And finally – opportunities to go and make a difference to someone’s day/situation/life.
If you want any more details or a chance to book now. Check out: http://studentconference.posterous.com/