Retreats are a gift. They are a grace extended to us to provide health along the way of our pilgrimage toward Christlikeness. Retreats come in all shapes and styles, some that begin with a focus on the mind and some begin with a focus on the body. All retreats end up opening up the soul. As with all gifts of grace, a connection is made between us and God. Grace is given to hear God's voice and shared moments of intimacy with God which nurtures and sustains us. And as with all gifts of grace it only requires that we choose to engage enough to receive.
Rhythm of Grace has found a soul friend with the LaCygne Community (a ministry of YouthFront) in a desire to provide opportunities for followers of Jesus to engage in the grace of retreat.
This year we are cohosting a variety of retreats we think will allow appropriate access to God's grace for any who will choose to engage. Listed below are retreats being offered and it is my hope you will choose to receive God's grace through attending many of them. Some retreats are teaching retreats, some specialize in praxis opportunities, some are retreats of quiet and contemplation. All retreats have space for extended silence and solitude as well as optional spiritual direction. After you read through the descriptions below, click here to be directed to a sign up page that will give you additional details on each retreat.
May you choose to receive God's grace through the discipline of retreat with us.
Prayerful Planning Retreat -- March 4-6 or October 14-16
Do you ever feel overextended or overwhelmed, wondering how to deal with everything on your plate? Do you feel distracted or like something important is missing in the work you are doing? Are you working harder but falling farther behind, wondering if there is a way to catch up? Do you feel disconnected from the work you do on a daily basis, thinking these tasks do not bring me life like I know God wants to give it? We've all been in these places and there is a wisdom available to us that teaches us how to bring together our everyday responsibilities and our heart's desire for the Kingdom of God. Our retreat we are calling A Prayerful Planning Retreat is designed to help you integrate the desires of your heart with the work you do. Using the wisdom from the past and applying it to our contemporary lives, this retreat will give you time and space to hear from God and prioritize your life and calendar in a way that flows out of that calling.
Unrolling the Map; Stages of Spiritual Development -- April 8-10 or November 4-6
The spiritual journey is more than just twists and turns of coincidences and self-discipline. It is a life of learning how to follow as God leads us toward a divinely determined destination. How we get there requires guides and a map. In this retreat we are calling Unrolling the Map; Stages of Spiritual Development we will unroll the map that marks out the terrain of the stages of spiritual development which ancient guides have left to us. Looking at the various stages of spiritual development will be an opportunity for self-evaluation as well as gaining deeper awareness of the Father's heart for each of those who choose to follow His Son as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Body Prayer — April 22-24 or September 30-October 2
Prayer is a spiritual experience, but it is never separate from the engagement of the physical body. Scripture teaches us that body is the Temple in which the Holy Spirit resides (1 Cor.6:19). When we pray we use our bodies as a vehicle to engage with God. We were taught when we were young to close our eyes and bow our heads. Some were taught a way to place their hands, some to kneel, some to stand. The way we use our physical body has always been a means to place ourselves in postures to engage with the Grace of God. Our retreat, Body Prayer (also known as holy yoga) will explore some of the ancient practices of body posture as well as some of the more contemporary ones. This retreat will highlight the necessity of caring for your body, the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Alone/Together; Silent Retreats — May 6-7 or August 26-28
The language of retreat imagines falling back, usually out of a place of defeat. Often an image of regrouping in order to recharge are pictured. In today's world the entire vacation industry caters to exhausted people in retreat. But in the traditional sense retreats, the kind we offer, are not vacations of escape in order to recharge the batteries. They can provide a measure of rest for body and soul and they do often bring a sense of regrouping of the mind's frantic activities to focused attention. One type of retreat we call Alone/Together; Silent Retreats is a retreat that directs and instructs participants in the art of being still. There are practices of quiet that God has used to miraculously restore us to our proper sense of humanity. These retreats will guide you in those practices of quiet and stillness and contemplation. It does require practice and it does require practice together with others.
Right Brain Prayer — September 9-11
We often engage the left side of our brain in the ways we choose to deepen our relationship with the Divine. We pray with words, read scripture, interpret and journal. We read books about God and join groups to discuss them. Simply put, a lot of our spiritual development is focused around the verbal, rational, linear loving side of our brains. These common disciplines are necessary and essential, but engaging only half of the wonderfully complex and mysterious brain God has given us. This is your invitation to come submerge yourself in a retreat we are calling Right Brain Prayer and experience a series of gentle practices that will ignite your right-brain and expose you to your more intuitive, creative, expressive and passionate half of your being. When we learn to pray with our entire brain we are brought into deeper understanding of who God is.
Click this link to learn more about each retreat and to sign up.