For 9 of us the Fall retreat started early … Friday hiking Old Rag Mountain was an awesome way to ease into the weekend. The weather was beautiful – the company great… want to join us next year? We’re thinking of doing a hike again – perhaps somewhere a little less strenuous!
Arriving at Massanetta Springs has become wonderfully familiar … it was my sixth time, and it felt good to be back (despite suddenly remembering I’d forgotten to bring my favorite pillow). Evensong on Friday evening was quiet, reflective and continued the process of helping my breathing to slow down … and to begin to focus on listening and worshiping and waiting.
196 adults and 94 kids were checked in by 11am on Saturday and the retreat ‘proper’ was underway! Every retreat has its own flavor – and this year was no exception – Dale Kuehne certainly stirred us all up! I had so many conversations: with those who said he was the best speaker ever, to those who found what he had to say – too much/too little/ too late/ too early/ too exclusive/too inclusive… Yup – just like a family, every opinion was voiced! But what I loved most about that was the sense that it was safe. Safe to disagree or agree. Safe to debate and chat and pray and laugh and wonder… wonder where God was taking us as a community, wonder how we can be a church with an authentic voice in Arlington, wonder what Jesus would say and do, wonder where our culture is going and how we can keep informed, and wonder about how to be wise about how we speak into our context and how to model being a relational community rather than individualistic.
Most of all, I loved the hanging-about and chatting, having time to hear about what was up in people’s lives, watching the kids (and various adults) making boats, eating with new and old friends, the bonfire, the bonfire,
yup I do love the bonfire, Family Feud, praying… and having a little time to sit and stare at the fall colors, enjoying the luxury of time away from home and my computer, being in community with the family God has given us in Arlington.
One comment from the feedback forms which seemed to sum up the overall feeling:
I love Restoration. It’s not about the speaker, the place, etc – although those are important, the reason I went on the retreat is to be with the church! It’s good to plan for the other stuff, but to me those things are just a platform to bring us together.
We’ve started working on next year: wondering things like – can we fit again at Massanetta? How can we improve on this year? Who will win family feud? And so much more….
Would you like to be more involved in the planning of Fall retreat 2015? Let us know!