Step by Step: A Retreat for leaders of Small Congregations
Much like the prayer of the Labyrinth, we believe that the faith formation of small congregations develops step by step. First, we walk inward toward the center in God, and then we return outward to build up our communities. Sometimes we walk alone, other times together. Sometimes the path feels like we are far from God on the outside edge, other times God feels quite near. This gentle pace can be misunderstood by the world as moving far too slow, and taking way too long to incorporate new ideas. But we remain confident that the lilies bloom in their season and that God maintains a watchful eye on the tiniest of sparrows. As the world tells us to go fast, get big, or go home, we will joyfully choose home every time, and put our trust in God’s plan that is constantly unfolding, but not in such a rush.
If you either serve in, work with, or hail from a small congregation of any faith tradition, and you are committed to centering in God and living fully in your community, this retreat is built just for you. So, come and join Pastor Kerra and several members from Ashland Presbyterian Church as we seek to broaden the conversation and reflect on what it means to be people of faith in today’s changing context.
In this retreat, you will be:
Introduced to praying the Labyrinth, for yourself and for your congregation.
Challenged to find your center and know your strengths in God.
Encouraged in your efforts to extend hospitality throughout your community.
Invited to share your stories of hope for your congregation.
Called to pray into one another’s stories of grief, frustration, or despair.
Connected with congregations of similar size and scope who share the same practical concerns about budget, leadership, worship styles, generational differences, and preparing for the future.
Welcomed to laugh, cry, be silent, be loud, and be yourself among friends.
This retreat intentionally does NOT have a keynote speaker because YOU are the experts of your own congregational life. In this retreat, and hopefully in the years to follow, Ashland Presbyterian Church will provide hospitality, conversation starters, and a loosely held schedule for prayer and reflection – hoping that y’all will come and make it your own!
This year, we will walk step by step from dry bones to the breath of life.
The only required reading is: Ezekiel 37:1-14.
Location: Richmond Hill Retreat Center, 2209 East Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23223
Duration: April 12, 2018 at 4 p.m. to April 13, 2018 at 4 p.m. (24 hours, Thursday – Friday)
Cost: $150, includes overnight lodging and three meals: dinner (Thurs), breakfast and lunch (Fri). Need a group rate for multiple church members to attend? Please ask. (We have reserved 32 beds.)
If you are local and prefer to attend as a day participant, the suggested donation is $75 and includes all meals.
Please note on your registration if you are staying overnight, or attending as a day participant.
Accommodations: Modest rooms are appointed with one or two single beds and a desk. Four individual hall bathrooms (shower or shower/tub combo) are located on each floor. A few handicap accessible rooms with private bathrooms are available and priority is given to those who require them. If you have someone you wish to room with, please note that on your registration. Also note any allergies or dietary needs.