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Writer, Retreat Leader, Resource Creator
A lot of blogs out there have Top Ten Tuesday posts, or Ten on Tuesday posts. I’ve been meaning to post more regularly here besides my weekly worship resources, so this week I will start a Top Ten Tuesday post!
This weekend I will be leading a workshop at the Oklahoma Disciple’s Women “Encounter” Retreat. One of my favorite things to do over the past few years is leading retreats. I have led several retreats for young adult women–through churches, social organizations and alumni associations, but I have also led clergy retreats, church retreats and youth retreats. Here are ten things you should know about the retreats I lead:
1. The topics of my retreat stem from one central theme: “Co-Creating Vision With Christ.” My retreats begin with being grounded in relationship with Christ first, then together co-creating a vision with Christ, either for our individual lives, our congregational life, or our organization’s life. We are created in the image of our Creator; some of that divine ability to create is within us. Together with God, we co-create a vision for our life.
2. My most popular retreat is “Co-Creating Vision for Your Life with Christ” and was originally called “Spirituality in Life and Work.” Geared towards young adult women, most of the attendees did not attend church or religious services regularly. They came from all different faith backgrounds: Jewish, Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Pagan, Unitarian Universalist, or none at all. They came because they were searching for a deeper meaning for their life.
3. I changed the name of the retreat from “Spirituality in Life and Work” to “Co-Creating Vision…” when I moved to Oklahoma because the majority of women attending my retreats have been Christian, but I am always open to people of different faiths to attend. I share at the beginning that the language I use in my retreats is from the Christian tradition but that they are free to interpret into their own faith life as they choose and they are also free to share with the group about their faith journey.
4. This retreat became so popular because so many young women (and men) that I know find at some point in their young adult life that they question the place on the path that they are on, whether it is marriage, career, family, education–many of us make choices based on the expectations of others, rather than based on our own God-given dreams for our life. This retreat helps to remind us of the importance of a spiritual life, of reflecting back on our life’s journey, how we can learn from our previous choices and decisions and move to a place of co-creating a vision for our life, one in which we are grounded in faith and empowered in our decision-making rather than going with the flow.
5. Women who have attended my retreats since 2008 have kept in touch with me and many have found something of what they learned on the retreat has carried with them into their daily lives. Some have changed careers and others have pursued their dreams more clearly. Still others find it is a work in process, and even for me, it is a work in process to follow my God-given dreams and embrace my God-given creative gifts for my life.
6. I have led retreats for congregations on “Co-Creating Vision for Your Church with Christ.” This retreat uses many of the same tools and workshops that I use in my retreats for individuals, but is focused on creating a vision statement for a congregation that can help point the way forward. It is a great retreat for small congregations who cannot afford the costly vision-centered workshops and programs developed for church renewal; at the same time, it can compliment many of those programs for larger congregations. This retreat is a good starting point, or refresher along the way, for congregations in the process of renewal and can help re-energize people in their own faith lives as well.
7. Other retreats and workshops I have led in the past include writer’s workshops for clergy, youth retreats on “Faith and Pop Culture,” and workshops on starting up a Christian Education and Youth Group program in congregations. I have also led workshops for clergy on the worship resources I have created, and creating home-grown worship ideas for your congregation.
8. I realized as I was preparing for my workshop this weekend how excited I am to prepare the materials, pray for those attending the workshop, and have a blast getting to share with others and hear from them about their journey of faith. I lead workshops and retreats because I enjoy doing it so much!
9. I have begun to develop an online version of my retreat materials to be used in an online coaching session–still working on the details and how to deliver these materials (online forums, Skype, etc) but hope to have something ready to go by the fall!
10. If you are interested in having me as a retreat leader or workshop leader, please contact me! If you are a small church/organization, consider partnering with another church/organization to help with the costs. There are many ways we can work something out!