Well, I’ve decided where I’ll be going for my retreat this fall, and I am very excited. It’s a retreat centre supported by the Fetzer Institute, which is involved in the re-integration of spirituality and everyday life—of spirituality grounded in reflection and carried out in action.
The foundation runs a retreat centre, called GilChrist (http://www.fetzer.org/GilChrist.aspx?PageID=GilChrist). GilChrist consists of several “hermitages,” 1-person cottages, gathered around a meadow, with a central main gathering hall and a chapel. Group retreats gather in the main hall; individuals come and go as they please. The main hall includes a library, meditation loft and chapel. The centre also has a labyrinth and trails for walking.
It seems like a perfect place for a combination of individual, personal reflection and meditation and writing on the one hand, and some interaction with other folks and resources on the other. I love the feeling it has of the Celtic monasteries—with the “cells” out around the periphery of the settlement with the church and library in the centre. My seminary was like that, with the library and chapel facing each other across the main plaza, their glass walls reflecting each other. “…unite the two so long disjoined--knowledge and vital piety,” said Charles Wesley. And he was right. (Alumna note: the above quote is engraved on the cornerstone of the library; bonus points if you can figure out the seminary…).
So I’m beginning to plan that in earnest now—in between: plans for River City Pride, coming up in a month or so, including a candlelight vigil for HIV/AIDS, the church’s worship service, three fundraising events for the church during Pride, a parade, and the celebration itself, at which the church will have a booth; preparing for my sister’s wedding, in three weeks, at which I will co-officiate; and our continuing search for our own worship space. Oh, yes, and the usual day-to-day of pastoring—calls, sermons, letters, etc. When I need a break, I take a mini-vacation and plan a bit more of the retreat…
Anyone have stunning summer plans?