Increasing numbers of people are discovering the benefit of taking leisurely time to be with God to listen to what he is saying. Retreats and Quiet days provide a structured setting in which to encounter God through his Word, and in the context of stillness, silence and reflection.
The Grace Retreat
Built around Paul’s classic description of the Christian life in Galatians 2:20 (it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me), this retreat aims to give participants the time and space to ponder exactly what it means that Christ wants to live his life in us and through us. Times of teaching and reflective worship are interspersed with quality time to be alone with God so that the truth of the ‘grace life’ can become personal revelation. There is opportunity to talk things through individually as well.
Deep Calls to Deep
The Psalms and Spiritual Formation
It has been said that the whole of life is to be found in the book of Psalms, and in them we encounter the complete range of emotions and the raw reality of our precarious existence. This retreat will focus on a variety of psalms that capture the different seasons of the soul and reflect the changing circumstances of our lives – times of thanksgiving and joy, of doubt and fear, of victory and deliverance, of darkness and doubt. As we engage with the songs of David, mediate on the insights of Asaph, or rejoice with the sons of Korah, the Psalms will provide a unique resource of spiritual refreshment and renewal in the midst of our own journeys.
This retreat is based on Psalm 23, a portion of Scripture with which most people are familiar, but which few have pondered in any depth. It is subtitled ‘sharing life’s journey with the God of grace’, and times of teaching open up the main themes of this wonderful Psalm and the key lessons it has for us:
Building a relationship – what it means that the Lord is my Shepherd
Learning to rest
Learning to trust
Learning to live
Again, there are times of reflective worship, personal space, and the opportunity to chat things over individually.
A Fruitful Life
Built around John 15:1-17, this retreat helps participants to understand the importance of abiding in Christ, and how practically to do this. It considers the importance of living ‘on purpose’, and the nature of the relationship between the vine, the branches and the vinedresser. The five key disciplines of abiding are then explored in detail (scripture, dependency, receiving love, intimacy and obedience) before looking at the outcomes of abiding (answered prayer, supernatural joy and a loving community.)
Behold my Servant
Based on one of the Servant Songs in Isaiah 42:1-9, this retreat looks at the portrait of Christ as the true Servant of the Lord. This then gives us a foundation for our own servanthood. We explore the passage under four headings: (1) the Servant’s identity, (2) the Servant’s calling, (3) the Servant’s character and (4) the Servant’s confidence.
This retreat is especially suitable for those involved in Christian ministry, whether at home or overseas.
Pilgrims Making Progress
Centered on Psalm 84, this retreat considers the theme of pilgrimage as a metaphor for the Christian life. We consider the journey through life, the journey of discipleship and the inner journey of transformation. Sessions include: (1) The pilgrim’s longing, (2) the pilgrim’s resources, and (3) the pilgrim’s values.
Time to Stop
Stopping has been defined as ‘pausing for a few minutes, or a few hours, or a few days, to remember who I am, why I am here, and to receive strength for the next part of the journey.’ In our increasingly busy lives this retreat provides an opportunity to stop and reflect on out lives, as well as the motivation to practice the discipline of stopping on a regular basis. Unpacking the definition of stopping, we look at (1) identity, (2) purpose and (3) resources.
Water from the Well
This retreat looks at some of the key passages in the book of Isaiah in order to help participants find spiritual refreshment. It covers such topics as Personal revival (chpt 6), Salvations’s song (chpt 12), The highway of Holiness (chpt 35), From despondency to dependency (chpt 40), Hearing the voice of God (chpt 50) and A sabbath way of living (chpt 58).
Transformed by Grace
Based on the life of Jacob, this retreat looks at the way God works in our lives through crisis and process to form his life within us. It looks as such transformations as: the unlikely chosen; the blind made to see; the rough made smooth; the strong made weak; the rascal made royal, and the barren made fruitful.
Working from a place of rest
This retreat is based on the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan woman recorded in John 4. It is centred on v6: ‘Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.’ Themes include:
Jesus on a journey
The journey we are on
Feeling tired on the journey?
Stopping to rest on the journey
Finding refreshment on the journey
Watching God at work on the journey
The Return of the Prodigal
The Younger Son – leaving home and coming home
The Elder Son – outside in the darkness and coming into the light
The Father – knowing the Father and becoming like him
Quiet Days are held regularly on a variety of topics. Devotional input and gentle worship enable participants to find their own ‘still centre’, and time for reflection enables them to have quality time with God for themselves. These days are vital for re-energising and re-focusing, and help to keep the balance in life between being and doing.
Approximate time : 10am to 3.30pm
Tony is available to offer spiritual direction on a personal basis.
Why not consider a Retreat or Quiet Days for your own mission agency, Christian organization, or church? Tony can advise about location, programme etc