Sunday, January 18, 2009

Getting away

(This post is a bit delayed – it should most likely have come this time last week, but by then we were out of town with Ray’s family for Grandma Nellie’s funeral.)

"Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves..." Mark 6:31 NRSV

We began last weekend on retreat at Camp Agape with the congregational council. I know that not all congregations have the tradition of an annual council retreat, but I’m convinced that all should! Of course, I’m always a fan of time away at camp (or I probably wouldn’t have remained a Girl Scout leader for over 15 years)!

This weekend away allows time for the council members to get to know each other and learn to work together. We took time for devotions and completed a spiritual gifts inventory. Several people were surprised to learn what their gifts are; realizing the variety of gifts that this group possesses together as the Body of Christ was very powerful.

In addition to a routine business meeting, we also took time to reflect on programs and events that have been part of the church’s ministry in the past and to brainstorm about a vision for the future. The result was some very basic, practical plans for necessities and some more creative plans for the future, too.

We also had some free time to explore camp, enjoy the fellowship of others, and rest. I pray that everyone serving on the council came away from the retreat as excited about the future of our ministry together as I did. And I heartily suggest this tradition to other congregations!

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