Gracebridge Alliance accompanies those in ministry through practices that provide a healthier work / rest paradigm for living. Central to a healthier model is the practice of retreating in solitude.
A hazard for many of us in ministry is when our retreating looks a lot like our working: we study, we plan, we create, we intercede for others, we organize, but we don’t always rest. We long for still more…we long for God’s intimate presence to restore, replenish and refresh.
What kind of retreat?
- A day retreat (6- 8 hours – no overnight, 0,1,2 or 3 meals)
- An overnight retreat (20 hours w/or w/o meals)
- A 2 or 3 day retreat (36 – 48 hours w/ meals)
- A retreat longer than 3 days can be arranged
What our retreat planning includes:
- Making arrangements with a retreat facility nearby for you
- Providing individual rooms for each leader to enter times of solitude and reflection
- Introducing and orienting you to a model of retreating and resting in solitude
- Meals (by retreat facility)
- Debriefing your time on retreat to collect and gather what is important from the retreat
- Exploration into next steps for you
What is done on a typical retreat facilitated by Gracebridge Alliance?
While no two retreats are exactly the same our retreats extend three invitations to participants:
1st Invitation: “Saying something true to God”
2nd invitation: “Exploring the place of rest, Sabbath and solitude”
3rd Invitation: “Understanding and exploring the deeper movements within solitude”
A Retreat of Lament: A specialized guided retreat for loss and grief
Ken Cope a Christian counselor, author and pastor writes about the need for lament and crying out in the book “Sacred Sorrow”
“We live in a fallen world, full of disappointment and loss, and we often feel empty and unfulfilled and incredibly alone.…… However, if we really want to encounter God and grow in our relationship with Him, then our attitude toward grief must change from viewing it as an uncomfortable and unwanted visitor to seeing it as a dear and faithful companion that is an integral part of our daily journey with God.”
Gracebridge Alliance is committed to providing a safe and sacred space for those in ministry to cry out and grieve. We offer retreats of lament to individuals or groups. Here is a general outline of what a Retreat of Lament might look like:
- Pretreat: work of naming the loss to be grieved.
· Using pictures/images/metaphors to name loss.
· Clarifying loss that is to be grieved/lamented.
· Writing the lament. This includes times of silence and solitude to pay attention to how God may be speaking to you individually and as a group.
· Sharing our laments with each other.
· Worship and Thanksgiving.
3. Follow- up and additional accompanying.
Retreats typically last 24-48 hours
For more information on a guided retreat of Solitude or a Guided Retreat of Lament contact Gracebridge Alliance