RETREAT. Merriam-Webster’s first definition describes this as the “act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous or disagreeable. Other descriptors: receding (glacier), forced withdrawal (troops) and a military flag-lowering ceremony.
Your vestry was on retreat in March and the Merriam-Webster definition that could best be applied is “a period of group withdrawal, for prayer, meditation, study or instruction”. On March 7th we held the annual vestry retreat in the Youth Building of Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross. Our two main work sessions – getting to know each other better to enable us to work cohesively and productively and identifying the big ideas in St. Matthew’s future – were bracketed by prayer. We observed the Daily Office before starting, Noonday Prayer before lunch and a Celtic Compline to close the day. Of course since it’s St. Matthew’s we had a light breakfast and hearty lunch before the afternoon session. We’ll share more as vestry members liaise with committees and groups.
Speaking of committees – for those groups you’re involved with, consider a group withdrawal for getting to know each other better, for prayer and meditation as you go about your planning, Have one of your meetings in the park or at someone’s home or even in a different room at St. Matthew’s. Spend some time in your committee considering not just the nuts and bolts, but how what you do furthers the community at St. Matthew’s. Looking around your retreat or meeting room you’ll encounter many talents and gifts – how best to use them in His service? Who might you add to strengthen your mission?
Back to the vestry retreat: thank you Mtr. Liz and Sally, vestry members and vestry spouses who allowed us this time away.
Mallard W. Benton