Venturing out on a retreat together with your group will help to forge friendships, and should provide everyone with the required space they need to relax, to unwind, and to spend the necessary time with God, both within the group and alone.
You may have your retreat at the beginning of the year in order to build community, or towards the year end in order to relax and reflect.
It’s Much About Location
Make it a priority to find someplace that’s attractive. There are plenty of Christian retreats around the country, and those include churches and monasteries. They will likely be more than happy to welcome you for a weekend or longer. Further, the price for this will be very reasonable.
A major aspect to any retreat will probably be about the opportunity to get away. And it’s a great way to see a different part of the country.
If you do choose a monastery, you could have the chance to join daily prayers and services. If in a church, they may ask you to contribute to their services.
If you’re on a tight budget, or you don’t have too much time for the retreat, you can get away for a single day. After all, even 24 hours is often enough to give people the break that they require.
Retreat in daily life
Following on from the previous point, you can opt to have a retreat from daily life which can last for as little as a single hour, or perhaps for half a day at a time.
Sometimes, this is referred to as accompanied prayer. Each individual involved in the retreat, which may be held for a single day, a week, or even over an entire month, should make a commitment to a daily prayer. You can also have individual meetings whereby a spiritual director or prayer guide formulates the backbone.
Daily life activities can be as normal, though there should be a time set aside for both prayer and reflection. Everyone involved in this type of retreat can join together at the end to share both their prior expectations and their experiences.
Try to avoid over-planning. After all, a retreat is a time for relaxation, irrespective you are the leader. Take time out to reflect. There’s no need to have every hour filled up with activity. A simplistic program of meals, free time, and prayer, will work wonders.
If the retreat is based on silence or there will be prolonged periods of silence, begin with a short talk about what silence can mean or about different prayer forms. Bring some resources along such as Bibles, poetry, materials for artwork, pens, paper.
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