Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
- The words of Jesus found in
Matthew 11:28, NIV
Yesterday I had lunch with my good friend, Dr. George Wirth, who will be leading our Men's Retreat this weekend. George was the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta for over twenty years and now works with the Cousins Foundation.
I am so excited after talking with George about what we planned for the retreat. Our theme is "Our Search for Civility." George will be using the parables of Jesus to underscore this idea: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." Our sessions will focus on this truth as it relates to life and family, church and the city/community, and the nation and the world. We will finish up on Sunday morning with our communion worship service and George's message, "A Case for Civility." Each session will give us time to learn from George's wisdom and group discussions.
In addition to all of this, we will enjoy the mountains of north Georgia, and the fellowship of friends - both old and new. We will have time to hang out or hike the trails. We will get to view and discuss the movie, "Won't You Be My Neighbor" in which George Wirth appears. We will get to ask him what that was like and about his friendship with Fred (Mr.) Rogers. And, we will get to enjoy the excellent food served by Amicalola's Lodge. It should be a great weekend!
Retreats give us time to take a break from the normal routine of life. They are extended "sabbaths" that can provide rest for our souls. We all need to practice sabbath -- from weekly worship and fellowship, to daily prayer and reflection, to more extended sabbaths like retreats and vacations. God designed us in a way that we not only enjoy sabbaths, we need them to find renewal so we can be our best.
Please pray for those of us going on the retreat this weekend - that we may experience God's renewing presence in all that we do. My hope is that this time of spiritual nourishment will not only renew us, but bring us new ideas, insights, and energy to share with others!