The Big Silence Retreat
Journey Inward . . . The Big Silence Retreat- January 15-18th
Facilitated by Revs. Jonathan Brake & Dianne Lawhorn
We are all on a spiritual journey in this life, but so much of our journey is spent outside of ourselves. How often do you get away from the distractions of this world to find a holy place within? When was the last time you just hung out with God with no expectations whatsoever? Maybe it’s time for you to journey inward at The Big Silence Retreat. Start the New Year with a different kind of experience.
Through Henri Nouwen’s guidance in The Way of the Heart, this retreat clears before us a spiritual path consisting of three stepping stones:
Solitude (learning not to be alone, but to be alone with God)
Silence (the discipline by which the inner fire of God is tended and kept alive)
Prayer (standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart).
Here’s what former participants had to say about The Big Silence:"I participated in the Big Silence the January before getting serious about my ordination and full connection paperwork. I wanted to retreat in order for God to rekindle the Holy Spirit's fire within my soul - and this experience did just that! I carry the practices of silence, solitude, and deep prayer with me each day of my ministry. Since that retreat, I was approved for full connection and ordained in June of 2016. Retreating is helpful for avoiding clergy burnout, but building a solid foundation for spiritual growth at the start is essential for long-term ministry.” Rev. Jared Stine, High Point, NC, 2015 Participant “When so much of our time is spent listening to others and studying the scriptures for sermon preparation, how refreshing it was to have time and space to listen for God in the quiet and in personal time spent with the scriptures. Use of the prayer labyrinth added a depth to my time away that I was able to bring back and share with my congregation, thanks to the labyrinth available for use through the conference Fishin' Hole.” Rev. Tammy Talbert, Lexington, NC, 2015 Participant “In a world where we are bombarded with sounds and text and demands, it is a challenge to find time to listen for God in the quiet. I found The Big Silence experience offered me a beautiful and peaceful space for opening myself to God’s presence, resting in Christ’s love, and tuning in to the Holy Spirit’s guidance for the days to come." Rev. Jenny Stewart, Boonville, NC, 2015 & 2016 Participant “The Big Silence Retreat provided the time and space for God to establish in me a rhythm for 2016. Participating in this retreat allowed God to set his pace for my life this year, posturing me to move forward from a place of quietness and settled-ness. As the year has unfolded, and the currents of ministry have tempted to exhaust and discourage me, God has continually taken my heart, mind, and spirit back to The Big Silence, allowing me to reset the pace by encompassing the chaos in silence, solitude and prayer.” Rev. Stephanie Nance, Bristow, VA, 2016 Participant “The rhythm and flow of the four days calmed my soul and allowed me to truly rest, worship, and listen for God's voice more deeply. We clergy often talk about silence but so seldom have the opportunity to actually practice it. My experience with The Big Silence made me hunger for more silence in my life, so I am now attending the School of the Spirit, which has also been a great blessing.” Rev. Alice Kunka, Greensboro, NC, 2016 Participant To find out more or to register online, please visit our webpage at: www.centenary-ws.org/?p=4860
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