Thursday, August 30, 2007

Creation, Creativity, Christianity

This week our 97th Spirit of the Seasons retreat weekend took place at the Mount. That means the spring 2008 one, May 2-3-4, will bring a glorious celebration! We don't have a formal "retreat center" but we do offer some organized retreats and, for private time, three hermitages in the nearby woods and a whole floor of 16 guest rooms.

The Spirit of the Seasons program is the jewel of our retreats: weekend creation-centered spirituality that attracts three dozen participants for each season. What do they include? I'd describe them as a mix of creation, creativity, and Christianity. The four seasons themes feature earth, air, fire, and water, but it's the creativity that has made them so enduring. The coordinator is extraordinarily gifted in group process and retreat work. It's her "gift" as we say. How she and her assistants continually come up with new ideas and new prayer experiences is a wonder...but they do, and each weekend is unique and special.

Here's one long-time retreat participant's take on his experiences: "I am a United Methodist. My life has not been the same since 1998 when God intervened to bring me to this community. My family and I choose Mt. Saint Benedict, not for the benefits we receive, which are many, but for those in the future who will need to hear the truth, be transformed, and find a place of loving respite...."