Sunday, June 29, 2008

Retreat in Daily Living at St John’s

- Ailsa Tudhope -

During the first week of June, St John’s congregation were hosts to Mary Przybojewski and Lindsay Wakeford, prayer companions from the Centre for Christian Spirituality in Cape Town.

The Centre was established in 1987 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as an ecumenical organisation which seeks to facilitate spiritual growth through contemplative prayer, meditation and spiritual direction. By assisting groups and individuals to risk the journey inwards the Centre strives to contribute to the healing and wholeness of our society.

On Sunday 1st June Mary and Lindsay were delighted to meet the Albert College children, who conducted the Morning Prayer service: singing, playing the piano for the hymns, reading from the Bible and leading the prayers.

Instead of an address we enjoyed their environmental awareness play, which they performed at both Hoërskool Zwartberg and Prince Albert Primêr during that week. One of the hymns they had chosen was “Jesus loves me, this I know”, which was an ideal introduction to the theme of our Retreat.
Eight people from Anglican, NGK and Roman Catholic traditions came together that afternoon to discover where their week of Retreat in Daily Living might lead them.

If we study the Gospel stories we often see Jesus calling His Disciples to come aside with Him, or He would send them out in the boat to be away from the crowd. They would spend time alone with Him, where they would learn from and be nurtured by Him and so be equipped to serve. This is essentially what the Retreat in Daily Living was about - a drawing aside from being busy to fully appreciate how Jesus loves us.

Each participant committed themselves to 30 minutes of silent prayer each day and a further 30 – 45 minutes with their prayer companion, which provided an opportunity to discuss their personal prayer life, their journeys of faith and to be directed towards Scripture passages which could enrich their experience of living with Jesus.

The Mission School Hall at St John’s became a tea room and art centre for the week, with participants spending time together, or on their own, enjoying calming music, a cup of tea and having fun with pastels, crayons and clay, as each allowed their inner child to blossom.

The experience of having a personal, gentle companion with whom to discuss one’s prayer life was deeply rewarding for all who took part. Each participant experienced their own retreat, custom-made by God and grew in their intimacy with Him.

The closing session on Saturday gave us an opportunity to share some of the lessons we had learnt and to thank Mary and Lindsay for accompanying us on this short interlude in our ongoing journeys with Jesus. We look forward to their return early in 2009 and hope that other people will join us for what proved to be a deeply enriching spiritual experience.

If anyone would like information about the Centre for Christian Spirituality they can contact Andrew and Ailsa Tudhope on 023 5411 211 or visit the website at

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