Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Retreat in Daily Living at St John the Baptist

- Ailsa Tudhope -

Last year’s Prince Albert pilgrims were delighted to hear that Lindsay Wakeford and Mary Przybojewski would once again be able to accompany them on a Retreat in Daily Living. We had all found the experience deeply enriching during 2008. Three more ladies swelled the numbers to ten when we gathered for our opening session in the little Church Hall, the venue for the tea room and community activities during the week ahead.

The retreat focuses upon individuals and their relationship with Jesus and also encourages shared times of companionship, time to create art or simply listen to quiet music in the company of the other pilgrims.

Each day each individual spent 45 minutes with Mary or Lindsay in the beautiful little church. Lindsay created a snug meeting place in the vestry, while Mary sat in the church, with its pastel stained glass windows and the text painted around the walls: “Come unto me all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest…” Fleece blankets were the order of the day for both Mary and her companions, since the Karoo winter starts to bite in May.

Prince Albert is a remarkably peaceful place, but life tends to become very busy once you live here, so time out from set routine was much appreciated. Each day those taking part were required to draw aside from the rush of daily life, to spend a short period dedicated to quiet contemplation and prayer. Later in the day our individual sessions with our prayer companions gave us the opportunity to discuss where our prayer lives were leading, through positive experiences and even the blocks. Lindsay and Mary are most perceptive and ask just the right questions to get one thinking about the highs and lows of one’s prayer experiences.

The material they provided for daily reading and meditation was chosen to suit each pilgrim’s individual needs. Several mentioned that the retreat had come at just the right time for them, all experienced it as a blessing.

Those participating in the retreat belong to a variety of Christian denominations and are used to different traditions. Some are familiar with the idea of Christian meditation, others found this a new approach in prayer, but one which they believe will enrich their lives and their relationships with Jesus.

The closing service was followed by a shared supper, an opportunity to thank Lindsay and Mary for their generosity of spirit and care for the Prince Albert pilgrims. We have been refreshed and will continue to use the materials and encouragement provided through the months to come. The group usually meets every second month for a meditation and a shared lunch. If you are interested in joining us please telephone Renee or Dawn on 023 5411 832.

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