Time for a break?

Posted in Faith

Retreats offer a gift of silence in a noisy world - a break from day to day activities to spend intentional time with God. In the busyness of life, it is a real blessing to set aside a few hours, an overnight stay or even a few days of ‘Sabbath’ time to listen for God. Retreats have long been recognised as a valuable spiritual practice as a Christian faith discipline.

On behalf of the Uniting Church SA, the Uniting College for Leadership & Theology offers the gift of a retreat to the South Australian community twice a year, usually in February and September.

These overnight retreats take place at Nunyara in the Adelaide Hills, and the cost to attend is minimal. The retreats cater to those undertaking the Period of Discernment, but people from the wider Uniting Church community are also invited to attend.

“Many people like to make an annual retreat, often at the start of the year; others prefer to take one day per month to have a quiet day,” says Rev Gary Stuckey, retreat Spiritual Director and Uniting College lecturer.

“The best time to attend is when a person senses the need for retreat – perhaps they need space to slow down in the midst of a busy schedule. They may have a decision to make and would like to reflect on in a silent atmosphere. They may feel the need or desire to connect or reconnect with God more deeply. There are so many reasons a person might feel compelled to attend – and our retreats aim to help people no matter their reason.

“The benefits people will experience from a retreat really depends on why they are undertaking it. Usually people seem to find a sense of perspective or they re-centre themselves in God. They may find a sense of future direction; a sense of calm, peace and connectedness are also common experiences,” Gary concludes.

Judyth Roberts, the Intergenerational Discipleship Developer for the Ministry of Pastor and Period of Discernment, believes retreats can be useful for all people in the life of the church.

“A retreat is a way to allow some time for quiet – a getaway from the demands of work and family to allow space to refresh and revitalise,” she reflects.

“It is a way to keep our faith strong and growing. It is helps prioritise your relationship with God with the People of God.”

For more information about the spiritual retreats held at Nunyara, please contact Ann Phillips at Uniting College on 8416 8449 or email ann.phillips@flinders.edu.au

Stillpoint Spirituality Centre can also advise on retreats and other related events. For more information, please contact the Stillpoint Office on 8271 0329 (Wednesday 10am – 2pm) or email stillpoint@internode.on.net

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