Tag Archive | group retreats

I Look Forward to “Church” in Jail

Advent Wreath w HOPE text

Last week I participated in one of the most inspiring worship services ever at the County Jail. As usual, I was there to play the piano, and the chaplain and inmates welcomed me into their circle of sharing. Last Thursday afternoon there were 13 women inmates plus Chaplain Julia and myself sitting on wooden chairs arranged in a circle inside the chapel of the jail.

We began our worship by singing a new Advent hymn, “View the Present through the Promise.” (Same tune as “Go, My Children, with My Blessing.”) Then we went around the circle, each of us reading a verse or two from a reading in Isaiah and a reading in Luke. After the Scripture readings, the chaplain invited us to share what, if any, hope and peace we were feeling – hope and peace being the themes for the first two weeks of Advent.

This is a “congregation” that really cares about each other, and it shows. One woman said, “We were just talking about hope and peace in our cell block this morning. We were talking about the nine gifts of the Spirit. I am so thankful I am in a cell block with all these wonderful women. We all get along, and we really care about each other. I am learning so much that will help me live a better life when I get out of jail. Because of this time in jail with these caring women, I have hope, and that gives me peace.”

Another woman said she was glad to be among such loving people, and that today was her 39th birthday. I stepped back to the piano and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her. One of the inmates, an older woman (the one who knew the “nine gifts of the Spirit”) led us in singing a second verse, “May God bless you …”

Later in the worship service, when we were praying for each other – each of us praying for the person sitting on our right – the “birthday girl” prayed for the person next to her saying, “Catherine is one of the kindest women I’ve met. God, please bless her. I am so proud of her and so thankful that I know her. She is so caring, and and is so good to all of us. As proud as I am of her for being such a kind, loving person, God, I can’t imagine how proud of her You must be. Amen.” Spontaneously, all the inmates in the circle repeated an enthusiastic “Amen.”

I am always inspired when I see the love of Christ reflected in the lives of these incarcerated women. When the service was over and Mim picked me up in front of the jail, I told her “It feels like I’m back at Whispering Winds hosting retreats, and that a group of nuns just invited me to join them for their retreat time.”

Even though it was a cold day, my heart was nice and warm from all the love I felt inside the jail chapel. Hope and peace can definitely be found within these walls. “Surely, the presence of the Lord is in this place.”

Advent Candles - 2 lit - PEACE

The Life of a Farmhouse

Captain Kangaroo talking with Grandfather Clock.

Captain Kangaroo talking with Grandfather Clock.

When I was a kid, I’d occasionally watch “Captain Kangaroo” on TV. One of the characters on the show was Grandfather Clock. He was a tall, normal-looking grandfather clock, except he had a cartoon-like face and he talked. He often talked about whatever was on his mind and how he felt about it.  I thought about Grandfather Clock today because I’ve been having a conversation in my mind with our farmhouse, another supposedly inanimate object just like Grandfather Clock. The farmhouse (FH) was rather talkative and she let me know how she was feeling. FH has feelings, too. At least in my mind she does.

Painting of the farmhouse about ten years ago.

Painting of the farmhouse about ten years ago.

What prompted this conversation is that the farmhouse will be going through another transition over the next month. Whispering Winds will be going on hiatus. The farmhouse will become home to a family for the next couple years while this family is in a transition period.

I asked FH how she feels about this change. She responded, “I’m looking forward to having Mike and Nancy live here. I’ve enjoyed welcoming new people every week or so, but I’m ready for some consistency for a while.  And, Mike said he loves to do yard work. I know you and Mim try to keep up with the weeding, lawn mowing, trimming shrubs, and cutting asparagus and rhubarb, but I can tell it’s a struggle for both of you to keep up with everything. I think Mike may treat the yard more lovingly than you have been doing lately.”

“That’s probably true,” I agreed. “But won’t you miss all the warm feelings shared by the people who come here for retreats?”

“Oh, I’m sure I will, but I expect we’ll go back to welcoming guests here again before too long. I have a 122-year history of welcoming guests into my rooms. I’ve had thousands of people within my walls. Some have stayed for just a day or two. Some guests have become part of the family and have stayed for several years.”

“That’s a long history, FH. Tell me a little about it.”

Marian's grandfather, Martin Kenseth, plowing with horses.

Marian’s grandfather, Martin Kenseth, plowing with horses.

“I don’t remember my first couple decades very well. I know I was built in 1890. My memory of the first family who lived in me is pretty fuzzy. But I remember the second family well. It was your grandparents and your mom and her brothers. They came to live here in 1908. Your mom was just three weeks old when they moved in. A year later your mom was blessed with a baby brother, and then a few years later she got another baby brother. The whole family worked really hard on the farm – milking cows, taking care of chickens, and driving a team of horses to work the fields. But no one worked on Sundays, except for what really had to be done, like milking the cows. Instead, everyone went to church both in the morning and in the evening. But the afternoons were for relaxing and having fun. Throughout the summer, all the kids from church came out to the farm to play baseball on the lawn by the road. Your grandma made root beer for everyone to quench their thirst. All the kids had so much fun!”

“Yeah. I remember my mom talked about how much fun they had playing together here. Everyone really liked my grandma’s root beer, too. Another thing my mom told me about my grandma is that she was constantly rearranging the rooms in the house. My mom said that at some time or other, every room of the house was her bedroom. Is that true?”

FH laughed. “Well, she may have exaggerated a little. But your grandma did move things around a lot. That’s one way she kept me clean. When you move all the furniture out of a room, it’s easy to clean it thoroughly before moving any furniture back in.”

“When I grew up in the house, I always had the same bedroom.”

Building the new barn about 1955.

Building the new barn about 1955.

“Yes, I think your mom compensated for the disruption in her life of constantly changing rooms by never, ever, changing the rooms or rearranging any furniture within a room when she was in charge. When your grandparents retired, they moved to a small house in town, and your parents took over the farm. Your mom loved living here. Your mom and dad modernized the farm to mid-1950’s standards. They built a new barn and they made quite a few improvements to the house – like indoor plumbing, electricity, and a furnace. They added a new kitchen, too.”

“I’ve always loved living here, too. It’s out in the country, but it’s close to town. It’s just so peaceful here. That’s what most of our guests have said about our home. It’s so peaceful.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Marian. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to serve as a peaceful refuge for so many people. I think one of the reasons for the peacefulness people sense here is that God has been directly invited several times to be present within my walls. Your mom first had a house blessing sometime in the 1970’s. The pastor walked through the house, room by room, with your parents and some of their friends and invited God to be present at all times in each room throughout the whole house.”

“I remember my mom telling me about that, but I was living in Chicago at the time, so I wasn’t here for it. But Mim and I had house blessings, too, when we turned you into Country Comforts Bed & Breakfast, and when we became handicapped accessible, and when we became a retreat center, and…”

“That’s right. But you’re getting ahead of my story. After your parents died, you decided to have your brother remodel me into your dream house. What a “facelift” that was! You stretched me from a 1500 square foot century-old farmhouse into a 3000 square foot country home with plenty of space for guests. The expansion was a real shock to my system, but I’m glad you did it.”

Mim's mom (Selma), Mim and me on the front porch

Mim’s mom (Selma), Mim and me on the front porch

“I’m glad we did it, too. We completed the remodeling just in time. About half a year after we moved within your walls, Mim’s mom had a stroke. She became our first long-term guest. She lived with us almost five years.”

“Mim’s mom liked to have guests, too. Quite a few of her friends from Minnesota came to visit and they stayed in my rooms for a few days when she was living with you. That was a good warm-up for my next phase – when you named me “Country Comforts Bed & Breakfast.”

“You have gone through a lot of changes, FH.”

“You’re right about that. A lot of changes and a lot of guests! Over 2,000 guests stayed in my guest rooms over the next five years. They came from all over – from 45 states and 12 foreign countries. It was so much fun to share the peacefulness of the farm setting with so many people. Some people fell so much in love with me that they came back again and again. Some of them even chose one of my rooms as their favorite to return to a couple times a year.”

“That’s when Mim and I decided it was time to stretch you even further – we put on another 600 square foot addition so that we could more easily accommodate people in wheelchairs and with other physical limitations.”

“Yeah. You thought you were doing it for B&B guests, but God had something more in mind. After September 11, 2001, travel declined significantly. You decided to adapt all my doorways a little, put in permanent ramps, and you changed my name again – from ‘Country Comforts Bed & Breakfast’ to ‘Country Comforts Assisted Living.’ That was quite a change, too, but those years were very satisfying. I became ‘home’ to ten elderly people over the next five years, two or three at a time.”

“How did you feel in 2007, FH, when we decided to leave you and move to a new condo in the pasture? You knew we were trying to sell you. Did that hurt?”

“I was a little apprehensive, not knowing who would come along to buy me. But, with more than a hundred years of God bringing the right people through my doors, I knew whoever came next would be the right people. When no one seemed to want to buy me, I couldn’t understand why. But then it became clear. And you caught on, too. God wanted us to be together a while longer. That’s when you renamed me ‘Whispering Winds Retreat Haven.’ I became a B&B-style retreat center. That was my best identity yet. I love having people come through my doors to spend quiet time praying and listening for what God has to say to them.”

“And that brings us to the present – on the verge of another change. Are you okay with it, FH? To have just one family living with you for a couple years?”

“Like I said before, with all the house blessings we’ve had, I know that God will always be within my rooms. Whoever comes through my doors will be blessed. I’m sure that will be the case for Mike and Nancy, and for whoever comes after them, whether I return to being Whispering Winds and welcome more guests coming on retreat, or whether there is some other use for my next phase. I know that God will always be with me, and that makes every next phase a great adventure.”

“I’m glad you feel that way, FH.”

“There’s something I’ve been wondering about you, Marian. When my ‘Whispering Winds’ identity goes on hiatus next month, are you going to keep writing the Whispering Winds Blog?”

“I plan to keep writing every Monday, just as I have for the last couple years. Obviously I won’t be talking about what’s going on at Whispering Winds, but I’m sure God will prompt me to write about other things. I really enjoy the online conversation I’m having with my readers.”

“Good! I’m ready to move on to my next adventure.”

“Me, too!”

The farmhouse this fall

The farmhouse this fall

Listening for God in New Ways

Mim, June, and Marian enjoying a picnic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert at Ravinia in the summer of 1973.

In January of 1973, almost 40 years ago, a friend of mine, June Autry, called me with a job tip. That phone call was a gift from God. The job tip led me to a job that lasted only two years, but the phone call initiated a series of events that changed my life forever.

The day after I received the phone call, I drove to Chicago to interview for the job that June had called me about – editorial researcher for The World Book Encyclopedia. I was offered the job, and I stayed with June and her husband Arden for a couple days to look for an apartment and to plan my move to Chicago. One evening I went with June and Arden to a neighborhood Bible Study. That’s where I met Mim. When she heard that I was planning to move to Chicago, she invited me to stay with her until I found an apartment. Going on 40 years, and I still haven’t found my own apartment!

Why am I thinking back to something that happened so long ago? A couple reasons. First, I’m reading a very interesting book by Ann E. Aswegan, Awakening to the Song of Your Self: Revelations by Day, Dreams by Night. Aswegan is a registered nurse and an expert in dreams. The first 14 chapters of her book are about how your subconscious tries to communicate with your conscious self while you are awake. The last 14 chapters are about how your subconscious tries to communicate with you through dreams. Aswegan’s book is very helpful to me in gaining a better understanding of how God can communicate with us through premonitions and coincidences (“by day”) as well as through dreams (“by night”). Each chapter introduces a concept, provides lots of examples – often stories of her clients’ or her own experiences, and ends with several questions to help apply what you’re learning to your own experiences.

The first chapter, “Embarking on an Inner Journey: Finding the Paths That Lead Within,” included the following questions (among others): Describe the people you value and write a few lines about what each one means to you. What do you associate with each one? What feelings do they generate within you? What do they mirror about you?

That was a fun exercise! I made myself stop writing about the people I value after I’d written short paragraphs about eight of my friends and family. (I could have continued for a long time, but I wanted to get back to reading the book. I’ll continue that writing exercise later.) Number one on my list was Mim. That’s partly why I’m thinking about 39½ years ago when I met her.

The other reason is that Mim turned 65 yesterday. When we first met, she was just beginning her career as a registered nurse, working at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. Now we’re starting to talk about retirement – maybe in 5 or 10 years… We’ve lived most of our lives together.

Isn’t it amazing what June’s phone call about a job tip led to?

To quote from my favorite devotional book again, Jesus says:

I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, scriptures. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come… [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, published by Thomas Nelson, p. 216]

Whether it’s a phone call from a friend, an amazing coincidence, a dream, an odd feeling, a scripture reading, a favorite song, a goldfinch singing while perched on a purple thistle, a persistent memory – however God wants to communicate with me, I’m doing my best to listen. With Ann Aswegan’s book, along with Sarah Young’s devotional, I think my hearing is getting a little better.

One last note. Speaking of ways God talks to us, Ken Lund will be leading a retreat at Whispering Winds from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, August 18. The title of the retreat is “Formational Scripture Reading: From Information to Transformation.” Here’s a link to more information about the retreat:   http://whisperingwindsretreathaven.com/publicretreats.html. (You’ll need to scroll down the page to get to this retreat.) Please feel free to call me at 608-212-6197 with questions or to register.

Upcoming Retreat at Whispering Winds: “Wrinkles Don’t Hurt”

There’s always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it.
For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.
[Author unknown]

Guest blog post by Pastor and Spiritual Director Joan Gunderman

It is not difficult to talk and joke with friends about growing old, but how often do we have conversations with others about meaning, where we can honestly share our wisdom and peace, our fears and doubts, our faith, and the unique humor that comes from a lifetime of experience among that curious species, human beings.

Between myths about aging, and the worship of youth in our culture (not of kids themselves, but of the appearance of youth), many of us resist, and even fear, aging and, subsequently, dying.  Just look at the ads pitched our way: expensive hair dye to hide the gray because “I’m worth it!”; creams, salves, pills, diets, even surgery to make our well-earned wrinkles magically disappear; and how about the current trend of “60 is the new 40!”

Much of this seems so ironic to me.  Not just as a little girl, but even as a young adult,  I loved my grandma’s wrinkles!  She had lovely wrinkles that actually lit up her face, revealing a lifetime of smiles, warmth, and love.  I honestly didn’t look upon her countenance and think, “Wow she’s old.”  When I looked at her face, I saw love, grace, and the beauty of a life being lived well.  I don’t know exactly when or how I was taught that wrinkles were ugly betrayers of the fact that we were no longer young (as if that is bad?), but every time I head that way, I think of my grandma.

For many people the midlife years and beyond are a time of both reflection and discovery,  presenting opportunities for deep and meaningful spiritual growth.  In our retreat on Saturday we will look at the unique gifts that aging provides in terms of our spirituality — how we view ourselves, our lives, our world, and God.  I hope you’ll join me!

Saturday, May 26, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
$50 includes retreat and lunch
To register for the retreat, CALL 608.212.6197. 

Whispering Winds Retreat Haven

Summer Small Group Opportunities at Whispering Winds… Starting this month!

 

 

 

Joan Gunderman will be leading two small groups at Whispering Winds this summer. I asked her to tell us about these groups in today’s blog post.

“Great Reads”

3rd Mondays, May-October, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

The Whispering Winds front porch is a comfortable gathering space, the perfect spot to watch the sun setting over corn fields.

Are you someone who enjoys discussing a good book with others who have read it, too?   You’ll have a series of opportunities to do so, reading and discussing books with a spiritual bent, monthly from May through October at Whispering Winds.  Both fiction and non-fiction will be in the mix.  You can sign up for all of them, or for one at a time.  $10 per evening covers our modest expenses and yummy dessert (Whispering Winds style!). I will choose the first three reads, and the readers will join me in selecting the remaining three, from your suggestions.  Here are the first three:

May 21 – Imaginary Jesus, by Matt Mikalatos

Imaginary Jesus is an hilarious, fast-paced, not-quite-fictional story that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before. When Matt Mikalatos realizes that his longtime buddy in the robe and sandals isn’t the real Jesus at all, but an imaginary one, he embarks on a mission to find the real thing. On his wild ride through time, space, and Portland, Oregon, he encounters hundreds of other Imaginary Jesuses determined to stand in his way (like Legalistic Jesus, Perpetually Angry Jesus, and Magic 8 Ball Jesus). But Matt won’t stop until he finds the real Jesus—and finally gets an answer to the question that’s haunted him for years.

June 18 – Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, one of the best-loved authors of our time, shares the wisdom of a remarkable life in this best-selling spiritual classic. This is Maya Angelou talking from the heart, down to earth and real, but also inspiring. This is a book to treasured, a book about being in all ways a woman, about living well, about the power of the word, and about the power of spirituality to move and shape your life. Passionate, lively, and lyrical, Maya Angelou’s unforgettable work offers a gem of truth on every page.

July 16 – Plain and Simple: A Woman’s Journey to the Amish, by Sue Bender

“I had an obsession with the Amish. Plain and simple. Objectively it made no sense. I, who worked hard at being special, fell in love with a people who valued being ordinary.”

So begins Sue Bender’s story, the captivating and inspiring true story of a harried urban Californian moved by the beauty of a display of quilts to seek out and live with the Amish. Discovering lives shaped by unfamiliar yet comforting ideas about time, work, and community, Bender is gently coaxed to consider, “Is there another way to lead a good life?”

On nice summer evenings the small group may meet on the front porch.

Heeding a persistent inner voice, Bender searches for Amish families willing to allow her to visit and share in their daily lives. Plain and Simple vividly recounts sojourns with two Amish families, visits during which Bender enters a world without television, telephone, electric light, refrigerators, or computers; a world where clutter and hurry are replaced with inner quiet and calm ritual; a world where a sunny kitchen “glows” and “no distinction was made between the sacred and the everyday.”

Join me in a lovely and thought-provoking read.

Spiritual Formation Group

3rd Tuesday, May-October, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  (Psalm 63:1)

I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. (Psalm 143:6)

Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee. Lord, teach me to know and understand (St. Augustine, 354-430 AD)

Deepening our connection with God, deepening our connection with our own soul, getting to know who we really are as a child of God, and following our God-led path, brings the greatest joy in life. [paraphrased from Ruth Fishel, author of Time for Joy.]  It has been a point of longing from as early as the Psalms (and earlier), through the time of Jesus himself, the early church, and still today.  Worship and church work take us part of the way, but more and more people are realizing they are hungry to meet and know the gracious and loving God/Christ/Spirit dwelling within them.

Spiritual formation is a sacred journey, not a destination, and has everything to do with the richness of life — your own life, and the life of the world God loves.  It is not navel-gazing for our own sake.  It is the rich soil from which trust, humility, peace, contentment, healthy relationships, and loving as Jesus loves grow.  It is a truly amazing journey!

Or, if the mosquitoes try to join us, the Gazebo is another great meeting space.

We will meet six times, reading and discussing together the book Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, by Marjorie J. Thompson.  It’s a classic and continuing favorite.

The registration for the spiritual formation series is $50. Even if you know you’ll have to miss one (or two at the most) feel free to register anyway.  We give and receive the most when we commit ourselves to one another and to gathering together each month.

Note for both “Great Reads” and Spiritual Formation participants: I have checked Amazon.com out for all of the books listed here.  They are all available and, if you’re willing to consider “Used – Like New” or “Used – Very Good” you can get some very good deals.  (This is what I do most of the time!)

To register for the “Great Reads” small group or the Spiritual Formation Group, call 608.212.6197 or email mariankorth@gmail.com.

 

Forgiveness – Challenge & Gift

Pastor Joan Gunderman
Spiritual Director & Retreat Leader

I asked Pastor Joan Gunderman to write today’s blog post. Joan and I have been friends for 13 years, ever since she started coming to our first bed & breakfast, Country Comforts, in the late 1990’s. Joan is a Lutheran pastor, retreat leader, and spiritual director. 

Joan will be leading three retreats this summer at Whispering Winds, along with a book discussion group and a spiritual formation group. I asked her to tell us what to expect in her first retreat, “Forgiveness – Challenge & Gift.”

More information is also available on our website (http://whisperingwindsretreathaven.com/retreatsevents/publicretreats.html)

If you would like to register for this retreat, please call me (608-212-6197) or email me (MarianKorth@Gmail.com).

 

I suspect you are much like me.  Things have happened in my life which were so unjust, so painful, that even the thought of forgiving the person or people behind it seemed out of the question.  Painful memories and anger served me too well.  Somehow it felt like justice.  And how could I stomach forgiving someone who would not admit he/she had done anything wrong; who insisted it was all my fault?

Yet, I regularly proclaim to God’s people:

In the night in which Jesus was betrayed…(and abandoned, by his closest friends)…

He gave himself to them, and to all people — his body (bread), his blood (wine) —

For the forgiveness of sin…

And when he was dying a torturous death on the cross, Jesus says, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

For him, it seemed so easy (though I’m not at all sure it was).  But for you and me, forgiving may be the most difficult challenge of our life of faith.  There are so many legitimate reasons why forgiving someone who has hurt us is so hard.  Yet, Jesus calls us to do so.  But how?

I am so looking forward to the one-day retreat on Saturday, April 28, when we can begin to explore the gifts and mercies the Spirit of God offers us as we struggle with the challenge and the gift of forgiveness; as we open ourselves to God’s holy love at work in us, moving us from fear, anger, resistance — to forgiveness.

We will look with great intention at some questions which most of us ask:

  • Is forgiveness a one-time event?
  • Does forgiveness mean we forget, or condone, or dismiss what someone has done to hurt us?
  • Is forgiveness part of Christ’s command that we love our neighbor?

In the quiet and safe environment of Whispering Winds, we will explore together, in a rhythm of group time and personal time, both the difficulties and the spiritual and emotional gifts of forgiveness.  We won’t just be dealing in theory.  We will experience and practice some sacred and practical ways to begin the journey.

I am praying for this retreat, and for the people God might move to attend — maybe you.  God’s greatest love is freeing us from all that keeps us in bondage, all that keeps us from embracing the abundant life Jesus came to give.  I hope to see you Saturday, April 28.

Eight Questions

Whispering Winds Retreat Haven

Eight Questions to think about:

  1. What wrongdoing is the hardest one for me to forgive?
  2. Why is growing old so hard to do, and why is maturity so under-valued?
  3. What is “centering prayer,” and is it something I should know about and maybe even do?
  4. Do I have any “spiritual gifts” – and if so, what are they, and what should I do with them?
  5. Would I really write if I had several days away from home with all that time set aside just to write?
  6. Where is the “Christian community” for LGBT Christians, and how does “the church” fit into that?
  7. Can reading the Bible do more than simply inform me about God – can it really change me?
  8. Why in the world would I ever want to be together with people and not talk?

Why am I asking these questions? I’ve been talking with Pastor Joan Gunderman and Spiritual Director Ken Lund about possible retreat topics for Whispering Winds to offer over the next several months. Each of the retreats we  now have scheduled addresses one of the above questions.

The retreat schedule is listed below. Most of the retreats are from 9am to 4pm on Saturdays, cost $50, and include lunch. More details are posted on our website. Here’s a direct link. http://whisperingwindsretreathaven.com/retreatsevents/publicretreats.html

If you would like to receive a flyer with more information about the retreats, please email me at MarianKorth@Gmail.com. Feel free to request any number of flyers if you would like to share them with your friends or church groups. I’ll be happy to mail you as many as you can use to help us spread the word about these retreats.

In addition to the public retreats listed below, Pastor Joan will be leading a “Great Reads” Group on Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30, a book discussion group that meets once a month. Pastor Joan will also lead a Spiritual Formation Group on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30, also once a month. Information about these groups is also included on the website.

Here’s our current retreat schedule.

April 28  Forgiveness – Challenge & Gift.  Led by Joan Gunderman.  9am – 4pm.

May 26.  Wrinkles Don’t Hurt. Led by Joan Gunderman.  9am – 4pm.

June 2.  Centering Prayer – an Introductory Workshop.  Led by Ken Lund and another presenter commissioned by Contemplative Outreach International.  8:30 – 12:30.

June 16.  Spiritual Gifts.  Led by Joan Gunderman.  9am – 4pm.

July 1-8. Retreat for Writers. Hosted by Marian Korth. Flexible: from 1 to 7 days, day-time only or overnight.

July 21.  LGBT Christians and “the church.” Led by Ken Lund and Marian Korth. 9am – 4pm.

August 18.  Formational Scripture Reading: From Information to Transformation. Ken Lund. 9am – 4pm.

November 10.  Solitude Retreat. Led by Ken Lund. 9am – 4pm.

If you want to set aside more time to keep focused on the retreat topic, you are invited to  reserve a room to stay overnight the night before and/or the night after the retreat for any of the retreats. (Inquire about our special room rates during public retreats.)

So, which of the eight questions intrigues you most?

If the answer is “all of them,” great! I’ll look forward to seeing a lot of you over the next several months.

If the answer is “none of them,” let me know what questions you are thinking about. We can always make changes or additions to our retreat program – or we may be able to recommend other resources that may be helpful to you.

Bleeding Hearts

Remembering “Emma”

On an entirely different subject, we had a wonderful memorial service for “Emma” at Whispering Winds on Saturday. God gave us all an extra special remembrance of “Emma” – the redbud tree, the flowering crabs, the Korean Spice Viburnum tree, and the bleeding hearts were all in full bloom – from the palest pink to the brightest pink, and every shade in between. Pink was “Emma’s” favorite color. We couldn’t help but remember her wherever we looked on that beautiful, sunny day.