On August 6-8, the staff of Mission Alive along with several families from our network of church planters traveled to the Prothro Retreat Center on Lake Texoma for our annual Church Planters Retreat. As always, it was good to renew friendships, as wells as build and strengthen new relationships.
Our theme for the weekend was Conversations: In Community, For Community. The intent was for this to be a weekend of rest and renewal for everyone involved.
The scenery that greeted us from the lovely shore of Lake Texoma certainly assisted in our goal of relaxation. It was absolutely beautiful, and many of our church planters enjoyed alone time with God while listening to the waves lap the shore and watching birds soar on the wind. There is nothing like time spent with our Lord in the midst of His glorious creation.
Our scripture for the weekend was John 20:19-22. "On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" While this scripture is certainly beautiful and powerful on its own, Tod and Gailyn led us in gleaning even more from the words of Christ as we meditated deeply and intentionally in this passage several times.
Grounded in these words of Christ we invited and recieved peace, mourned and healed from past wounds, celebrated recent joys, contemplated our calling, and basked in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was amazing how four little verses could evoke such tears and laughter and peace and frustration and confidence. And to share it all in community -- well, certainly this is part of what Christ intended for his bride, the church.
Then in typical Mission Alive fashion, we ended our time together with prayer and annointing.
But I can't end without mentioning our kids. There were eight of them therewith us, and they provided so much joy and laughter and innocence during the weekend. They helped us remember that we too should play, and were wonderful reminders that "the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16)
We are so thankful for opportunities such as these, and we already look forward to next year!