Monday, August 23, 2010

Pastoral retreat

Today, I'll begin a three-day break from my "routine" to take a pastoral retreat.

From now until Wednesday, I'll spend a lot of time in quiet, alone. I'll read a lot, pray a lot, write a lot, and think a lot. I'll study the Bible, I'll study some books, and I'll study my own heart.

This is the second such retreat for me; I found some similar time last fall, when Abbey's surgery was cancelled the first time. I found it to be refreshing in ways that, until then, I didn't know I needed to be refreshed. I came away renewed in my vigor and excitement for my pastoral ministry at Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church, and with a heart given-over to the people of my congregation.

This time, I'm praying for the same. I'm also hopeful that I will be productive in my retreat in more concrete ways (last year's was, too). Here are a few goals for me:
  • Pray through the entire congregational roll
  • Develop outlines of sermons for the next 4-6 weeks
  • Write notes of encouragement to at least 6-8 families in our congregation
  • Plan our six-part Advent sermon series
  • Lift up the officers and their families in extended prayer
  • Write the liturgies for the next 2-3 weeks of Sunday worship
  • Journal about how God is renewing my heart
  • Finish 2-3 chapters of a book (writing)
  • Read through Acts, Genesis, and Romans
We are blessed to live near a conference center (its about 45 minutes from our house) where they have space set aside for this sort of retreat. Thus, I'll drop Jack and Molly off for school, go to the retreat center all day, then come home around 5:30-6pm each day.

If you think of it, I'd be grateful for your prayers during this retreat. God can use it powerfully, and I pray that He would.

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