Renewal Retreats

Renewal Retreats are usually 6-7 people in pastoral ministry settings, committing to meet and journey together for a two-year cycle. The cycle begins with a three-day retreat followed by two further, similar retreats, 12 months apart. These annual retreats are interspersed with two 24-hour mini retreats, each one roughly halfway between the annual gatherings.  Some flexibility to this cycle and the program is encouraged to ensure they are helpful for all.

The ‘cycle’ is as follows:

  1. July Year 1 – Phase 1 – three day retreat
  2. Feb Year 2 – 24 hour retreat
  3. July Year 2 – Phase 2 – three day retreat
  4. Feb Year 3 – 24 hour retreat
  5. July Year 3 – Phase 3 – three day retreat

The “philosophy” behind these retreats is “being there in the presence of God for the sake of others.”  The goal is to provide a safe place where the realities of life and ministry can be openly shared and where renewal and spiritual refreshment can be experienced.in a holistic way.

It involves a commitment for a substantial but finite period, to share our story, encourage one another in ministry, wrestle together with issues we face and encounter God though time with Him and one another.

To be involved means giving priority to all the gatherings in the whole cycle.  There is no scope for partial commitment as the process requires full participation to all aspects of the cycle.

Facilitation of the groups is by pastors who have been involved in at least one Retreat cycle.

Part of phase 3 is to affirm one another and plan for the next retreat cycle.  It is anticipated that the group will divide and multiply so that others can be invited to join in.

There are Renewal Retreat Groups for Men employed in ministry; Women employed in ministry and Pastors’ spouses (women).

Increasingly we are discovering that the traditional format does not work for all.  Various facilitators are exploring new ways of retreating together including some more active options than has traditionally occurred.  However, key elements of the retreats include:

  1. Time with God and in His word
  2. The telling and hearing of your story knowing you will be heard and respected
  3. Prayer for and encouragement of one another
  4. Time to engage in meaningful theological reflection on issues raised by being a person in ministry.

These are an ideal way to maintain and strengthen the wellbeing (spiritual, relational, emotional) of those in ministry.

For more information contact the facilitator: Rev Mark Foley (Pastoral Services Facilitator) [mfoley@sabaptist.asn.au]