Retreat: to pull back; withdraw; return to a place of safety or refuge
Every year, Lakeshore provides an opportunity for our community to pull back from the routines of their daily lives, to withdraw from the stress and obligations they normally face, and to return to a place of refuge, or sanctuary. Retreating provides an opportunity to slow down, to feel safe, to receive God’s love, to share in joy, and to connect with nature and others.
Every year, following Lakeshore’s retreat, I hear some version of the following:
- I’m so glad I came – this is exactly what I needed.
- I wish we could have something like this more than once a year.
- I wish more people knew about how special this experience is.
- How can we take this great experience back home with us? How can we take this great experience back to church with us?
Lakeshore’s retreat is a mixture of experiences including worship, fellowship, learning, sharing, resting and playing. There are group times to explore our theme “Walk in the Light,” taken from John 12:35. There is a whole afternoon (from lunch to dinner) reserved for free time, which can be used to rest, read, walk, talk, play, swim, or just be. There is a talent show, which celebrates the varied gifts of all ages of our community, as well as a campfire. There are also optional prayer walks, hikes through the redwoods, and games.
We are blessed this year to have the Reverend Robert Wilkins, long-time American Baptist pastor and member of Lakeshore, as our adult leader. Robert is a skilled retreat leader and minister and brings with him an energetic passion for Lakeshore, faith, and retreating in nature. As President and CEO of the YMCA of the East Bay, he is regarded as a national leader in the development of innovative youth, community development and total health programs. Back by popular demand, Johanna and Paul Wilkinson will lead the children’s track and Sandra Lee will lead the youth track.
The retreat is so important to my extended family that my half-sisters will fly in from Southern California (this will be their seventh retreat) and my nephew is coming from Wyoming (his second retreat). They feel the embrace of Lakeshore, the beauty of Redwood Glen, the insights of Bible Study and the joy of community.
For your own personal and spiritual formation, I encourage you to consider joining us for our All Church Retreat (August 7-9) at Redwood Glen.