This past weekend was my first ever GMC retreat, and I was nervous. I was glad there were other people who were new to church retreat, so I had people to be nervous around!
It gave me a lot of joy to be reminded this past weekend that our church knows that “church” and “retreat” can be complimentary words, that we can relax, laugh, celebrate, and be church together all at the same time. I went on a hike, I played foursquare and volleyball, Ruben and I embodied one of the beasts from Revelation, and I ate s’mores.
It is really important that we as a church take time to do these things, outside of church services and committees and Kid’s Club. One of the things I love about our church is how active all of us are in so many different activities in and outside of church. Stop and ask anyone, including our youth, about their week schedule, and you’ll get a lengthy list of events and projects.
Someone told me that if the church is the body of Christ, GMC has a whole lot of hands and feet, but so much connective tissue. Church retreat allows us to build our connective tissue, to build relationships that can hold us together in tough times.
GMC has a legacy of growing stronger in tough times. But as we continue to grow and welcome new people, we need to build relationships with each other. I know a lot of our church members hang out with each other already.
On my end, I am excited to have regular Youth Group once a month, to have a regular bi-monthly West Philly Potluck, and I am hopeful that our Young(ish) Adults group will get back on a regular meeting track (join us on after church on November 6th at Earth Bread + Brewery!). These are great opportunities for us to combine “church” and “retreat” and build relationships.
How do you show hospitality to folks in and around our church? How do you relax and celebrate? And what are your reflections on church retreat? What was your favorite moment? How can we more fully embody a whole and healthy body of Christ?