The Gift of Retreat

Each year of our confirmation program includes a retreat.  Somewhere off site, where we truly can retreat.  We have a no cell phones, no ipods, no video games policy, no ect…, they leave it all locked in my car when they arrive.  We truly retreat.

Each retreat has a specific purpose, and thing to study, to talk about, words and thoughts to dwell in.  Each retreat has specific community building activities built into it.

This past retreat was outstanding.  The 7th graders gathered to rip apart the Apostle’s Creed.  To think about every word, every phrase.  To discuss every word and every phrase.  To question every word and every phrase.  To understand what we confess every time we gather and confess the words out loud as a body of believers.  the 8th grades immersed themselves in the Lutheran liturgy, discussing, questioning and coming to an understanding about the ways in which we worship.  Here too there was opportunity for discussion, questions, growth and understanding.  On Sunday morning, the class lead us in worship with liturgy and creativity.  Best of all, one of 8th graders gave the sermon.  He spoke about the temptation of following voices other than Christ, and how easy it was.  He did an amazing job.

One other major activity is the annual Water Fight “Remembrance of Baptism”.  For an hour, we hurl water balloons and buckets of water at each other.  Some of us come armed with water guns and special back packs to hold water.  Typically, all the adults and youth participate and make fools out of ourselves.  I couldn’t this year due to an infection on my foot and I truly missed it.  

I would truly miss any part of this retreat, even the part where I tell them to go to bed repeatedly.  I am glad we take the time to retreat.  Glad we abandon our cell phones, our ipods, our games at car.  Glad that we dive into the core practices of what we do as the church when we gather.  I’m glad we have the gift of retreat.


About Abby Triebel

Abby is a Full Time Youth Leader in Upstate NY.
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