The turning of the calendar provides a context for looking back in evaluation of the year just past and looking forward as we give thought to our trajectory for the coming year. The future is unknown to us, but we can have the certainty of knowing that we are in God’s loving hands, and all our days are known to him. With myriad health concerns and general societal turmoil, though, it can be easy to feel at loose ends and anxious about what lies ahead, unless we take time to draw into Gods presence and allow our minds to slow down. That’s often easier to do in the presence of others who are also seeking God’s presence, so you are invited to a day of retreat and reflection.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways…
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:1-3, 17)
While most of us would like to be mindful of God’s presence and able to discern his thoughts (at least some of them), it is often difficult to notice that which is quiet and subtle, especially when so much else clamors for our attention. God more often whispers than shouts, and leaves fingerprints for us to search out rather than neon lights flashing in our faces.
Every aspect of creation bears marks of its Creator, signs pointing to the ongoing presence, stability and love of God, who is still watching over and sustaining this world through all the turmoil of this present time. I find that sketching or writing as I observe creation can be one pathway to being present here and now, seeing God’s fingerprints in the world around us, and becoming aware of his presence. And when we become aware of God’s presence, we are drawn into prayer, either with words or in silent communion with and worship of the Master Artist and Author of our faith.
In this retreat we will open our sketchbooks or journals, eyes, and hearts to God’s presence and look with eyes of faith into the world around us to see God’s touch, as we draw apart for a few hours from our responsibilities and worries to rest in his presence.
Saturday, January 8, 2022
9:45 AM – 3:00 PM
Wappingers Falls, NY
We will alternate brief presentations with periods of silence for meditation, prayer, and sketching, followed by a time to share thoughts, observations, and sketches.
All are welcome and artistic experience isn’t necessary, but you will need a few supplies. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details and to register.