2023 is just beyond the turning of the calendar. A New Year full of hopes and potential and… unknowns. The turning of the calendar provides a context for looking back to reflect on the year we’re just closing out and looking forward as we give thought to our path for the coming year. We all have hopes and perhaps dreams for the next 12 months, but much is unknown to us and beyond our control.
We can have the certainty of knowing we are in God’s loving care, and that all our days are known to him, but with health concerns, a challenging economy, and general societal turmoil it can be easy to feel at loose ends and anxious about what lies ahead, looking back with regret and forward with fear… unless we allow our minds to slow down and we take time to draw into God’s presence. Sometimes that’s 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, a day of looking back with gratitude and forward with hope.
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)
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 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 7, 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 might want to bring a few supplies. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details and to register.