Our 2021 Retreat Theme: Fear Not: I Am With You Always
So many retreatants did not get to hear the popular and poignant theme for 2020 (Fear Not: I Am With You Always) that we decided to continue the same theme as last year for the first part of 2021. For those that have heard this theme, we are switching the presenters for the talks and using fresh stories to keep the presentations unique.
“I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
Trust, especially trust in God, underpins our Christian spirituality. We are encouraged to trust in God’s providence, in God’s presence in our daily lives, in God’s caring for us and those we love. Yet, that trust is constantly under assault by many dark forces around us, most notably, the force of fear.
Fear undermines and erodes our trust in God. Sadly, many people find that much of their catechesis, or instruction in their faith, is largely fear-based. Images of a jealous, vengeful and even petty God form and inform their faith. While there are legitimate fears, fears informed by our sense of prudence, many fears only seek to leave us anxious and uncertain; we become perpetually on edge for fear of a malevolent response from God.
The angel’s greeting to Mary in the Gospel of Luke, “Fear not…” is repeated over and over in the Gospels and in the writings of New Testament authors. Our 2020 Retreats will address this tension between fear and trust. We will examine the many images of God that have formed us; some of these being authentic images and others grounded in misconceptions about the Almighty. How does our image of God affect our response to God, to those we love, to those around us?
We will also address how fear, anxiety, self-reliance and despair, to name just a few, undermine and poison our trust in God’s care for us and those we love. How can invite God into our lives, our thought processes, our decision making as we seek to counteract these enemies of life of Faith? Finally, we will look ahead and ask ourselves, “How can we demonstrate and live our faith in a manner that is true to our unique gifts and shortcomings? What are some concrete steps that we can take to make our faith demonstrative and vibrant?
The four retreat conference titles are:
1. Understanding Our Image of God
2. Moving From Fear to Trust
3. Casting Our Cares Upon the Lord
4. Walking by Faith
Please join us and encourage friends to join us for our 2021 Retreats.
“Love, love, love the Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center. Feels so homey, cozy, warm and inviting – Thank you!”