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The St Stephen Church Council invites you to join us for our one-day Congregational Retreat on Saturday, November 3, 2012. Most of us, including all Church Council Members, never go on retreat without being asked. That’s why I’m extending this personal invitation. We want you on retreat with us. Everybody is invited. You don't even have to be a member. You just need to be interested in the mission of St Stephen Lutheran Church.
Why go on a retreat? For most of us, the pace of daily life is pretty hectic. Because we’re always on the go, there isn’t much time to think about the things that are truly important in life. At our planned retreat, the peace and solitude provide a chance for us to get away – to take time to reflect, refresh, and renew. During our time together, you may even discover the inner strength to help with the many opportunities facing St Stephen. And if you need it, there is always the availability of spiritual counseling or just the sympathetic ear of someone else who has been there.
If you’re thinking, “a retreat is not for me,” think again! Retreat is for everyone. Retreat provides a place of refuge and spiritual renewal where ALL are welcome. Perhaps you think you don’t need a retreat to think about St Stephen; that there is nothing that you can add to a conversation about St Stephen. That may or may not be true. However, retreat is not only for difficult contemplation – it’s also for those times when you are feeling happy, fulfilled, and thankful for all your many blessings. What better way to deepen your spiritual connection with the God to whom you are so grateful? What better way to commit to all that St Stephen means to so many!
Maybe you’re saying, “I can’t afford to give up an entire Saturday!” We need you to trust that when you step away from your family, they really can and will manage without you for the time you spend with us. This retreat is a time for you to re-focus your energy, and come back to them refreshed. Besides, you may find that they experience blessings of their own during your time away.
Finally, I want you to know that St Stephen congregation is important to the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ, and especially to your brothers and sisters in the ELCA Southeastern Synod. St Stephen is not an island unto itself. Our Synod is strong as a result of congregations that are strong and mission minded. Bishop Gordy and his staff are providing support for our efforts. However, the leadership and decisions about what we do at St Stephen must come from us..
Please respond now and let us know that you will join us for the retreat.
St Stephen Church Council
Donald Green, President
Neville George, Vice President