Retreat Yourself 24  – Transforming Spirit  

Retreat Yourself 24  – Transforming Spirit  

Retreat Yourself is a time for Young adults in our church to gather and share stories, to retreat and enjoy a weekend in Gerringong. It starts with a day of story telling, resourcing, and sharing from leaders and educators from Uniting Church contexts.  

Every year the Moderator of NSW and ACT sponsors this leadership and learning day. It was a privilege to have the Moderator share her story of transformation in leadership and the unlikely call on her life of a God who calls a Church to look out, to hear and see the margins and the voices of those unlikely to reveal Gods Spirit to us, and for our Church’s transformation.  

Her story of hope kicked of what was a day of sharing from the Rev. Sunny Chen of the Assembly Resourcing Unit, Dr Matt Anslow (Educator for Lay Ministry), and then the President Rev. Sharon Hollis. They imparted their stories, wisdom and their reflections on leadership in the Uniting Church and life.  

The President then spent the weekend with the young adults.

“I’m so privileged to see the Spirit at work across the Uniting Church and around the globe in people coming to faith and finding hope in Jesus Christ, communities protecting creation and working for justice,” said rev. Hollis of the time spent with the young people.  

“I long for people in the Uniting Church to transform our commitment to the covenant, guided by Spirit. I saw the Spirit at work at Retreat Yourself in young adults taking the call of Jesus seriously, engaging in scripture, learning from each other, asking questions of each other, listening deeply, praying, worshipping and creating life giving community that will nourish their faith and strengthen their leadership in the months and years ahead”. 

More young adults arrived and moved into retreat mode that evening, opening with the reading from Isaiah 40: But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  

The gathering of 65 young adults and leaders centred themselves on the waiting on the Lord, taking a break before the busyness and competing demands of life, work, study and everything else to wait on God, and ask what, or how God might be transforming them. Which areas of life and self, church and their communities might they see God stepping in, transforming and breathing new hope.  

This theme carried us through workshops, visits to the beach, stretching and walking, community time and deep conversations until the wee hours of the morning (for some).  

Through song, conversation, community, and prayer, retreaters got to know each other and enjoyed being in community together.  

Retreat Yourself is just the seed of what is a growing community of those who want to gather to be in community, to be upskilled in their ministries and discipleship, and with like-minded folk build on their practices of retreat and worship.  

The weekend launched ‘cohorts’ with young adults across the Synod and Pulse are opening up these to anyone who works in family and children ministries, any youth or young adult leaders and of course for young people across our synod who want to join in too. 

If you want to find out more about joining a cohort email for more information. 

Rev. James Aaron is the Young Adult Ministry Facilitator in the Pulse team

Additional photography provided by Michael Zewdie from Assembly Communications.


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