In late September I had the honor and privilege to lead a small intimate soul care retreat at Lake Junaluska. Lake Junaluska was the perfect location to host a safe and socially distanced retreat. As I was driving over the one-way bridge early in the morning the fog was gently hoovering over the lake and the geese, swans, and ducks were making their morning rounds. I instantly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit blanketing the lake with a gentle and sweet presence. If you have ever been to the lake you may be familiar with a stillness and silence even amongst the fishermen, children, and families exploring the grounds. It is as if there is an energy of peace and it effortlessly quiets the adventurer’s activities.
This year I felt led to create four contemplative experiences that would co-exist with the offerings of the property on the Lake. Fortunately, there are several nooks and carrnies at the lake where one can meditate and journal; there is also a labyrinth and a trail that wraps around the entire lake. The focus of the retreat was to slow down, experience mindfulness, and reflect on Scriptures and the writings of Henri Nouwen. I was overwhelmed with a sense of desire to experience God’s active and alive energy while being surrounded in His beautiful creation. Wisdom about seeing God’s truths in people’s faces, sounds in the water, and the pure peace and quietness were just a few responses to the activities. Thankfully, for a moment in time everything felt safe, right, and at peace. By the grace of God, shame and guilt did not rob the experience and permission to enjoy and retreat met each participant.
If you are a church leader or individual curious about how to experience soul care in WNC and would like to host a retreat with a small group of people, please contact me to learn more about the content of this retreat. I would be honored to host a soul care experience again to a small group of people who identify as Christ followers.
Blessings and Peace in Christ,