Pre-Sessions Retreat Helped Friends Center in Trust and Love

Annual Sessions

By Jane Cadwalader; photo by Frank Barch

For the second consecutive year, the Spiritual Formation Collaborative organized and facilitated a Pre-Sessions retreat to ground Friends in the Spirit before Annual Sessions. The retreat themes were Centering Ourselves, Listening in Trust and Love, and Bringing the Centered Self to Community. Valerie Brown, Sessions plenary speaker, brought her many gifts to lead us in the Centering work on Tuesday afternoon.  Four Collaborative members facilitated the other workshop themes and led us in song.

More than 30 Friends joined us and shared their deep spiritual presence with each other.  The grounding brought us together in Spirit and helped us to support the Presence in the Midst at Sessions.

The evaluations were an indication of how strongly Spirit worked in our midst. The answers were consistently “excellent” or “very good.”  All but one Friend said they were “very likely” or “likely” to come again next year.

Here is a sampling of the written responses that were voluntarily added to the questionnaire:

Blessings on you all!

The leadership was excellent, passing the baton from one to another effortlessly, punctuated with music.

I just want to say thank you.


Thank you for offering this again!

 I was aware of God’s presence. It helped me to be aware of the possibility of transformation.  I am prepared for Annual Sessions.  I am trusting in God’s leading and am conscious of love of God.

Thank you to the facilitators. This time touched my heart.

Thank you!  This is a very important part of the whole Annual Sessions event for me.  Now I feel better prepared to participate more fully in Sessions.

Thank you all for the stellar design.  It worked.

First retreat.  Excellent. Great way to prep for Sessions.

Thank you all.  Keep up the good work!!

Very carefully and prayerfully done.  Thank you to all who planned and executed the retreat.  It met a need I didn’t even know I had on a personal level, and I sense that it will meet an ever greater need for the larger body for grounding in God’s love and care as we move into our gathering at Annual Sessions.  Thank you!

The Spiritual Formation Collaborative wants to express its deep gratitude to all who joined us.  And we want to remind Friends to join us at the Spiritual Formation Fall retreat, October 11-13, 2019 at Kenbrooke Retreat Center for a further time of spiritual renewal.