Every spring, Bishop Pryse invites lay people from across the synod to a spiritual retreat. Although the agenda stays fairly consistent, every retreat is unique, changing with each year’s themes and worship experience. Bishop Pryse invites guest speakers each year who bring their expertise to the spiritual direction.
Prijna Gingrich has been the lay retreat registrar for 25 years. She remembers when everything was done by mail, and it took a committee to do it with little synod involvement.
“People often ask me which retreat has been my favourite and my answer is always “this one”, and it’s always true. I am drawn into what is happening at the moment.”
When asked why she continues to serve year after year she says simply “Someone needs to do it and I’m good at organizing.”
The retreat has grown over the years. It began as a group of about 30 people and has now more than doubled in size with many people returning year after year. Recently, more new faces have joined in bringing their gifts and talents to the group.
One of the new comers this year was Nahlah Jeorje from St. Luke’s, Kitchener. “This has been a wonderful weekend. I like everything here; the worship services, key note speaker and music. I think more people should get this experience. I’m going to come every year.”
The theme this year was How Are We to Live and the Spiritual Director was The Very Reverend Dr. Peter Wall. His presentation about how to live using hospitality, generosity and leadership was both insightful and humorous. “You told us to open our churches and our hearts to the communities that we are in, using Christ’s mission as our guiding force in the world” said Christel Mikelic when thanking Rev. Wall. “We will go back home rejuvenated, with fresh ideas and enthusiasm; It’s all about the attitude!”