Spiritual retreats have long been a tradition at the Good Samaritan Society and this year was no exception. Although an in-person gathering wasn’t possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that didn’t deter the Society’s Mission Integration team from putting together a virtual spiritual retreat.
The retreat was recently released and is a way to show staff members across the country that the team cares about them and is sending their support, love and prayers.
“I keep seeing, reading and hearing about how important it is to have connection to others,” says Bill Gran, spiritual ministries senior consultant and pastor for the Good Samaritan Society. “The retreat is a way to socially connect in a time of physical distancing.”
Gail Deckert, Mission Integration administrative assistant, says the retreat is a way for staff members to take time for themselves, which is especially important right now.
Focusing on God’s overflowing love
“The Cup of Our Lives and God’s Overflowing Love,” is the theme of the retreat, which uses scripture from John 4 and Romans 8:31-39 to remind participants of God’s great love for them.
It includes four YouTube video sessions totaling a little over an hour and 15 minutes. Each retreat session is a different length and can be watched consecutively or in portions.
“Anyone can log on and use snippets whenever it’s most convenient for them,” says Gail.
As participants watch, they’ll be asked to reflect on the resources in a variety of ways. She hopes that people will find the retreat meaningful and fun.
Staff members and those looking for inspiration can view four sessions:
- An introductory session
- A session by Gail Deckert
- A session by Rev. Bill Gran
- A session by Rev. Greg Wilcox
Gail’s session references what is in our “cups” and how God’s love is overflowing. Bill’s uses different cups to represent the various stories of our lives and the fact that wherever we are, God is with us. Greg’s uses the illustration of a cup overflowing.
The retreat provides additional resources, including questions and activities taken from Joyce Rupp's book The Cup of Our Life and the children's book Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman.
Bring a cup full of your favorite beverage, enjoy the heartfelt words and images from the children's book and reflect on everyday life, while remembering how much God loves you and how he “fills your cup.”