CREDO Renewal Experience
Begin by setting aside at least 48 hours on your calendar and select your retreat location. You might choose a local convent or monastery where private retreats are encouraged. Since the retreat relies on online resources, be sure the retreat center has adequate Internet coverage. If there is no such center nearby, you might choose a small, quiet hotel. To create a sacred space in the room, you may want to bring along an icon, candles, fresh flowers, or other items from nature.
Pack lightly. You’ll need only a few clothes and toiletries. Additionally, you will need:
- a Bible
- a book of prayers
- a book for spiritual reading
- your personal journal
- your copy of the book Strength for the Journey
- the Core Values Exercise Booklet
- your CREDO Rule of Life from a year ago and the blank new CREDO Rule of Life pages that were mailed to you
- a pen
Because much of the retreat is online, be sure you have access to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. Resist taking other books or entertainment; you will not really need any extras to occupy yourself. You will be occupied with God. This is your special time together. Extra paraphernalia will only be a distraction. On the first day of your retreat you will be invited to share your experiences and progress with a colleague or a member of your CREDO small group. Schedule the time beforehand, so that both of you know when you will be talking.
In this CREDO Renewal Experience, you are not only taking time to review and revise your CREDO Rule of Life, you are following your desire to be alone with God and hear a new “word” from God as you continue your journey of wellness. The word retreat actually means to trace or make a path. While daily spiritual practice and treasured moments throughout the day help keep us tethered to God, this CREDO Renewal is an extended period of time to trace new and deeper patterns in your relationship with the divine. You are choosing to show your desire and longing by dedicating a time to be completely alone with God. When we show our desire, God always meets us in love. As the writer of James says, “Draw near to God, and God will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Your Renewal Experience includes short audio recordings and a few online resources. Click on the audio play button to begin each section. Your audio guide is CREDO Conference Leader and Curriculum Development Consultant The Rev. Canon Renée Miller.
As you wake to your first day of the CREDO Renewal Retreat, try to eat your breakfast with mindfulness—savoring each bite, savoring the wonder of texture and color, savoring the presence of God in your midst.
Listen: 1st Hour
Let’s begin this first morning as you did at your CREDO conference – thinking about your spiritual life.
- My relationship with God feels...
- My patterns of spiritual practice have...
- As I’ve followed my Rule of Life this year, I’ve discovered...
- I feel like God wants me to pay attention to...
Listen: 2nd Hour
Spiritual reading is a practice we often engage in when we go on a retreat. What will be different in this next hour is that we’ll be ‘contexting’ the reading within the realm of spiritual practice.
Spiritual Reading: “Reading” (p. 83) from Strength for the Journey
Today, I’ll read a verse from Scripture, a short reflection, and a prayer as a way of helping you engage in a shortened version of Eating as a Spiritual Practice.
Some practical tips to consider for Eating as a Spiritual Practice:
- Choose a medium size plate for one of your meals today
- Put one helping of various foods on it
- Before eating, notice the colors, textures, and scent of the food
- Eat slowly and after the plate is empty, read a favorite book for 20 minutes
- Note whether you are still hungry, and if you are repeat the entire process
When you feel you have had just enough, offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
O God, let the food that I eat be the reminder of your care for me. Let me take only what I need, so that I can stay in the place of thankfulness.
Listen: Afternoon Activities
The first part of this afternoon’s activities is to spend an hour or so connecting with the person you have selected.
Listen: Later Afternoon
It’s time for God’s presence to be revealed to you through nature, movement, and your body.
It is now the Vesper hour and time for prayer.
Listen: Reflecting on Vocation
Much of today you have been giving attention to the spiritual component of your life. Tonight you’ll begin reflecting on your vocation.
Reading: “Money” p. 45 in Strength for the Journey.
Explore Church Pension Group retirement planning tools.
Scripture selections for meditation:
- Matthew 6:25-34
- Malachi 3:8-10
- Philippians 4:6-23
- I Kings 17:8-16
The Power of “We”
The Real Impact of Relationships
About This Course
Is it healthier to be a loner or have a bevy of friends? The answer lies in the quality of our relationships. Find out how the connections you have to the people in your life are linked to well-being.
Approximately 10 minutesLaunch Course
Listen: Morning - 2nd Hour, Part 2
An intentional breathing meditation.
It’s time again for nourishment – physical and spiritual.
Listen: Afternoon 1st Hour
This afternoon will be your time to work with the blank copies of your Core Values booklet and CREDO Rule of Life.
Review the booklet Becoming Ourselves Again: Reclaiming Our Core Values.
Listen: Afternoon 2nd Hour
Your CREDO Rule of Life is meant to be grounded in, or at least aligned with, your Core Values.
After dinner this evening, take some time for physical “labor”—perhaps yoga stretches, a work-out, or a slow leisurely walk; all done outside if possible.
Listen: Meeting God at the Movies
Now that you’ve done a little exercise, you should be wide awake to watch a movie!
- The Way
- The Visitor
- Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
- Same Kind of Different as Me
Readings: “Movies” (p. 75) and Preparatory Prayer Process (p. 131) in Strength for the Journey.
Listen: Departure Meditation
This time away is coming to an end, and you are about to return to your everyday life.
That completes the Renewing CREDO section. Before you go, please give us your feedback. Your input will help us develop materials for you and future CREDO participants.
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