Saint Patrick’s Youth Spiritual Retreat - 2019 St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Broken Arrow, OK
St. Patrick’s Youth (SPY) travelled to Colorado Springs, CO this year for our Spiritual Retreat. After our Civil Rights Pilgrimage last year, we turned our sights to prayer and reflection as we ventured out into the beautiful area of Colorado Springs. To aid our youth, gift bags were presented to each person that included items for the retreat; a journal, Daily Prayer Guide (for Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline), Who We Are (SPY’s Rule of Life), a daily schedule, pens, pencils, colored pencils, stickers, gum (okay, so some things were just for fun) and the following reflection:
Observe the changing of scenery as we drive. Look for God's fingerprints in creation as we pass through the different terrains and landscapes. Enjoy the scenery, find the moments when you're the only person enjoying a specific scene, a tree, a cliff, a prairie, a cloud and recognize that God made all of it, including that moment, for you. How does that make you feel? Be aware of your interactions with others, reflect on what is said and, sometimes more importantly, what is not. How can we build on these relationships? Be more honest, be more loving, be more vulnerable. How can you encourage or affirm others? Look for God's image in each person that you encounter this week. Did you treat that person as if they were made in God's image? What would this look like if you did? Give thanks for the people around you, the people that enabled us to take this journey, the people who donated for this trip, our buses, our chaperones. Journal about all these items as you reflect on them. Write a poem about them or draw something that you see in creation. Reflect on these things. Reflection is the beginning of wisdom. May the fingerprints of God, strung across all of creation, awaken in us a love and peace that surpasses all understanding. And may we learn to share that love and peace with each person we encounter. May our retreat bring renewal and transformation.
We drove straight through from Broken Arrow to Colorado Springs on Sunday, July 28th. We opted for the longer and more scenic route on our drive there which took us through the panhandle, into New Mexico and entering CO from the south. If you’ve ever driven to CO from Oklahoma, you know the Kansas route has very little to offer except “oh look, another wind farm.” (No offense, Jayhawks.) The beautiful drive took us about 13 hours. The youth were excited and energetic. Briley Schmeeckle lovingly prepared (getting to know) questions for the two buses to help in us in our efforts to grow closer during our travels...
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