It's hard to believe, but our annual Church Family Retreat will be here soon. This February 3-5 we'll have the opportunity to get away from the regular weekend routine and spend some focused time with our church "family" on the tubing hill, around the dining tables, and most importantly, growing in the Word. This is the 11th year we've had the retreat, so whether this will be your first time attending or you've come every year, it's worth a refresher as to why we have the retreat and some basics of what you can expect this year.
So, yes, why do we do this? The first goal of the retreat is really to encourage us to GROW in Christ. This year's speaker is Michael Gilchrist, and the theme for this year will be "The Greatness of God". Michael is the husband to Nicole and the father of 2 children, Isaiah 2 years old, and Claire 5 months old. He left the field of meteorology and started in full-time ministry as a youth pastor at Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in 2008. Recently, Michael has transitioned into a new role at Calvary, which is Pastor of Community Impact. The main focus of this new role is to help the people of Calvary shine the light of Christ in their communities. Michael has a heart for the Lord and a passion to see people grow closer to Him every day.
In addition to growing in Christ, the retreat is intended to help us CONNECT with others in the church family. During an ice breaker (hopefully a game, not on the skating pond), a discussion break-out group, or while enjoying a winter sport, people connect and form friendships that otherwise might not have occurred.
What can you expect at the retreat? The venue for the weekend is Singing Hills Conference Center, and the cost includes meals and lodging (read: no-frills but comfortable). Most families will lodge in their own rooms on the two wings of the chapel complex, where we'll have our meetings and hang out together during free time. The dining room is right across the parking lot, and (weather permitting) the tubing hill, playground, skating pond, and hiking/skiing trailheads are a short walk away.