Done retreating… now what?

I’m back from a refreshing weekend at Shepherd’s Spring Retreat Center outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. It was sponsored by the Alliance of Baptists, a faith community of caring, celebrating, diverse and welcoming Baptists.

I made the decision to go on this retreat because I believed in my heart of hearts I would have a lot in common with them. I drove into the retreat center knowing No One At All. I drove away with new sisters, brothers, mentors and friends. My heart is full. God is truly good.

I’m still thinking about the weekend…¬† Processing and understanding what I learned about myself. What I want to do about it. What I DON’T want to do. Where I still have such a long way to grow. But enough about that…

Through my camera lens, there was a lot to celebrate, love and appreciate in the scenery around us. Enjoy these glimpses of the Love and Creative God around us…

There were hikes near a frozen C&O Canal with the Potomac full of snow melt and rain…

2014-02-22 CnO canal 2
C&O Canal near Taylor’s Landing

We hiked into the valley to see the Spring itself… lovely in the cold and snow.

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THE spring at Shepherd’s Spring retreat center

We walked in snow and ice through woods punctuated by hoof prints and bird tracks.

2014-02-22 trail

We visited Antietam Battlefield, a sober reminder of the staggering loss of human life because of war.

2014-02-23 Antietam5
The “Bloody Lane” of Antietam Battlefield.

We visited the “Dunkard Church” – a peace-loving church on the edge of the bloodiest battlefield in American history.2014-02-23 DunkardChurch1

I could not help but wonder, what silent testimony of peace do these empty benches tell us, if we would but listen?2014-02-23 DunkardChurch2

Ending Saturday night’s time together by gathering for worship and Communion. Food for the heart.

2014-02-23 Communion2

My gift to the group was an offering of a song that reminds me, wherever I go, God has sent me to make a difference. Whatever it is that I try to do, God causes the growth.

And many years from now, long after we are gone, these trees will spread their branches out and bless the dawn…

Thanks be, THANKS BE!

One comment

  1. I remember reading Bruce Catton’s history of the Army of the Potomac a number of years ago…and putting my head down on my arms on the table and sobbing after reading the details of Antietam. Horrific.


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