A number of months ago I made the decision to build space into my busy schedule. Space to learn, reflect, and refresh my energies. Last year I had been to Drumalis Northern Ireland to participate in the ‘Five Day Community for Spiritual Formation’ and had found it so refreshing both physically and spiritually that I booked again for this year’s event at Hinsley Hall in Leeds from 13thto 18thMay.
This year’s keynote speakers were Rev’d Roger Walton, former President of Conference and Elaine Heath, Dean of Duke Divinity School. North Carolina and Eider in the United Methodist Church.
Based on the daily Benedictine rhythm, each day and night was structured into a pattern of prayer, worship, study, silent reflection and community sharing.
In this year’s theme ‘Community in a fragmented world’ we were invited each morning by Roger to reflect on our own faith practises, the links between early Christian forms of spirituality and worship, prayer and stillness underpinned by Biblical reference.
In the afternoons led by Elaine we thought about the wide range of ‘communities’ each of us belong to, from a dog walking community, waiting for children outside school community, craft communities and many more including our church communities.
We studied the effects of change, the possibilities which present themselves and the challenges set before us as we try to be ‘church’ in our communities.
It was an amazing week of fellowship, worship and silence, reflection and sharing.