The theme for the GC Retreat 2020 is: “Behold I make all things new: a way forward focused on the Lord and a life of useful service.”
As we gather to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the sending out of the 12 disciples on June 19 1770, we have the opportunity to consider what the General Church is doing today to honor the cause that the Lord set in motion. Three main sessions will focus on three foundational things the church provides for people in an authentically New Church way.
Each main session will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each main session will include interactive presentations by multiple people within a specific theme. It might be helpful to think of a TED Talk format, with opportunities to ask questions and explore the theme with others in attendance. Each session will include worship, music, and at least two people teaming up on the presentations.
We read, “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:3). Devotion to the Lord is a mainstay for the Church. We are called to love Him, and to love our neighbors. Worship is an expression of love to the Lord; it happens in a variety of ways the world over, and it fills a deep need that we all have of connecting with our Creator. Coming together in the sphere of the Lord can lead to inspiration from the Lord to love one another as He loves us. A church also bonds us together in the ways can support each other, helping us to walk the path to heaven with the clear sense that we are never alone. Bishop Buss will team up with exemplary caregivers in our church to focus on this vital theme of loving.
Isaiah continues, “He will teach us His ways…” A beautiful way of describing New Church education is “opening the eyes of children to the Lord and the things of spiritual reality.” We know that it’s not just kids who need this, though. All of us have a life-long need to turn to the Lord’s Word for the wisdom that we cannot find anywhere else. We know we are blessed with the truths of the Lord’s Second Coming—an awesome and life-changing message from the Lord. Bishop Heinrichs will join New Church educators to explore the many ways the church supports us in ongoing learning.
Isaiah concludes, “…And we shall walk in His paths.” Everyone who spends time in the Church discovers that that faith is to be put into practice. The New Church is an active faith. All the worship, support, and learning is for the purpose of living a principled and heaven-bound life. We serve in the ways the Lord calls us to serve. We do our part—by engaging with others, by being a blessing, by volunteering, by sharing our faith, by repenting so that the Lord can make the world a better place through us. Bishop Lindrooth and a small team will provide testimonials that remind us it’s all about New Church living.