As restrictions are lifted and it seems we are coming closer to the end of this pandemic, we are excited to see people again making space in their lives for short retreats. Evy and I had a fantastic week at Barnabas recently facilitating a week of listening for God’s voice at their family camp. One of the themes we are focusing on is our spiritual identity. We keep noticing that as people hear God’s voice in one way or another, they are reminded of who they are. And as our friend Paul Young reminds us – “We experience wholeness when the way of our being expresses the truth of our being.” It was inspiring for me to see Sim and Philomena tuning into the truth of their beings on a recent retreat. We look forward to short retreats taking place at the MARK Centre and facilitating retreats elsewhere as new opportunities unfold.
We are not planning to put on a garden party this fall but look forward to one next year. THANK YOU to all those who helped us make the MARK Centre golf tournament a success! Your friendship and support is much appreciated as we get back into more activity as a ministry.
Listening for the voice that calls you the beloved
At his baptism, Jesus heard a voice speak deeply into his being – “You are my son, whom I love. With you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) Jesus then went on to speak into other’s beings with words like “daughter” and “son” as he brought healing, freedom and restoration. Henri Nouwen suggested, “Prayer is listening to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved.”
It’s our joy to facilitate short retreats as people listen for God’s voice among the many voices we hear. As a young girl, Philomena heard a voice that declared, “Your feet are too big. They look like dragon boats.” She also heard her parents joke about her “coming from a dumpster.” The words lingered throughout her life, and God only knows the impact of those words on her soul. But recently, on a retreat with her husband Sim, Philomena embraced the voice of the One who calls her beloved. What did it sound like?
It was my privilege to hear Philomena read these words from Isaiah 52 – “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news…” Sim and Philomena became quiet before their Creator for a few days. They were an inspiration to me as I watched them slow down and recall experiences of hearing God through nature, the circumstances of their lives, and Scripture and more. The peace they enjoyed was noticeable. They made a firm decision to do what they can to silence negative voices and embrace the voice of the One who calls them the beloved.
MARK Centre Executive Director