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Retreat: “You Are Not Alone — Come Walk With Me”

By | Advent/Christmas | Posted on October 9, 2013

Retreat: “You Are Not Alone -- Come Walk With Me”

Description: Over the course of the retreat weekend, participants will explore where the Lord is working in their lives even when they feel the most lost or alone, and grow in understanding of how they can be more true to themselves, to others, and to God.

Get Ready

  • Prep Time: Six-eight weeks.
  • Volunteers needed: Approximately 12: Five-six people to serve on a retreat planning committee, others to lead small groups, prayers, and offer witness talks. It’s also important to have one-two priests participating in the weekend. On the planning committee, the following roles should be assigned:
    • Leader & Retreat House Liaison — Arranges and facilitates planning meetings, develops agenda, point person for retreat house logistics and requests.
    • Registration Coordinator & E-mail Checker — Maintains registration list and participant contact information, payment status, dietary restrictions, and other notes. Regularly checks the retreat e-mail account and responds to inquiries.
    • Transportation Coordinator — Arranges transportation to and from the retreat house, point person for meeting and departure.
    • Food & Supplies — Creates list of all necessary supplies for the weekend, shops and brings all items to the retreat house.
    • Scheduler/Timekeeper — Creates and updates schedule of the weekend’s events, ensures all activities stay on time and moves people along when necessary.
    • Music Coordinator — Secures all music for the weekend, including activities, background music, and music for mass. Coordinates musicians/choir.
    • Treasurer — Takes care of all budget/finances for the retreat, collects payments from young adults, spearheads fundraising.
    • Small Group Coordinator — Reaches out to all small group leaders, leads a training session to go over facilitation skills and provides all leaders with guidelines.
    • Program Designer — Arranges all necessary information, e.g., schedule, reflection questions, readings, song lyrics, prayers, Mass order, journal space, etc., into a booklet for participants.
  • Supplies: Nametags (enough for a weekend), pens, journals, art supplies, food and drinks, retreat booklets/programs, door tags, games, speakers for music, a bell for gathering, first aid kit.
  • Reserve the Space: Find a local retreat house that can accommodate your group. If there are no retreat houses in your area, look into a rectory or other space that may be available for groups. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible.
  • Ideal Group Size: 10-40 people.
  • Who is this for? All young adults.
  • Cost: General cost per person for the weekend, including food and lodging, is approximately $150, but it would be ideal if your ministry could subsidize the cost through fundraising. Set aside some funds for “scholarship” money for young adults who otherwise would be unable to attend the retreat because of financial reasons.
  • When is a good time for this? This retreat can be held at any time throughout the year.
  • Publicize the Program: Once you have set a date for the retreat, spread the word through Mass announcements, e-mail, parish bulletins, flyers, and social media. Announce the details of the retreat several weeks in advance, hand out registration forms, and set a registration deadline of two-three weeks before the weekend. Be sure to have members of the planning team on hand after Mass to answer any questions, and be diligent about responding to any online inquiries.

Prayer for Planning Team: God of love, be with us as we plan a weekend of prayer, reflection and fellowship for our young adult community, knowing that we are never alone. Let us lead with intention, compassion, and love through your grace. Amen.

Community Building: Retreats are a great way to charge your spiritual battery. In our busy lives, we hardly ever have the chance to spend a quiet weekend in prayer with a community of peers. It’s important to take a break from our daily routines to reflect, renew, and grow in faith, love, and fellowship with others. Even when we feel the most alone, we must recognize that we are part of something greater. Not only is God always with us, but our spiritual community nourishes us through prayerful support and fellowship.

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