GCI congregations in Denver, CO and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (Twin Cities) recently held spiritual formation retreats facilitated by Odyssey in Christ, a GCI affiliate ministry led by Dr. Larry Hinkle. Here are reports from each retreat:
The Denver North congregation participated in a retreat (Experiencing The Trinity) led by Larry Hinkle with assistance from two Denver pastoral couples: Bill and Donna Rae Wells and Mark and Joanne McCulley. According to Mark, “The Spirit of God was evident in our midst, helping us love one another more deeply and openly, and open ourselves to the grace and healing our Lord Jesus Christ brought us.” Another participant said, “This was a whole new beginning for me in my spiritual life. I can’t wait to see what’s next!” Another spoke of a much closer personal relationship with the Triune God after learning and practicing the spiritual exercises that are part of the retreat.
Members from Twin Cities congregations met near Farmington, MN, for a retreat (A Deeper Walk) led by Larry Hinkle with assistance from Dr. Charles Fleming (GCI Caribbean Mission Developer) and his wife Carmen. Participants learned how our western world, including its theology (in large part due to the Enlightenment “age of reason”) has emphasized head knowledge and neglected matters of the heart. The retreat addressed this neglect by teaching spiritual disciplines practiced by the early church. These disciplines involve using our head knowledge to awaken our hearts to greater intuitive, creative, emotional, and imaginative awareness of the love of God for, with and in us. Neglect of either head or heart distorts and inhibits our relationship with God as well as with one another. As one of the retreat presenters noted, “Grace without truth is not grace. Truth without grace is cruel.”