GCI’s newly formed Filipino congregation in Masterton, New Zealand, recently hosted a retreat conducted by Larry Hinkle and Gracie Johnson of Odyssey in Christ (OIC). Called A Deeper Walk, the retreat introduced various spiritual formation practices that enhance a deeper personal relationship with God. The practices explored included solitude and silence, discerning God in creation, sacred reading of Scripture, spiritual journaling, creative expression in play, keeping Sabbath, meditation and various types of prayer.
The retreat included opportunities to try out these spiritual formation practices. For instance, participants were guided in spending time in silence listening to God’s voice. Another exercise was to take a walk outside to concentrate on insights from the creation and report back to the group. After a session on the way creative play can contribute to spiritual formation, the members split into teams for 30 minutes to prepare a skit to be performed in front of the whole group. The results showed amazing spontaneous creativity and talent, making for a laughter-filled evening.