Thursday, 28 October 2021

Lancashire District Zoom Retreat - Lectio Divia

The Lancashire District Retreat was held via Zoom on Saturday 13th February 2021. The theme was 'See I make all things new' taken from Isaiah 43 and linked to Revelation 21: 'Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth'.

I did wonder how a retreat could work on Zoom - the ability to withdraw from a busy family household, I did want to find some calm and quiet to carry out Lectio Divina (Divine reading) - that broke down into 4/5 areas:
1. Reading
2. Meditation
3. Prayer
4. Contemplation
5. Action
During the session, led by Sr Lorraine Shorten, attendees were asked to reflect on the Bible passages, sharing in fellowship and prayer with others as well as having that zone of peace to communicate with our Lord. The Bible passages were shown on PowerPoint slides to aid focus.

To have that space to feel a connection was such a worthwhile activity for me, a period to listen to the Bible and turn it over in my mind and asked how it spoke. To put it in context with our current international situation to see how the Bible is still a living word from our Lord we can use. To take a positive from the pandemic about how with God's love we can see the new things that are given to us and that are coming.

At part 5, ACTION, we were asked to use the time to be creative in our thoughts and actions. To free our minds from the daily routine and relax into something that brought us closer to making something new. Some participants picked up their craft endeavours such as needlework, knitting or crochet. Others drew or wrote what was in their hearts and minds.

Attached are two images: One from Sr Glenys Marshall and the other by Br Philip Cooper, showing their thoughts about new beginnings.


Sr Janet Cooper used the time to create the following psalm:
I am bone tired
I spend my days in a mask
struggling in and out of plastic paraphernalia in a car or on a doorstep
eroding my hands with antiseptic gel.
The symbol of my profession, my vocation is hands
hands I use to heal, to touch;
skin to skin - warmth of human to warmth of human and back again.
Diminished by the necessary interface of plastic.
Necessary to protect and to shield
both those I care for and those that I love.
Sometimes I sit and think - will this never end?
I read Your Word - Your Words
'from Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty.'
And I have hope that this wilderness-wandering-time will end as all wilderness-wanderings do.
And all things will be made new.

Many thanks to the organisers and all who took part - and if you get the opportunity to use the online community to take part in your faith, please seriously consider it. As the lyrics of the song 'Heart of Worship' list:

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You, it's all about You, Jesus.

Sr Penny Weir

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