Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | May 7, 2024

Seniors with Grace Retreat Fun

Blog|Jennifer Davis

This year’s Senior Retreat was a huge success! We all had a great time, and we spent the three days together getting to know each other through fellowship and food. For me, this was my very first visit to the Bishop’s Ranch, and I explored the grounds with a fresh eye for everything.

At times, it felt like camping in the vineyards as we had communal dining, lodging, and games among landscapes of lush vineyards in the background. Upon arrival, we were served lunch (the first of many tasty meals that we enjoyed), and to my delight, lunch included scrumptious sugar cookies as big as my hand.

The first order of business after lunch was to get acquainted with each other. We all wore name tags and introduced ourselves. We had a group of more than twenty people, and this was a first visit for many of us. Once names were exchanged, we began our retreat discussion on “Finding Joy.”

Finding Joy sounds like such a simple concept, but for many, it’s a challenge. We explored many things that prevent us from experiencing joy (fear, anger, hurt, grudges, disappointments…, etc.). Because our group was so big, some of the more reserved folks were reluctant to speak up, so we broke out into small groups.

I found myself sharing things in the small groups from my past that I would normally be uncomfortable sharing.

When we weren’t in small groups, we enjoyed the scenery of the grounds and visited with some of the residents. One of the advantages of being on a ranch is being surrounded by animals; we had cats, goats, birds…and chickens. These ranch residents truly enhanced our experience. One chicken in particular brought immense joy one day as we were making our way to the Ranch House for prayer.

We named this lively bird, the “Prayerful Chicken” as it jumped up and bolted towards the ranch house as we were walking on the path to attend an afternoon service. In a sudden instance, this silly bird brought us so much laughter that we certainly found our JOY that day. This seemingly insignificant and hilarious incident provided us with one of the main sources of finding joy, which is laughter.

By the end of the retreat, we had made some new friends and felt connected to the ministry and each other. Our small group discussions and fellowship made a lasting impression on me, and they stayed with me long after I arrived home that Thursday evening.

I am grateful for the opportunity to meet and connect with this group of Seniors with Grace, and I look forward to our next retreat in March 2025.

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