February 10, 2015
What do I like about the men’s retreat?
I came up with several things; here goes:
First, there are a lot of people at Plymouth and I get the impression there’s a lot to each one of them. Only, I can’t get to know them on a typical Sunday morning; it’s just hard. It helps that we have service (for now) in the round, and I can look around and see people better and that we have meals together; food helps. But a retreat weekend with a bunch of guys wearing jeans/hoodies/boots with a bit more down time really helps me get to know members of Plymouth much better. To be clear, I don’t come away having gotten to know each and every one of “da guys,” but I do get to know a few of the men much more than I ever could on Sunday morning. That’s what happens when you go walk around a lake with a few guys, golf 9-holes together or stay up until midnight playing Neil Young and Art Garfunkel songs (so far there’s been no Nirvana or Pearl Jam, but it’s just a matter of time before that music catches up with us at the retreat).
I also appreciate taking a big time out from my usual weekend routine. Disconnecting from the norm feels invigorating. I like the programs, sharing, small talk and the not-so-small talk. I want to emphasize that last item because on a typical Sunday, no matter how many years you attend church, having not-so-small talk with church pals is something that rarely, if ever, happens. At the Men’s Retreat, expect it.
Lastly, I am a fan of intergenerational worship. I love having the kids around during service just like I love rubbing shoulders with the older generation; they have the best stories to tell. At the Men’s Retreat, while kids are not invited (you have to be 21 to attend), I really appreciate having members of the older and younger generation attend. We see the world a little differently having been born in the 30’s/40’s (my mom’s generation) versus the 50’s/60’s (boomers) or the 70’s/80’s/90’s (youngsters); and mixing it up is really wonderful. There’s a lot of wisdom at the retreat, and it’s also so nice to hear from “the next generation” (they can give me tips on using my smart phone).
In a nutshell, what happens at the men’s retreat is church; church happens. –Charlie TorresSubscribe