In the Fall of 2013, several parishioners approached me with a request to resume offering a parish retreat at Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Why? To make connections away from Charlotte and our familiar space at the corner of West Seventh and North Tryon streets. For a host of reasons, after taking place for several decades, the retreat had been suspended. It was the energy and commitment of several organizers that made the request a reality, and in September of 2013, we returned to Kanuga for what has become an annual getaway.
This year, it has been impressive and humbling to observe the leadership, creativity, diligence, and energy of the Parish Retreat Design Team, a committee of Congregational Development, in preparation for September 15-17. Significant among their duties has been the offering of two-tier pricing and generous scholarships to ensure that even more parishioners might attend this connection-making opportunity.
“Unopened Gifts” is this year’s retreat theme. In addition to making new connections or maybe reconnecting, participants will gather in a unique (and cooler) setting to share and explore the things that bring joy in their lives; what gifts has God given that make days and weeks brighter; and how one’s gifts might be used to serve others. The retreat registration deadline is nigh, and organizers don’t want interested persons to miss out.
The making and deepening of connections is vital in life at St. Peter’s, and I give thanks for what will be offered at Kanuga for those who are able to attend. Before Kanuga, parish life will be loaded with other connection-making opportunities beginning on Sunday, August 27, when Christian formation classes and “Holy Chow” breakfast resume.
I look forward to making connections with and hearing from you as we share in the mission, ministry, and vision of St. Peter’s.
God’s peace and blessings as we grow in faith,
– The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector