Sunday 21 September – Saturday 27 September 2014
Friday 25 September – Thursday 1 October 2015
One of the highlights in the Quaker calendar – each year, Quakers in Australia hold a 6-night residential Retreat as part of the Meeting for Learning. This is a year-long program of spiritual reflection which begins and ends with a week’s residential Retreat.
In 2014 the Retreat will focus on our individual inner journey, and in 2015 the Retreat will focus on the spiritual life of our faith community. Listening to ourselves and each other is a spiritual exercise which often leads to deep insights, transformation and discernment. Much time is devoted to deepening our listening skills, among other practices based on Friends’ long history of spiritual nurture and faith in action.
Another highlight of each Retreat is a mid-week silent day and night. Some participants feel nervous about this beforehand, and then find that extended silence in community is an enriching experience. A facilitator is always available to during the Silent Day.
Between Retreats the process goes on with a chosen Support Group from your local Meeting, willing to empathise and encourage while you choose some areas to work on – maybe personal growth or a task within your worshipping community. Sharing this journey is a rich part of the Retreats. There are many other ways of expressing our being and some of them are explored together and in personal time.
The 2014 and 2015 Retreats will be held at Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre at Ormiston near Brisbane. It’s a beautiful centre, owned by the Catholic Church, on the edge of Moreton Bay with views across to Stradbroke Island. Ormiston is about 40 minutes’ drive from Brisbane CBD or from Eagle Farm airport.
Accommodation and Cost
Each participant will have a bedroom with ensuite bathroom for the 6 nights. All accommodation, meals and a Resource Book are included in the price, which has been about $720 in the last few years. There may be financial assistance by applying through your Regional Meeting or the AYM Thanksgiving Fund. Facilitators give their time and support through the year as well
After lunch on Thursday 25 September, ending after lunch on Wednesday 1 October.
The Retreat is limited to 12 participants, plus two or three facilitators. The lead facilitator is Fiona Gardner of Victoria Regional Meeting. Other facilitators in the past three years have been Jenny Spinks of Canberra, Catherine Heywood of Victoria, and Sue Wilson of Queensland.
How to apply – for this or a future year?
The Retreat is open to members, attenders and others in sympathy with the Quaker way.
If you think this Retreat might be for you, please take these two steps:
- Talk to a previous retreatant in your local Meeting, to ask all your questions and to hear their experience and descriptions.
- Contact a facilitator for more information.