Four-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation scheduled for September
Are you hurting? Are you grieving? Are you feeling isolated or alone? Are you exhausted?
"Come away with me to a quiet place, apart from the world with its frantic pace, to pray, reflect, and seek God’s grace. Come away with me.” In these opening words from the hymn “Come Away With Me,” you may hear a special invitation to attend the next Academy for Spiritual Formation September 24-29, 2023, at Camp McDowell in North Alabama.
The four-day retreat, entitled "Healing a Broken Heart," will feature The Reverends Jerry Webber and Mary Earle. Jerry will invite participants to experience how the Psalms uncover within each of us an inner resilience on our life-long journey to healing and wholeness. Mary will invite participants to join the myrrh-bearing women as we carry our broken hearts and dashed hopes to the foot of the cross, and then turn toward the hope that life will again quicken within us, our families, our communities, our church, and our world. It will be a wonderful week of healing, restoration and wholeness in and through Christ.
The North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and The Alabama-West Florida Conference are sponsoring the event. Two of our North Alabama clergy, Rev. Brian Erickson and Rev. Dr. Steve West, will be helping lead the event. “I am so excited to be a part of this upcoming Academy," said Rev. Erickson. "I am convinced there has never been a more important season for us to be tending to the care of our souls, and deepening our walk with Christ. More than ever, the church needs spiritually mature leaders, and experiences like this can help shape us into the people God is calling us to be.”
The Academy for Spiritual Formation offers an intentional, supportive community in which laity and clergy immerse themselves in the depths of Christian spiritual formation and tradition. A key to the Academy model is the balance of the head, heart and hands. Participants enter a daily rhythm of prayer offices, faculty presentations, free time, structured silence, plenary sessions, worship and covenant group sharing.
Rev. Steve West, who will be the worship leader for this Academy, is looking forward to the experience. “The Academy has changed my life and brought healing and wholeness in profound ways," he said. "It immerses people in the waters of Christian spirituality and kindles the fire of passion for God. In this season, nothing can be more important than searching our deepest spiritual traditions in order to move forward. I invite you to join us for this special retreat.”
Click here for more information and to register.