It is no secret that for people involved in ministry, Advent is a busy time. We begin well, with lots of energy and enthusiasm, we’re well organised, everything is planned and we are confident that we can make it to Christmas full of joy (and not too exhausted), pleased that we have been able to share the message of hope that the birth of Jesus brings with so many, yet still feel our own hearts swell and warm as we see the infant king in the manager on Christmas morning. We hope that this is our story, but for some the reality can be quite different.
So we asked the youth, children and family workers in the Yorkshire synod to set aside one day. As with most things there was simply not a day that we were all free to be together and the recent change in Covid guidance meant that a few of the team felt more comfortable staying in their homes. But a small number of us gathered for the day during our Advent preparations, we took one day out of our busy schedules to rest, and to be with God.
We started our day together at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve with hot tea and coffee and some time reflecting on our journeys over the past year. After decorating our Christmas trees with the joys and sorrows of the past 12 months we were invited to consider what gift we would like to see from God under our Christmas trees this year? We spent some time exploring the Nature Reserve while we considered this question.
After a hot lunch we read from the book of Ephesians and considered our own God-given gifts. The book of Ephesians offers five distinct ministry roles within the church: apostle, teacher, pastor, prophet and evangelist, and we spent some time sharing our thoughts on this. We ended our day together with more hot tea and coffee, danish pastries and a time together in prayer.
We will be running more Retreat Days for those who minister with youth, children and families in 2022. Please get in touch with Megan Tillbrook for more information.