After weeks of dark, rainy skies, the warm air and sunny skies on Saturday, Nov. 10 did not deter a good crowd of people from spending the day indoor at St. Nicholas church, Barberton, in order to attend a spiritual retreat. This retreat, presented by Deacon Michael Lee, was sponsored by the church's Saint George Men's Group. The theme was "The Wilderness to the Promised Land: The Pilgrimage of the Church."
This journey paralled the story of our church today to the story of the Israelites being freed from Egypt, and how their covenant developed with God as they wandered in the desert till reaching the "Promised Land." In this way, we see the people of the church being freed from sin, wandering in the "wilderness" of this life, till reaching our "Promised Land" which is heaven.
Deacon Michael then correlated this to the fact that we do not travel alone, however. We travel as Church - the pilgrim people of God seeking to build the kingdom of God together. The lessons that can be learned from the wandering of the Israelites are crucial for our renewal and that of our parishes today.
The spiritual edification received this day was like manna to those who traveled this journey together, leaving all with hearts full of desire to say yes to God, allowing Him to consume each and every one of us with the fire of His eternal love. Culminating this day was the joyful celebration of the vigil Divine Liturgy and the reception of the Manna of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
By James Senderak Retreat - Video