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High School Cohort Spiritual Retreat

Written by John De Boer on February 10th, 2020

In January, members of the High School Cohort gathered at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga for a two-day spiritual retreat.

Led by Spiritual Director Renee VanderWindt, we examined tools and practices for ourselves and for our staffs that would help us take care of the soul of our leadership. Renee created a safe place to grow, where each person could be vulnerable as we explored our spiritual journeys.  We enjoyed laughter, worship, collegiality, good food, stories, and the wonderful blessing of connecting with each other and with God.

For the 24 hours of the retreat, Renee took us on a pilgrimage over four sessions: 

  1. Where am I now and what do I want?
  2. Where have I come from?
  3. What shall I bring?
  4. How will I get there?

To be a pilgrim means

To be on the move slowly

To notice your luggage becoming lighter

To be seeking for treasures that do not rust

To be comfortable with your heart’s questions

To be moving toward the holy ground of home

With empty hands and bare feet.

                                                Macrina Wiederkehr

By experiencing a variety of spiritual practices, by learning to pray in different ways, by practising silence as a way to listen for God, and by reflecting both corporately and in solitude, we were blessed as we pilgrimaged together.

A personal takeaway was completing a questionnaire to assess my natural, preferred pathway to experiencing God in my life. By understanding my pathway, I can review, imagine, and create the rhythms of my week–what disciplines or habits will most resonate with my pathways and provide attuned opportunities for experiencing and worshiping God?

Where are you on your journey? Are you attending to your spiritual well-being? Are you strengthening the soul of your leadership? Are you ready for a new adventure with our God who is constant in His faithfulness? If you have any questions about this retreat or would like to connect with Renee directly, please feel free to contact me.

John De Boer is the High School Leadership Cohort Mentor, and Principal at King's Christian Collegiate in Oakville, Ontario.

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