In January, LDI's Director of Contemplative Programming Lydia Strand worked with Adiel Pollydore, a current Life Together Emmaus Fellow, to plan and facilitate a retreat for the Life Together worship team. LDI is committed to developing leaders who live, act, and work from a contemplative and prayerful space. Our work enables young people of faith to do justice work that is integrated with contemplative awareness. Here, Adiel reflects on her collaborative learning and spiritual grounding during the worship retreat.
There is something about being on retreat that serves as an invitation for me to notice the small things. The way metal spoon sounds as I stir the sugar into my mug of tea. The weight of the teabag as it fills with water, the way light pours into the windows of an old stone chapel, and the smell of match that has just been struck to light a candle on an altar.
The Life Together worship team's recent retreat to Bethany House of Prayer over MLK weekend was no exception. Coming off a long week at work and battling illness, the invitation to slow down was much appreciated. It was the first retreat I had ever facilitated and this first LT worship team overnight retreat. I was nervous and truthfully, a little scared. What had I gotten myself into? Could I do this?
Once I arrived at Bethany House and walked through the doors, most of that fear fell away. There is something about being in such a sacred place that I experience as deeply grounding.
We began our time on Friday with a meal, worship and reflection on what it means to hold space. It became clear to me that the question “Could I do this?” was wrong. The question “Could we do this?” was far more accurate. Working closely with Lindsey and Lydia to co-facilitate our space, the success of this retreat wasn’t just up to me. As we moved into our spacious Saturday morning sessions on centering prayer, poetry, and chanting, the larger worship team was co-creating this experience together. We were all learning to hold space for each other.
I’m grateful for opportunities to build community, particularly over a good meal and accompanied by an invitation to slow down and notice life as it happens around me. I look forward to co-creating many more retreat spaces like this- starting with our upcoming worship retreat in March!