By Robin Gericke, Features Editor
Men and women’s retreats are a long-standing tradition of the spiritual life at Asbury and have been part of Asbury’s history for over 30 years. Although weekends quickly become busy, committing a few days to a retreat is an experience that can make a lasting impact.
The theme of the Men’s Retreat is ‘Being a Man after God’s Own Heart.’ The retreat will be from Feb. 26 to 28 at Camp Calvary in Hickville, Ky. The speaker is Asbury Alum Ryan Bash, who used to be a resident of ‘Dog Hall’ Johnson 3rd West. “We often have several staff and alumni come on retreat just as a chance to give back and connect with the men in a different setting,” said Coordinator of InReach Ministries Dr. John Morley. “Mark Troyer has attended Men’s retreat 25 years and I have over 20 years.”
The events for the weekend include “preaching services, a steak night, board and card games galore and hanging out with the brothers,” said Morley. “Basically there is intentional space created for the guys to do whatever they need to do to retreat and experience God over the weekend.” Morley hopes that the retreat allows men to “create space to experience the Lord in a new way.”
The Women’s Retreat is from Feb. 26 to 27 at Camp Loucon in Leitchfield, Ky. The retreat will have a focus on stories, and the theme of the weekend is ‘Together.’ “It’s going to be a weekend of stories, so we’re going to talk about how our story intersects with God’s story, and how our stories intersect with one another’s stories,” said Asbury alum and RD of Glide-Crawford Kaylyn Moran. The speakers include Asbury alum Lisa Harper, freshman advisor Andrea Edin and Professor Helen Rader. It is intentional that all the speakers are from Asbury. “A lot of women’s retreats will have a speaker who will come in and speak for the whole weekend, but this is a little different,” said Moran. “We’re really focusing on our stories as the Asbury community.”
A unique part of the Women’s Retreat is there will be time set aside for journaling. After each session, women will be given prompts based on the speaker’s story. “By the end of the weekend our hope is that you will have more of a concrete idea of your story and where God has been intersecting with your story your whole life,” said Moran. The focus on stories will also be manifested in oral recitation of the Bible. “Since the Bible wasn’t originally written down, it was shared by people sitting around and literally telling the story of God,” said Moran. “We’re going to have a couple different opportunities for students, faculty and staff to recite different instances of Jesus’ interactions with women throughout the New Testament.”
Whether students go to the retreat to grow closer to God, spend time with friends or simply get away from campus, they have the opportunity to be spiritually enriched. “I went because my friends were going and they convinced me to go,” said Moran. Freshman Jenna Lawson recognizes the value in going on a retreat with the same people you live with on campus.
“I think it’s really cool when you’re with people in your own school all trying to look to God,” said Lawson. “It’s a really cool environment when the people you’re eating next to and living next to are also the people you’re praying next to. To be in an environment with those people will be very powerful.”
The organizers of the retreats don’t want any students to be hindered from participating due to finances. The cost is $30, but scholarships are available for those who need them. Moran asks that students pay what they can, be it $10 or $30, so that scholarships can cover as many people as possible.