On February 8-9, 13 young people gathered with Rev. Douglas Barnes and the team from the Education and Youth Department at the Rectory in Highbury, Morant Bay St Thomas for their first Servers’ Retreat. This retreat indeed did help in deepening our understanding of the Eucharist, the Liturgy and the important role we play in the life of the congregation.
Daleyanah Bennett – My Journey in Silence
The time for SILENCE approached and this task I considered to be very challenging; I was getting frustrated, so I started to write:
Poem 1: This silence is so deafening, in my ears my thoughts are ringing. Here I am so tempted to speak, but out of my mouth the words won’t leave. It’s almost as if I’ve gone mute and my thoughts are melodic like music from a flute. This silence has left my body weak and to regain my strength I need to speak!
I felt happy and began connecting with and getting closer to God. It was at this time I wrote my second poem.
Poem 2: Silence is a way of connecting to your soul, it takes over your mind, thoughts and body as a whole. It helps you reflect on things you’ve done. Being silent is talking to God, a battle you’ve won. It teaches obedience, self-control and self-discipline. So, if you think it’s hard, it’s a mind over matter, you can win!
I am extremely happy that I was given the opportunity to attend the 2019 Servers Retreat. It was truly beneficial in many ways. I learnt and experienced different ways in which the Lord communicates with us at a higher level through silence and even more things that will allow me to maintain a deeper spiritual connection with God. This Servers Retreat was truly amazing.
QUOTE: “Through outward silence there is spiritual clarity”
My experience was one to remember, I’ve learnt so much in the short time spent at the overnight Retreat. I have gained discipline from the challenges that we were given, and I am pleased with the progress we made as a Church family. I am happy to say that I was able to participate in such an even and I would encourage others to do the same.
After introductions and being fed we were sent off into silence. During this “silent” period I decided to question God about what this “silence” really meant and how this will benefit me in this training. The questions were answered and was explained more by Rev. Barnes who explained that we get an opportunity to meditate and focus and to pay attention to God’s work during silence. I am happy I was a part of this training.
This retreat was a great experience. It brought me closer to God. It also taught me how to halt and give God some moments of my time that he has granted unto me. I started to pray thanking God for choosing me to do his work I got emotional because I never once thought that sixteen (16) year old me could actually sit down for hours just talking to God and feeling his presence. This retreat gave me a better understanding of my Anglican faith and how important the Holy Eucharist is.
This was a wonderful retreat we got a better understanding of the Eucharist. We started off the retreat with an activity on how we get others to follow our faith but not by force and then moved into understanding how taking a moment of silence and putting aside the distractions of the world can bring us closer to ourselves and God.
During the training we went through silent moment, we were told if we felt like talking we should write it down or talk to God. This task was very difficult, so I buried myself in my thoughts. Being silent actually got me thinking about life overall it got me meditating on my Christian journey which is very challenging at times. The song says it’s a hard road to travel and a mighty long way to go, but with God in the vessel I will shelter the storm. “Silence is talking to God as I kneel to pray. When there is silence I hear him better. When there is silence I come alive. Silence is getting closer to God. When there is silence I hear his voice.
Chevaughn Sutherland – Asst. Congregational Youth Coordinator
The retreat was well coordinated and very informative – thanks to Rev. Barnes and the ED &Youth team. The “Silent” period we all agree was a very spiritual moment. A time when we were able to connect with God on a different level. It helped us to understand that sometimes we need to get away from the noise of the world and just focus. Sit, let go of what you think you know, something amazing will happen when you let God and trust. You can’t obey if you are not silent to listen.
Submitted by: Chevaughn Sutherland