Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Visual Faith Retreat at the Villages- Florida

Praying in Color:
Illustrating My Faith
Feb 24-25, 2017
we gathered at 
Amazing Grace Lutheran Church
at the Villages, Florida for a retreat event.
They had prepared for and prayed
 over this gathering.
The local newspaper had shared the story.
Things look a bit different in this part of Florida.
Amazing Grace Lutheran Church
 has four legged neighbors 
on two sides of their property.
I think there are more golf carts
 than cars in this area.
And I looked for the alligators.
There was great welcome 
and hospitality here in this place.
Preparations made to gather them in.
 112 participants for this event.
Visual Art graced the sanctuary
 and gathering area.
A welcoming space,
supplies for each person in a 
handmade cloth bag tied with a bow,
 a well-done skit,
new friends, and great conversations.
A look at Sybil MacBeth's introduction to 
Praying in Color.
A simple way to use any piece
 of blank paper for prayer.
Visual prayer:
ways to slow down, 
pay attention and deal with distractions.
Graph paper for prayer time.
Simple shapes for teaching
 the petitions of the Lord's Prayer.
Graph paper prayer-
with our words.
Everyone received 
Sybil MacBeth's Pray and Color book.
Other resources were given as door prizes-
like Lisa Hickman's- Writing in the Margins.
Praying for our children and grandchildren-
 a way to bless others.
We talked about ways to use the product line
 of Joanne Fink for Visual Prayer. 
Journals from our Junk Mail.
Psalm Summaries with wine cork
 stamps and magazine cutouts.
Black ink tangles to make 
individual prayer cards-
 and keep them in a 
baseball card holder from Staples.
Gratitude Journals- One Thing a Day-
Day after Day.
Prayers by the Month and
Advent and Lent Visual Journeys.
Baptism and Confirmation Story books- 
ways to bless and conversation starters.
Tools to use in our own families.
A blessing to be with Arleen Bohlmann
 from the Southeastern District.
  Edith Walton - wife of LCMS Florida-Georgia 
District President Rev. Greg Walton
 joined us on Saturday.
And time to make a whole lot of new friends.
The women came in colorful attire to the 
Praying in Color Retreat.
Show and Tell tables
Resources and supplies.

 Time to check things out
 and ask questions.
Pray about personal spiritual practices.
Bible Journaling was introduced.
Time to read, reflect and respond
in the margins of our Bibles.
Telling the story of the intersection
 of God's Word and our World.
Sharing the VRSLY app on the iPhone 
may have created a whole team of
Deployed Digital Missioners.

Time with a very special friend from
 Concordia College- 
Ann Arbor, Michigan days.
Cathy Driller trusted a friendship
 from 42 years ago 
and the nudges from the Holy Spirit 
to bring together 
a celebration of faith, 
prayer and spiritual formation.
A retreat covered in grace and connections-
 and we Give Thanks to the Lord.
And we can't WAIT
 to see what Kingdom fruit grows-
and to hear the STORIES.

And if you can't remember
 how to reach me to tell the story, 
or can't find the card you took,
 here you go.

 A VERY SPECIAL thank you to Thrivent 
for 2 ACTION GRANTS that blessed this gathering.

Some had asked for the link to the Youtube
 of the flip- through
 of the Gospel of John
 in my Journaling Bible- here it is-
The Gospel of John


  1. You did one of these almost four years ago for a church in Virginia (New Hope Church in Lorton)... I had just moved to the area, just began attending this church and knew no one and was way out of my comfort zone, but I knew, when I heard the description of this retreat that I had to go... you opened a door for me... I am still refining my style and learning my place in this community and His Kingdom, but I will never forget that weekend!

    1. and I will be back at New Hope Church in Lorton on May 6, 2017 for another gathering- leading with Diane Marra- hope to see you there!

    2. Is it open to the public? I couldn't find anything on the church website.

    3. sorry sent you an email about the wrong event--- yes it is open to the public - think they are getting things up soon- will send to you as soon as I see it!

  2. so excited to see God work again at New Hope, what a wonderful weekend God did here in Fl Connie, sorry I missed seeing you. Blessing!

    1. glad we get to work together again in Northern Virginia- what a blessing!


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