This past June, after a year of preparation, we welcomed San Diego to our growing Network. The team held their first Women’s retreat at a local church downtown.
The retreat proceeded as many ISP retreats do — there were a few transportation hiccups, the schedule unfolded not exactly according to plan, and, in the end, the sharing was entirely profound.
A participant at the end of the experience had the courage to pen this reflection:
Discovering one’s treasured worth is one of the incredible gifts of the ISP retreat. A retreat itself a gift. It’s a precious time to be with God. And more, it means that you, the participant, are worthy of the gift. Especially for our sisters and brothers who have experienced homelessness, claiming this gift of inherent dignity is a powerful grace.
A special moment happened over lunch. The hall the team had reserved was needed by the church for a funeral banquet. Given the favorable weather, the team moved the meal outside into the courtyard. A team member even put white table clothes and small vases of flowers on the table. It was a simple meal of incredible beauty.
People often ask, why retreats? Because like that meal, with a simple flower in an otherwise unadorned spot, retreats communicate that for even just a moment, as the participant realized, you deserve love.