Once a year, Antioch does something kind of weird for a church; we don’t have church! It started our very first September when we found out there would be a weekend when we couldn’t meet in the building we were renting. We didn’t have a lot of options in those days, so we decided to try something a little risky and have a weekend retreat. That initial gamble has now become a tradition.
This year, our 8th retreat, about 100 of us spent the weekend at Camp Shamineau in central Minnesota for quality time together doing things we don’t get to do in our everyday lives, and deepening relationships among our community. We never know what the weather is going to be, so that’s always a risk. We’ve had years where it rained all weekend, one where it was hot enough to swim, several that were iconic fall weather, and then there was this year. This year we had snow!
Despite the less than ideal temperatures it was a great weekend. We had a kids vs. adults wiffle ball game (the kids won), cheered each other on at the high ropes course, played games inside to warm up, and had great times of worship.
Our District Superintendent, Brian Farone, spoke to us on Saturday about the beauty and the usefulness of God’s Word. During our session on Sunday morning we had an open mic time for people to express thanks and praises to God. Many people shared about God’s faithfulness through recent difficult seasons, and many expressed their thankfulness for this family of believers where they have found a home. It’s always so encouraging to hear how the Lord is working in our people and using our community to comfort, redeem, and expand his family.
Lastly, we need to give a shoutout to the Shamineau interns who helped make the weekend an incredible one, especially by watching the kids so parents could be uninterrupted for a bit. You guys are the best, and we can’t wait for next year!