Sponsor a Retreat
Awakening to Surrender
A Retreat Exploring the Spiritual Journey
Facilitated by Tim Fallon
Awakening to Surrender is a retreat experience that explores four dynamics at the heart of the spiritual journey: awakening to God’s presence, committing to discipleship, opening ourselves to transformation, and embracing a life of surrender. The retreat has a modular design so that sponsors can offer it in a variety of lengths and formats – including a two-hour retreat, a series of sessions, a day-long retreat, or a weekend experience. Each module combines presentation, reflection, dialogue, and prayer to create an encouraging and supportive experience. While the retreat is best experienced in-person, it can also be delivered virtually when necessary.
Description of Retreat Modules
Exploring the Spiritual Journey
From our first breath to our last, life is a spiritual journey. Whether we recognize it or not, in our heart of hearts we are spiritual beings. We encounter the spiritual whenever we experience energy and vitality, discover the power to cope, wrestle with difficult choices, and struggle to make sense of our experiences.
The reflection will encourage participants to identify where they are in their spiritual journey. The dialogue will deepen awareness of the dynamics of the spiritual journey and encourage participants to go deeper. The session will conclude with a prayer experience that encourages recognizing the spiritual in the everyday experiences.
Awakening to God’s Presence
Our experience of the spiritual opens us to recognize “the God thing” and name it. The experience of passionate energy that creates, inspires, and empowers opens us to God as Creator. Coping with adversity and hardship reveals God as a Healer and Redeemer. The struggle to make difficult choices leads to encountering the Spirit of Wisdom and Courage. Our relentless drive to make sense of things helps us discover God as the Ultimate Source of meaning and purpose.
The reflection will help participants recognize the experiences in which God has touched them. The dialogue will focus on expanding and refreshing their images and names of God. The prayer experience will celebrate those images and names.
Committing to Discipleship
Commitment involves making an intentional decision to enter into and cultivate a relationship with God. It begins with the initial decision to say “yes” to God, and it includes the ongoing choices that evolve throughout our lives. Some of those decisions are defining moments that set or change the direction of our lives. Others are the daily invitations to say “yes” to a deeper relationship with God.
The reflection will encourages participants to both appreciate the defining moments of commitment they have already made and recognize the daily invitations to deepen their “yes.” The dialogue will emphasize the disciplines that help us recognize the daily invitations to day “yes.” The prayer experience will encourage accepting the daily opportunities to deepen our commitment to God and more fully embrace the spiritual journey.
Opening Ourselves to Transformation
In a world that bombards us with messages focused on achievement, success and having it made, transformation is a different path. As Christians, we are called to open ourselves to ongoing conversion, to chip away at the pretense and defensiveness of our egos and to embrace our authentic identity in God. Our human instinct is to cling to what is safe and secure, yet the paschal mystery urges us to trust that the way to new life is to pass through suffering and death. Transformation invites us to discover that the cross is the passageway to new life.
The reflection will focus on recognizing the ways we are being called to transformation and the forces of resistance that inhibit our response. The dialogue will encourage more fully embracing the paschal mystery, and the prayer experience will be based on Peter’s journey of transformation.
Embracing a Life of Surrender
Surrender calls us to let go of our ego-driven agenda, give up control, and open ourselves more fully to God. It invites us to admit we don’t have all the answers, acknowledge our weakness and vulnerability, and rely totally on God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love. To surrender is to go “all in” – letting go of the attachments and preoccupations that keep our lives the same. It urges us to give up our tendency to hold God at a safe distance and leave behind anything that stands in the way of our relationship with the divine. When we surrender, we quit holding back and fall into the loving embrace of God.
The reflection will focus on the ways we are being invited to surrender to God’s presence. The dialogue will focus on the daily ways to embrace surrender that prepare us for our ultimate surrender in death. The prayer experience will focus on Jesus’ prayer of surrender in Gethsemane.
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