Speaker Announcement

Hello ladies!

Can you believe that we are less than two months away from the 2018 retreat?

What? Less than two months?!?!?

That’s right! So if you haven’t registered for the retreat yet, hesitate no longer! Regular registration ends at midnight on the 30th! Check out more information on how to sign up for this amazing weekend retreat on our Registration page.

And with that being said, we are happy to announce our speaker for the 2018 retreat: Kristi Kirk!

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Daughter of a Lutheran pastor, Kristi was called to faith through baptism as an infant and grew up in the church.  However, her faith became “real” to her when she became pregnant at the age of 14.  In the process of having a child as a young teenager and raising him as a single mom, she learned much about the grace of our God, who loves even the worst of sinners and redeems all things.  She continues to learn these lessons in her walk of faith to this day.

Kristi lives out her identity in Christ in several vocations, including mother, wife, teacher, and Executive Vice President at Concordia University Texas.  She has served at Concordia for more than 25 years.  She and her husband, Daniel, have 4 children, ages 8 to 27, and are members of Faith Lutheran Church, Georgetown.

We are so very excited to have you, Kristi, and look forward to your teaching during the retreat.

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A Word Regarding Hurricane Harvey

We at the R&R Retreat wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been and will continue to be affected during this next week by Hurricane Harvey.

Almost all of our attendees and partners live within the areas that have been hit the hardest by torrential rains and flooding, hurricane force winds, and tornadoes. La Grange, Texas, home of Camp Lone Star where we hold the retreat, is even under mandatory evacuations as of Sunday due to the rising waters of the Colorado River.

This is a tense and difficult time for many Central and South Eastern Texans, and it will take weeks, even months, for some to recover from the damage. Help is desperately needed in these regions, and there are many different organizations looking for donations:

Any help, even small, will be greatly appreciated.

We pray that you are all staying safe and dry during the remainder of this storm, and we look forward to seeing every single one of you at the retreat in January.

Love,

The R&R Retreat Planning Team

Who Am I?

It’s such a small question, isn’t it? Who am I?

Three small words, only 6 letters long. With punctuation and spaces, Twitter would allow a user 131 more characters, which is more than enough for further detail, a picture, a relevant link, or a string of hashtags. It hardly even takes a full breath to say it out loud.

Despite it’s length though, it is a question that holds an incredible amount of weight, and its small size is by no means a reflection of its immensity and importance. When not approached with caution and outside support, such a question has the potential to leave a person confused, overwhelmed, lonely, and even completely doubting their purpose and existence.

Questioning one’s identity is not an uncommon or unaccepted phenomenon. Our society has even given a name to some of them due to their prevalence among the population (Mid-life and quarter-life crises, anyone?), but with the age of the internet upon us, we are constantly bombarded with articles, blogs, videos, and social media posts about new, exciting, and suggested (sometimes very forcefully suggested) identities that make the process all that more confusing and unfruitful.

So who are we?

That’s what we at the R&R Retreat hope to find out. It is with great excitement that we announce our theme for the 2018 retreat:

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But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. – 1 Corinthians 15:10

In addition to finding out more about our identities in Christ, we will celebrate the 5-year anniversary of the R&R Retreat! As a result, we are planning quite a bit of fun along side our time of worship, learning, and, of course, resting.

For more information on how to register for the retreat, please check out our Registration page.

Also, please keep in touch! We will be making regular posts on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as well as the website, so make sure to follow us in order to stay up-to-date on all retreat news.

We look forward to seeing you all in January.

Sincerely,
The R&R Retreat Planning Team

Companionship

According to our survey results, many of the attendees of the retreat have at least one confidant in their lives. Many also indicated that they generally feel able to open up to others. There were a few women though who indicated the opposite. In fact, one particular response stated, “I’m good at pretending to be open.”

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As Christians, it is imperative that women from all walks of life feel welcome and safe within the church body, so why is it that there are still so many female Christians that struggle to open up and connect?

One blogger for Christianity Today, Kate Shellnutt, suggests that the problem may be caused by an illusion of friendship created within social and community groups. Referencing a study done in 2000, Kate explains that women are hard wired for friendship and, in times of stress, express a tend-and-befriend response rather than fight-or-flight. In other words, we desire companionship, so when an opportunity to join other women in a group such as a Bible study or a sorority presents itself, we are usually eager to partake. Kate explains though that often the satisfaction of joining such groups quickly wears away when initial friendships remain shallow among some of the members. This uneven development of relationships can create a perfect environment for jealousy, gossip, and cattiness.

So how do we avoid a situation like this at the 2017 R&R Retreat?

1Thessalonians 5:12-18 provides some guidance:

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

As the retreat nears, we know that many of you will struggle with fears and doubts about attending and for good reason. Some of you have experienced incredibly toxic relationships, illusionary friendships, and are still hurting from those circumstances. Many of you may look upon this retreat as an outsider, someone excluded from the close and deep relationships shared by many of our repeat attendees. Please know though that whatever your hesitations are we greatly desire your friendship and companionship. We want to care for you, love you, and encourage you, and we hope you give us the opportunity to do just that.

Together, we are one body under one God, and you are an integral part of that.

Looking for a way to contribute?

Do you or someone you know have a special gift, talent, or skill (sewing, knitting, crafting, woodworking, painting, jewelry making, photography…)? Are you a consultant for Mary Kay, Scentsy, LulaRoe, Essential Oils, Jamberry, Thirty-One, etc? Or would you like an opportunity to promote your business? The R&R Retreat would love your help!!

We are looking for donations for raffle items for our 2017 retreat. If you or someone you know can help, please send us a message. If you don’t have items to donate you can still help us by sharing this post with your friends.

We appreciate your support!