In search of solitude: finding a Christian retreat
By Sherise Henry
Are you looking for a break from it all? Are you looking for a place where you can be centered and focused on Christ without distraction? If so a Christian Retreat may be what you need this summer. The list of options is tremendous when it comes to choosing a list of spiritually based amenities at the hundreds of Christian retreat centers around the country. Retreatfinder.com even breaks down your list of choices into denomination preferences. Over 1,000 Christian Retreat Centers are broken down into Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Ecumenical, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Protestant, Quaker and Christian (no specific type).
Amenities include everything from outdoor activity to prayer services and even counseling ranging from marriage counseling to grief and addictive disorders. Religious Travel Planning Guide.com suggests several questions to ask yourself before booking your getaway.
Do I want to travel alone or with a group?
Retreatfinder.com lists Christian retreats as guided or general. If you want as little structure in your day as possible, you may want to check the general retreat. A guided experience, on the other hand, allows someone to help you organize your day’s events and suggest activities. This would be more appropriate for a group. You may want to have your pastor or leader of the group speak with the retreat director to organize everyone’s interest.
Where in the country do I want to retreat?
With over 1,200 Christian retreat centers in the country, there is definitely a great opportunity to find one near you or in your region. Know in advance what’s important in choosing the location. Is it the scenery, the services or the price tag that weighs most on your decision? Making a list of priorities for your trip may help you in narrowing down your choices.
Are the accommodations suitable?
Some retreat options require you to spend at least some time fasting. Others may provide a buffet style meal and yet another option is kitchen accessibility where meals can be prepared by you with your choice of meal planning. Find out what works best for you and your group and how it may affect the cost of the trip.
Can I afford to be without my cellphone?
The purpose of the retreat is to achieve serenity. Many retreat settings prohibit phone use. You may also not have access to WIFI or internet. Be sure your trip is scheduled during a time in which there are no pressing deadlines from work or home that need your attention.
Have I done my homework?
A great tool in figuring out whether a Christian retreat center is right for you is to contact previous guest.
Is there another church in your community that has gone on retreat? Are there any reviews online that speaks about the center’s accommodations and that person’s experience? You may even want to start a thread yourself asking for feedback on the retreat center of your choice.
These tips should help you in narrowing down your choices in retreats. A renewed spirit is indeed a blessing from the Lord.