The first NCS New England Regional Retreat (and the first attempt by chapters anywhere at a regional retreat) took place on September 13-14, 2013 at the beautiful Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in the magnificent Berkshire Mountains. One hundred brudders “showed up”–this is just one brudder’s reflections. (To see a SLIDE SHOW of the weekend, CLICK HERE)
First some FACTS:
- Men came together from a dozen chapters
- For 33.3% of those responding to the survey, it was their first NCS retreat and it made them want to come to a National event. Those who have attended a National retreat saw this as a great complement to (but not a substitute for) the National events.
- For most of those responding, each of our four goals for the Retreat (Smaller, Shorter, Closer, Cheaper) were important or key to their decision to attend (particularly Cheaper and Closer!).
- Those responding were overwhelmingly satisfied with the Retreat experience, want to do it again, loved the Cranwell and liked the Fri night-Sat afternoon format.
Now a few REFLECTIONS:
- Men kept marveling at how powerfully Jesus showed up through Phil Zaldatte, the testimonies, the worship, the breakouts and the prayer.
- I came to a new understanding of how much God loved me by watching the visible evidence of his love for other men. It was amazing to see one brudder experience the healing of decade-old wounds through the soaking worship and to realize God may well have orchestrated soaking worship just for him. The same was the case for the prayer room–one brudder reported a week later that he came home with a peace and joy so evident and lasting that his wife commented on it to friends several days later.
- There were many stories of remarkable transparency and authenticity in the breakout sessions–often preceded by the words “I’ve never shared this with anyone before . . .” I am convinved this was possible because six special brudders had the courage to be authentic on the main stage.
- These 21 hours together modeled our motto–“Live Pure. Speak Truth. Right Wrong. Worship the King.” In fact, Jim Lane announced to a telephonic gathering of Chapter leaders from across the country that this Retreat was a model for all regions to consider.
There are certainly things we learned and will do differently next year, but it was an unforgettable 21 hours together. Thanks to all who served and all who attended. I hope to see you there next September.