You might call it ‘market research’ or ‘personal development’, but whatever you call it, it was a delightful morning. A local potter treated the staff at the Catholic Conference Center to a mini-workshop. Debra Zimmerman of Groovy Girl Pottery took each of us through the steps to transform this shapeless lump of clay into a precocious little gnome.
I was amazed at the talent she coaxed from these stubby fingers. For a moment I did spend a little time pondering the parallels between God shaping a ball of clay into Adam and me making a bearded gnome. But to be honest, I was really enjoying the time rolling and shaping the clay into a worm or a carrot or a ball, and all the childhood memories that sparked.
Maybe we should call it what it probably really was – that magical time in elementary school we used to call ‘recess’. The Latin root word, recessus, is not coincidently sometimes translated as ‘retreat’. There are silent retreats, communal retreats, and maybe in this case, a hands-on retreat (with maybe a little fun rolled in).
After our little ‘play’ session, we brainstormed for new and unique retreat and workshop ideas: a kiln-fired prayer box or a pottery class for home-schoolers. One idea emerged forming the nucleus of a retreat featured in this newsletter: Making Mosaics – A Sacred Art Retreat.
Maybe you have some ideas. I’m always on the look-out for both traditional and unique offerings where people can ‘retreat’ from the challenges of today and tap into the Spirit of God that offers both inspiration and respite. Maybe you might want to even treat you and your staff to a ‘recess’.
May you find a little time for renewal, how-ever and where-ever that may be.
Your servant in Christ,
Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan
Director, Catholic Conference Center