mgpcpastor's blog


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Catching Up

In Melbourne for the day.
The pedestrian traffic is sparse and their malls have trams.
The sun is sort of out, though.
Finding a coffee shouldn’t be a problem.


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Retreat Group 2014

I can’t say much, but I am able to report in the battle between man and 350gm scotch fillet steak meal, men were the convincing winners.
Celebrations were somewhat muted.
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Retreat Group Facilitator Training

Retreat Groups are a peer-facilitated, intentional, short-term process aimed at the renewal, refreshment and spiritual growth of the participants.
Over a three-year cycle the participants enter into a covenant of confidentiality and support, hear each other’s life stories, discern where God is leading us in our own spiritual growth and engage in intentional exercises and workshops which assist us in developing both self-awareness and strategies toward deepening our relationship with God.
Pastors can all too easily fall into the practice of using our fruit or ministry output to be our fuel instead of being fuelled by our relationship with God. This substitute fuel will only function for so long before it burns out. Retreat Group helps us look past the various veils which fall over our eyes, see where we should be looking, and asks us to put practical steps in place to do so.
As a peer-facilitated activity, each member of a Retreat Group has ownership of this process. Group are tasked with establishing the basic parameters of the Group’s functioning, and coordinating the group so that materials appropriate for specific issues identified by the group are presented for workshop or seminar.
Facilitator training is an intentional process aimed at sharpening skills so that all the benefits of peer-mediated support and encouragement can be brought to bear without falling into patterns of behaviour or relationship that would obstruct or hinder the process.
This model of retreat group is used by denominations and groups of pastors all over Australia, with significant participation by Presbyterian pastors in NSW, Victoria, SA and Tasmania.
Here’s a photo of us observing a model seminar, where we’re learning that presentation and participation skills are just as important as content if meaningful insights and personal applications are to be gained and put into place.
It’s a group of Retreat Group facilitators, so we can only show you their backs.
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On The Road Again…

I’m sitting at Mount Gambier Airport, waiting to board a flight to Melbourne, then another on to tragically fire-stricken Sydney for a couple of days training as a retreat group facilitator. We’re told our group accommodation facility is nowhere near the fire zone.
This also provides time to see a few familiar faces, including the other facilitator of the group we’re a part of starting in 2014.
After that, with mgpc’s (and Margaret’s) encouragement I’ll travel north to Hervey Bay for the weekend and spend some time with my mother (and sister, unless she takes off on a carer’s weekend away).
Which should represent a fairly restful time and further my recuperation from flu, or whatever this thing I’ve got is.
What happens at retreat group facilitator training? I hear you ask.
More later.


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The World’s Most Expensive Starbucks Coffee And Last Night’s Drive Home

I went to buy a coffee in the McDonalds at Hamilton (vic) last night to keep me awake on the last stage of my epic eighteen hour Melbourne round-trip drive/meeting.
Sadly it was too busy to get served and I left, but I didn’t get tired and obviously made it home.
But I did keep thinking that I needed one of these.
I might not have slept so well when I did get home, though.