Friday was our last day for the retreat. Last days of retreats, conferences, events like those, are often odd. You want to be fully present for the remaining events and really enjoy your last few moments together, but you are also ready to get going and begin the trek heading home. I felt that tension on the last day. After breakfast we had a brief time together with our Lectio Groups so that we could do an examen about our time together at Companions.
I was hurriedly trying to pack up my room and make it to the group time, and by the time I got there, I was really pretty ready to just finish up and start heading back to my family in Chicago.
But the group time, as it always was throughout the week, was beneficial and I appreciated hearing from others about their experiences at Companions. As we did the Ignatian Examen, we shared about the places and times during the week when we felt most alive, where there was the most energy, and then we shared about the places and times when we felt least alive or most drained. It’s a helpful way to process an event like Companions, and it was also interesting to see the places that others in the group were in agreement about parts they loved and parts they found difficult, but also to see how something that one person really loved was something that another person really didn’t find much life or energy in.
After our last Lectio Group, we got ready for our last worship service. Dr. Luther Smith preached a great sermon, and just like the rest of the week, the worship was phenomenal. One line that Luther shared during this sermon, from Howard Thurman, really sunk in for me. It was about prayer, and the power of prayer in the lives of those doing the praying. Thurman said:
God’s answer to a prayer may be no, but God’s answer to a pray-er is always yes.
Marjorie Hoyer Smith and Jeff Gaines led us in our last eucharist together for the week and it was the perfect way to end our time together.
Our setting for worship was also just gorgeous. Inspiration Point is what the room is called, but the side of the building that looks out on the lake just has a wall of windows, and you can see the lake and the trees while sitting inside. It’s pretty amazing.
One last benediction, an extended time to pass the peace, and then people were on their way. I got a chance to spend a little more time at the beach before I took off to Reno for the evening. I’ll share some closing thoughts tomorrow – I’m also working on putting together a little Companions on the Way video that I can share here that will you give an idea of some of the setting and music that we get to enjoy at Zephyr Point. Until then, here are some more photos from the week.