After years of the COVID-19 pandemic pressure and denominational stress, 16 Hawai’i District clergy gathered August 28-30, 2023, to rest, renew, and refresh at the secluded and beautiful St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Kalihi Valley on O’ahu. For three days, they slowed down, worshiped and prayed together, learned from each other, deepened relationships, played games, and shared much laughter.
The retreat, planned by the District Planning and Strategy (DPAS) Committee and funded by the Hawai’i District, also included spiritual direction, instruction in contemplative prayer, half-hour massages, and opening and closing worship with District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Tom Choi. The clergy who attended said they appreciated getting to know colleagues they had never met due to the pandemic, taking a break from ministry, and, of course, the ono food!
Plans are underway for another retreat to rekindle the spirit of our clergy next summer. In preparation, Hawai’i District clergy are asked to complete a brief online survey by November 15.
Rev. Amy Wake of Trinity UMC of Pearl City contributed to the story.