Church of the Ascension Pittsburgh

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What happened for/to/in you at the retreat?

While we have been talking about what's next for Ascension as a corporate group in the first few threads, perhaps we could pause a moment to invite people to share what happened in their lives while at the retreat. A time away like the Laurelville weekend often produces new or different things in our lives. For a number of reasons, God seems to work powerfully when the church family gathers there.

So, what happened:
between you and God?
between you and a friend - new or old?
within your family?
in a group of people that you are a part of?


  • My friend Ginnie asked Jesus to direct her life. This is a much deeper committment than she has ever made and I am soooo happy. Please pray for her. Timmy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 PM  

  • Becasue I volunteer with Student Ministries I wasn't able to hear much of what Sally said in the large group sessions. But I had the privelege of having some time to talk with her in 2 different small group settings...and I really resonated with what she said. I thought in my head "finally, someone who gets it!" She seemed to speak to the fact that many (not all) in my generation (and the ones that follow) are feeling lost in large mainline denominations because of the disconnect between talk and action...because of the politics...because "authentic" community is lacking. She spoke in ways (and used exapmles) that are relevant while not watering down the truth of Christ and His teachings. She challenged me in ways I have rarely been challenged before and God used her in my life. I heard from many other people that they felt the same way, and I'm so glad.

    I feel more hopeful about the state of the Church (universal) than I have in a long time, thanks be to God!

    By Blogger Beth, at 1:12 PM  

  • What has been amazing for me has not been the way in which God has used me at the retreat--because I was barely there--but more how I have seen him outside the retreat.

    Maybe it's just my nature, but I am always surrounded by people who are not Christians or people who mayber "grew up" in the church, but are disenfranchised. So this weekend, just because I had mentioned to somebody that I was going to the "parish retreat," he asked me about it. We talked a lot about politics, church politics, and how sometimes the enemy uses even good things and tries to twist them into something evil. So it was good in that regard.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 PM  

  • The retreat for me was exactly what I had hoped it would be: a retreat from the world and a time to be closer to God. I enjoyed the sessions with Sally but I so enjoyed the prayer and worship time and felt really refreshed when I came home. However, since Monday, it seems that some evil has been unleashed everywhere I go. I ask for your prayers particularly for discernment and for cover.
    Thanks and blessings,
    Maria T.

    By Blogger fruitofthespirit, at 10:07 PM  

  • An unexpected, glorious phone call this morning from a Kenyan man my husband Steve Paff ministered to during a Christian Missions trip one summer over 20 years ago!

    One summer while attending college at CMU Steve made the journey to Kenya for missions work he felt called to do. He raised the money himself and was transformed by the whole experience.

    We think about the Kenyan family Steve stayed with for a few weeks...wondering how they are doing and if we might see them again. We display a photo of them in our DR, with our other family photos. Steve had hoped he could piggy back an international business trip to Kenya to visit this man and his family again, but that was put on hold.

    This morning the man called out of the blue and exclaimed for joy because he took a chance ... wasn't sure he had the right phone number. Tracking down someone in the USA after 20+ years is no easy feat!

    The man is a bishop now in Kenya...he said he never forgot his good friend, Steve Paff...and that Steve's ministry had an immeasurable effect on his life!!!

    Next year this man plans on bringing his family to the states for a visit with us! Praise Jesus, what a gift we have been given 5 days after returning from Laurelville!!!!

    Aggie alotz at

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:10 AM  

  • I got back from the retreat and logged on here, and there was not a comment yet to be found. I come back a week later, and look at all the good stuff!
    I'm so glad I waited to respond, because I was among the distressed after the weekend. I do not entirely accept the idea that those of us who were uncomfortable after the presentations were just antsy about being pushed to "think outside the box".
    However, I am comforted by the tangible good and happy fruit coming from all this, and will judge the weekend by that.
    I totally encourage the idea of house groups adopting missionaries. Our house group is responsible for the support of one of our exports, and we have a lot to learn about how to better do that.
    How often have I felt so isolated and grumbly because I think we're 'just not doing anything exciting at church'.
    How stinking often have you felt out of the loop? I'm so grateful for a public forum like this to spread the lifeline-news that God is moving among us, and is leading us into true adventure in life. Yes, you evil internet scoffers, knitting IS an adventure!
    Could those with the knowledge of the dangers of internet sharing be SPECIFIC, please? I'd like to be wise, not frightened.
    Rock on, Beloved!

    By Blogger KookieDangerous, at 3:55 PM  

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