This annual important gathering returned to the beautiful Ozarks of Shannon County May 3-5. The rugged terrain and subsequent opportunities yielded many encounters for fellowship, important mission work, incredible re-creation, and especially spiritual growth found with the help of God working through each other and Creation. Each man present hearkened Jacob at Bethel to gaze upon a vast star-filled sky (which cleared up as a God-given gift after clouds covered the landscape all day) and reflect on the theme: Return to the Wilderness: God Will Speak to You; Come Hear/Here for Yourself.
New Disciples Men for Community Christian Church in Manchester, First Christian Church in Jefferson City, First Christian Church in Little Rock and Uttica Christian Church in Uttica, Mississippi were able to join us - some traveling hundreds of miles to experience something lacking elsewhere in churches and regions.
The retreat began with each man sharing a response to "why are you here and what do you want to receive from God this weekend?" As we went around the room, it was noted and each decade of mature life was represented by handfuls each of men there in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. (80s next year?) Occasions of mentoring and youthful energy complemented all that happened.
Next year's retreat is already scheduled at Shannondale for May 1-3. Men are also welcomed (though contact Paul Koch asap) for the Men's Rites of Passage for June 18-24, 2019 held at the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Minnesota. Van transportation is provided. Men and women who want to experience the Ozarks and Shannondale next are invited to our Regional spiritual leaders retreat to be held at the fabulous Echo Bluff State Park resort September 27-29.
Thanks to Regional Minister Rev. Dr. Paul Koch for this story and photos.