Over a dozen St. Francis Parishioners, family, and friends gathered at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center on October 14-16 for the 2011 GLBT Ministry Retreat. “The Cup of Life” was the theme for the weekend, which also included large and small group discussions, time for individual and communal prayer, and free time to enjoy the beautiful wooded grounds of St. Francis Springs.

The retreatants gathered by sharing a “cup story” – sharing a cup, mug, glass, etc. that has some special meaning – and these cups became our centerpiece for the weekend.

A following session on “Earthen Vessels” session was a discussion of how we are imperfect “cups”, but that it’s what fills the cup that counts.

The “Quest for the Cup of Life” session used a clip from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” to discuss how we pursue various “Grails” (the cup used at the Last Supper that brings everlasting life to all who drink from it) – goals, pursuits, life quests – and what obstacles and challenges we face along the way.

“How Can I Make a Return to the Lord” was a session about thinking of “all the good that God has done for me,” and how we can make a return to the Lord by “paying it forward,” by responding with thanksgiving and by sharing our gifts with others.

On Sunday morning, the retreatants gathered for Mass, and each participant offered at Eucharist a commitment to do something specific in the coming weeks to “make a return to the Lord.”

It was a great weekend for all involved, and the  GLBT Ministry is looking forward to its next reatreat on September 21-23, 2012 at the Trinity Center in Salter Path, NC.