How long does it take you to get ready for the day? When I have a heavy schedule, I can be out of bed, saved, showered, dressed and in the car with coffee in hand in under 15 minutes. If I leave by 6:00 am and drive and the traffic lights are just right, I can be in downtown Ottawa in 20 minutes. Depending on where I park, I can end up behind a computer on and be triaging emails within 50 minutes of waking up. Depending where you live, your timing could be faster than mine, but if you lived next door to me, you would be hard pressed to beat my time. If I leave downtown before 3:00 pm, it takes 25 minutes to get home, again depending on the lights. Now, I don’t have young children, but if I did, my arrival at home would be the commencement of another schedule, which would run until those kids were in bed. Working Monday to Friday and managing a family means that weekends are full of the stuff that I didn’t have time for during the week, its catch up time. Then there are the weekend responsibilities in support of kid’s sports, in support of church and maybe other activities. Generally, life is busy, and for some real busy.
For the past few years the MCF has held its AGM in concert with Remembrance Day. We chose that day because, for the military community, it is generally mandated that those serving stop and take time to remember the sacrifices of their comrades, both present and past. As the military community is already oriented towards contemplation, it is appropriate for those who follow Jesus to concurrently fix their gaze upon Him. In contrast to the speed of life described in the beginning of this letter, last year I sought to change that pace and offered members an occasion to extend their Remembrance Day pause by attending a spiritual retreat during which a short period of time was allocated to the MCF AGM. For those who were able to participate and enter Christ’s rest, an experience of spiritual refreshment took place. The after effects were not an over-stimulated “energizer bunny” as some conferences tend to produce, but rather a strengthening of faith and a deepening of friendships.
This fall, 10-12 November, we will again hold a spiritual retreat for MCF members and you are invited. We will meet at the National House of prayer in Ottawa beginning on Friday evening, 10 November. The evening will be a time of fellowship, reflection and worship. On Saturday morning we will meet again for a prayer breakfast after which we will proceed to the National War Memorial to witness the Remembrance Day ceremonies. In the afternoon we will continue our reflection and prayer culminating with a fellowship meal. After the meal we will hold the business portion of the weekend otherwise known as the AGM, during which those gathered will have opportunity to share what the Lord has been communicating to them during the previous two days. Our evening will conclude with worship and prayer. Sunday, MCF members from out of town will be invited to attend local churches of their specific faith tradition. We will provide recommendations based upon a survey of churches that will feature a military community oriented service as part of the Remembrance Day weekend.
Please inquire of the Lord if He desires that you come and be part of the 2017 spiritual retreat and then contact the MCF office to let us know so that we can prepare for your arrival. Over the next few weeks additional details will be forwarded to you. May you know the peace of the Lord our Saviour.
Until All …