Friday, 5 August 2011

Getting to Know Jesus - Hand in Hand Retreat

Members of Hand in Hand on their Emmaus Walk
Getting to Know Jesus was the theme of Hand in Hand’s retreat which took place at the Sisters of St. Andrew near Edenbridge. It was based on the ‘Journey to Emmaus’. Hand in Hand are an integrated group of adults with and without learning disabilities in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

They spent time reflecting on ‘not recognising’ and what it might be that prevented us from recognising someone. Did they look different? Were we not expecting to see them?  

They then moved on to think about the various post-resurrection stories in which Jesus’ friends eventually did recognise him and what it was that helped them to know that it was truly him.

On the beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon they did an Emmaus walk in the grounds with seven stops to reflect on different moments in the ‘Journey to Emmaus’ and a prayer to help us to think about what that journey was like for Jesus’ friends. They also worked on a collage of the road to Emmaus with each person contributing their own thoughts and ideas.While they were waiting for everyone to complete the walk, some of them had a bit of a sing song with such rousing numbers as ‘Rise and Shine’, ‘If I were a Butterfly’ and ‘Who’s the King of the Jungle?’

After tea on the Saturday we thought about the different ways in which they get to know Jesus, particularly through our senses. They then considered what they knew about Jesus and what sort of person he is. Each group picked a Gospel story which reflected a particular aspect of Jesus and mimed or acted it out.

After Supper of Saturday, we watched the DVD of ‘Godspell’ which was much enjoyed, particularly the music, some of which they found they already knew.

On Sunday morning, on returning from Mass in Edenbridge, they reassembled round our special place to think of ways in which we could spread the word – ‘Come and See’, ‘Peace be with you’, and the words they use at the beginning of every Hand in Hand meeting ‘Jesus is Our Light’.

After lunch they gathered one last time to reflect on all they had done over the week-end.   Each group lit a candle which was placed in our special place as a prayer was said.

After tea they packed up and said good-bye to the Sisters with the hope that they would be joining them again next year.

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