Nicola Coombe, focaliser, writes: The purposes of this annual retreat (held this year on 23/24 January) are to attend to relationship – our’s and the wider field. It’s essential in our largely cyber organisation that our trustees, elders, staff and faculty are able to connect in person; that we have the opportunity to process and learn from conflicts and challenges, to listen to OneSpirit in spiritual practice together, and to discuss strategic directions.

Strong facilitation from our consultant Gill Emslie, prayers from our community, and the hospitality of the Asha Centre (in the grip of chilly weather, pictured) provided a beautifully supported space for all of this to unfold.

Monday’s work dived into processing themes that included power, control, abuse, authority, frustration, and healing. Tuesday’s work focussed more on the outer perspective. Under the broad themes of governance, education, and our ministers, we identified specific areas requiring attention, above and beyond the core focus and central work of delivering our two year minister training, our Mystery and Mastery programme, and fulfilling our existing commitments to our ministers.

We will share more detailed thoughts soon, but it seems important to say now that we came away feeling encouraged and renewed, and wanting to share our excitement about OneSpirit’s work with our students, ministers and the world.

Fay Barratt, OneSpirit elder, wrote in the Facebook group: “I found the two days very reassuring. Together, trustees, elders, faculty, staff, and the body of Ministers, we have enough love and courage to shift to a new level of aliveness in One Spirit.”

Joy Gleeson, trustee (and until recently chair of trustees) adds: “I was reminded of the importance of face-to-face work in these testing times, and encouraged by the warmth and strength of our common purpose, to serve the OneSpirit.”

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