On Saturday, January 6, The Perch held its first-ever event: the Empty & Fill Retreat. The Perch is all about providing skills and space for soul care, and our first event showcased that mission. The day was filled with a wide variety of exercises that included teaching times, self-reflection, journaling, prayer stations, worship, and group discussions. All of these activities were centered on reflecting on 2017 and making an intentional plan for 2018.
The morning was spent reflecting on the past year—the themes, patterns, questions, and lessons that dominated the year. Being able to take a step back and observe the year in full allows us a unique bird's-eye perspective where we're able to connect dots that we may not have seen as we journeyed through the year. We explored the difference between looking back and dwelling on the past (watch the video), and we used a prayer exercise to release the last year to God.
After a nourishing lunch, we spent the afternoon thinking ahead to the new year and what God might have for us. This included an interactive Scripture reading, a short teaching, and active prayer stations. And while there was some time set aside for goal-setting, the majority of the time was spent filling up on God's truth, examining who God made us to be, and exploring our relational, mental, physical, and spiritual needs. We were reminded that there is nothing we can do (or not do) to make God love us any more or any less, and we chose to rest in this freedom. This compelled us to name just a few goals for the new year rather than the long lists of resolutions many of us are used to making.
Finally, we finished the day praising God through singing, thanking him for meeting us and speaking to us during the retreat. It was a beautiful day!
We plan to offer several more retreats in the future, so stay tuned for our next offering.
Did you attend Empty & Fill 2018? If so, share your story with us in the comments below.
Amy Jackson is founder and director of The Perch.