Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Noted Review

 Gilmore, Rachel. Foreword by Jane Rubietta. The Complete Leader’s Guide to Christian Retreats. Valley Forge, PA: Judson, 2009. 159 Pages. Paper. $17.00. http://www.judsonpress.com/  (N)

The subtitle may overstate it, but Rachel Gilmore has provided an extensive sourcebook for anyone planning a retreat or brief "camp" experience.

"This practical book offers pastors and lay leaders a comprehensive resource for planning faith-based retreats. In a down to earth, conversational style, Gilmore covers everything one needs to know for a successful and stress-free event.

"This one-of-a-kind guide also provides 11 sample retreats centered on a creative and group-appropriate theme for:
  • women
  • men
  • youth
  • families
  • older adults
  • personal retreat

 "Visit http://www.completeretreatguide.com/ where Rachel offers support in the planning process through a discussion forum. Her website also offers leads on recommended retreat facilities and suggestions for additional activities, theme ideas and more!" (publisher's website)

Lay planners will want to present their plans to their pastor for constructive feedback.

It is true that "Church cannot compete with school and the larger wow factor that's out there..." (14), but we have gifts that endure into eternity! Those can be shared in the midst of a hectic daily walk through the valley of the shadow, or in a more peaceful retreat setting.

Camps associated with the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (http://www.lcms.org/) were not included in the denominational listings (18). State-by-state listings are probably extensive as needed for a book of this size (143ff). Contact your local congregation or LCMS district office for recommended camp/retreat sites.

The Complete Leader's Guide to Christian Retreats will give you a place to start in planning your next Christian retreat.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.