The annual Renewal of the Heart men’s spiritual retreat will be held March 6-7 at St. John Catholic Church, 510 Jackson Ave. in Defiance. This year’s theme is “Staying Connected,” and men from age 18 and older of all faith backgrounds, or no faith background, are welcome to attend.
“The retreat is a combination of fellowship, prayer, reconciliation, witness talks, super videos and great food,” said Tom Boyers, a member of the Renewal of the Heart team on and off since 1997. “The big thing is the fellowship, getting guys together to talk about matters of faith. We try to make it as simple as we can, because we’re all just a bunch of regular guys.”
The retreat on March 6 will take place from 6-10 p.m. and the theme for the evening will be “Stones Throw,” based on John 8 and the woman brought before Jesus by the Pharisees after being caught in adultery. Attendees will be asked, “What stones have you thrown?” and “What stones have been thrown at me?”
On March 7, the retreat will take place from 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., with the theme, “Staying Connected with God & Our Purpose.” Attendees will take a look at how they are connected to God, by reflecting on their image of God. Witness topics will include: “Your connection to Jesus,” “Connecting through scripture to every day life, life events and holy moments” and “Spiritual development, how to stay connected, family and church, effects on your journey.”
“Over the years we’ve seen this retreat is a release for most men,” said Boyers. “My wife calls it my annual tune up and oil change, ‘When is your tune up and oil change?’ It’s a chance for men to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, with other men, to be in fellowship and prayer. It must be working, because we’ve been at it for 40 years.”
Boyers, who is serving as lay leader of this year’s retreat, shared he’s looking forward to the part of the retreat where they simulate the Emmaus Walk (from the account in Luke 24 in which Jesus walks with two disciples on the road to Emmaus following his resurrection from the dead).
“We have what’s called an Emmaus Walk, and to me, that a very important part of the program,” Boyers said. “It’s a time when men meet one-on-one to talk about their lives. What they find out is that everyone has problems, and that we’re really not all that different. It can be really powerful ... it’s a chance for men to talk to each other and to pray for one another. It really is all about ‘Staying Connected.’”
For more information, or to RSVP, contact Boyers at 419-439-2984; George Westrick at 419-784-3975; or Martin Nezick at 419-782-3418.