UMMen build spiritual muscle as they prepare for retreat

By Jessica Connor

As they gear up for their annual spiritual growth retreat, United Methodist Men are being encouraged to turn their focus inward—while doing things they already enjoy doing.

The retreat, set for Feb. 28-March 2, 2014, will reflect some sort of mighty men of God theme, and organizers are urging men to get mighty on the inside before they can begin to turn their sights outward.

The whole idea is God is the one who strengthens us, and when we are strengthened internally, it strengthens us to go forth in our families, in our relationships and overall in our communities, said the Rev. James Friday, Greenwood District superintendent and Cabinet representative to the UMM. Men need to stand strong for Christ.

Friday said men can not only strengthen individually by turning to a deeper prayer life and deeper reading of Scripture, but also by adding spiritual elements to things they are already doing with other men.

From hunting clubs to golf outings, Friday said, Men do a lot of things together as men, but there s not a spiritual component to it.

He suggests men start small, adding a dash of spiritual reflection to any gathering, then increase from there. Eventually this will spill over into their family life, and then into their communities.

Guys who get in the car and go to a football game can build prayer time into that, Friday said. We don t need to re-create the wheel. We just need to try to encourage each other to use the opportunities when we are already gathered as men to reflect on our role as spiritual leaders.

UMM leaders are busy finalizing plans for the 2014 spiritual retreat, which will be announced soon both in the Advocate and on the UMM website, .

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