The final day of the Grace Place Retreat began once again with Morning Prayer. Afterwards, Dr. John Eckrich presented on physical wellbeing. As a doctor of Gastroenterology, Dr. Eckrich offered many insights on healthy physical lifestyles and the dangers of obesity. He focused on lifestyle changes in activity and eating, and also discussed the role of stress in physical wellbeing.
After this time, Rev. Dr. David Ludwig spoke about marriage relationships, focusing on the mystery of maleness and femaleness as laid out by St. Paul in Ephesians 5. He spoke about these verses as Gospel. Men can bring the mystery back to their wives by knowing that, in Christ, they would lay down their lives for their wives. When a man looks at his wife in this way, he cherishes her and he allows her femininity and mystery to come alive. Women can give their husbands the gift of confidence by respecting him as she would give that same respect to her Lord, Jesus Christ. In his way, she gives him back the mystery of his masculinity. This way of interacting is a gift from the Lord which allows the mystery and beauty of marriage to continue, no matter how many years a couple has been married.
One of the most helpful discussions of the retreat was about how all of the points of wellness from the Wellness Wheel can play out in congregational/faith community life together. By living within our Baptisms and loving each other as we have been gifted to do, we can help to maintain the health of congregational and individual relationships (or of whatever faith community you may be a part of, including that of a district or synod level, or that of fellow missionaries and other workers in the field). All faith communities, through love, Law and Gospel, repentance, and daily remembrance of Baptism, can maintain healthy relationships and repair unhealthy ones. The Wheel of Wellness includes physical, emotional, intellectual, vocational, physical, and financial wellbeing. It is all encompassed by Spiritual Wellbeing, and it has at its center our Baptisms, by virtue of which we are new creations.
The day ended with a Sending Service for all the missionaries and other Eurasia personnel, as well as members from Lutheran Hour Ministries who joined the group during this retreat. This gave everyone an opportunity to be anointed and to have prayers prayed over them with the laying on of hands. This time of prayer for one another was a wonderful way to end the retreat.
A great deal of thanks goes out to the Grace Place team members who made this such a wonderful retreat, right down to babysitting all of the children! The Eurasia Team would also like to thank the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) for their generosity in underwriting this retreat, as well as the many other Grace Place Supporters who helped to make it possible. God bless you for your hearts of service!
- Pray for safe travel tomorrow as everyone returns home.
- Pray for continued health and healing.
- Pray for participants to implement many of the techniques/thoughts/tips learned here.
- To learn more about Grace Place Lutheran Wellness Ministries, click here.
- Check back here at the Eurasia Blog on August 13th or 14th for a post with pictures from the retreat.