Life Journeys - Cairns along the Way
A look back on PCN Britain’s annual Members’ Residential Weekend
A weekend together – that’s what a Members’ Residential is, and that’s how those of us at the lovely Foxhill Retreat Centre from 13-15th October experienced it.
Being with each other was felt overwhelmingly to be the most valuable aspect. We had time to listen and explore in conversation, to experience affirmation and support, to be invigorated by each other, to be aware of deep spirituality and honesty – summed up in the rich word ‘basking’. Without a framework and shape, of course, we wouldn’t have explored things with the same focus, and we are deeply thankful to Pat Fuller and Sandra Griffiths who structured the weekend around the theme ‘Cairns on the Journey’. This enabled us to cover a great deal of ground!
After supper and formal introductions on Friday we were invited to consider, quietly, our own life journey and try, somehow, to put down on paper experiences of particular significance. On Sunday morning’s final session we returned to these, identifying, if we could, one for which we would have liked some kind of ritual to mark its importance. Then we wrote, (or attempted), liturgies.
In between these sessions, we heard about rituals for birth and death – most satisfactory with performative language and symbolic action. We looked at alternative baptism or naming ceremonies, enjoying words which bring alive the positive qualities of water and actions that connect the baby with the four elements. Then Sandra shared with us some moments of her ‘Dash’. This is the small line between the birth and death dates of a person into which the whole of the lived life is compressed! Similarly reflecting on our journeys brought us up against situations of significance that had passed unmarked, but which we realised needed celebration or honest acknowledgement.
I hope that some of the work we did, and the liturgies we were able to see will be available through the PCN website. The best shared resource, though, was ourselves. My thanks to all who were there.