This past week Lauren and I had the privilege of attending the Soma Family of churches retreat. This is our fourth year attending this retreat and each year the Spirit has used it encourage and lead us. Two years ago it was at this retreat that the Spirit led us to open our hearts to foster care. Last year we were greatly encouraged through prayer and time to have fun with our leadership team. This year was a great mix of prayer, learning, fun, and rest. One of the highlights of the sessions we attended was getting to learn about marriage from Ray and Jani Ortulund. They gave us very timely biblical encouragement and insight from many years of marriage and ministry.

During the week we also had several sessions where we spent time praying, worshipping, and hearing testimonies of God’s grace at work in different churches throughout the Soma Family. It was so encouraging to see pastors from around the world sharing about both the struggles of living life in community and the sufficiency of God’s grace in those. It gave us time to reflect on how much we love our church family at Redeemer and how God has worked so much in and through the people of this church.

Along with the spiritual encouragement and time of worship, we also got time to enjoy San Diego as a team. We had some amazing Mexican food (Coyote Cafè) and enjoyed some amazing views of La Holla beach. This time of rest and fun was great for our leaders who went (Elders, Daniels, Harts, Moores) as we don’t often get to spend extended time like this together. I want our Redeemer family to know that all of us greatly appreciate the chance to attend this retreat with our spouses and want you to know that every year we come back encouraged and re-energized to lead. We are thankful to be part of the Soma Family of churches and have this time of renewal each January.