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Seven friends joined the retreat team of Sisters Jean and Liz, and friend Anne, on Saturday, 7 th March 2009 at La Retraite in Weston-super-Mare for a day to celebrate Spring. This was to offer a retreat day to adults with learning disability and to pray together.

Having explored the theme of Spring in words and pictures, fortunately the weather was good enough to also experience it in the garden, looking at flowers, buds, bird nesting box, and many signs of new life.

Scripture reminded us that God made the whole of creation, and so it was a very personal moment for each one to touch the Bible and hear that she too was a special part of God’s good creation. Many animals were represented and a candle was lit to celebrate the Word of God.

After a shared lunch and hearing all about our various working weeks, the group considered the parable of the Lost Sheep and Good Shepherd by talking about the pictures being coloured in, each in her own way. Pictures were made into individualized booklets to be taken home at the end of the day, again each made personal with her own name on it. Our closing prayer was for those we cared about, and the team realized the importance of the work done by participants during the week at the restaurant in the Town Hall, Day Centres and the Pottery.

Friendship, a helping hand, and gentle patience were evident amongst the group as we journeyed around the house and garden, washed up, listened and prayed together. In addition to our songs, we also managed a joyful version of ‘Happy Birthday to Jean’ over our tea and cake to end the day!

Our seven friends were Annette, Rosalind, Sarah, Elizabeth, Maggie, Philipa, and Georgina who cheerfully and enthusiastically welcomed God’s presence in one another, nature, scripture and we would certainly say, within our very selves.

To read more about Jean & Liz as they discuss how they became
involved in Special Needs Spirituality please follow the link:
Special Needs Spirituality