We had our long awaited ISMNZ Retreat at Elm Fireside in El Rancho on 6-8 May. Originally scheduled for 24-26 September 2021, the retreat had to be twice postponed due to lockdowns in late 2021. This time was made all the more precious as our last annual national retreat was 1.5 years ago.
All up we had 54 participants join us from Auckland to Christchurch at the Kapiti Coast, and we were also very honoured to have 2nd and 3rd generation ISMers, our new board members and other new volunteers joining the national retreat for the first time.
We went back to the word with the Beatitudes and Psalm 27, acknowledged the grief and challenges of the last two years and learnt to care for ourselves focused on wellness and had workshops for re-tooling.
We also received updates on the Graduate Network and also revisited the Mission Statement and Values of ISMMZ, heard about what the National team is up to, and discussed what might happen when the new students return in the next few years.
Finally, our board chair, Andrew Lim led us in a time of prayer and blessing the city leaders and national team and board members.
El Rancho was the site where ISMNZ was first formed and where many past conferences were held. The staff were accommodative and very helpful to our group's needs. It was good to be back and hearing stories of past retreats from other long time staff.