All Church Retreat at Monte Toyon

One of the things I have always loved about retreats is the chance to get to know my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and this year’s All-Church Retreat at Monte Toyon was no exception.  The retreat’s theme, “Conversations at the Well”, indeed opened up many opportunities to get to know everyone beyond the usual Sunday’s “Hi, how’s it going?”  The beauty of the way our cross-cultural discussions were led by Pastor Sun-Hee Kim and Shan McSpadden  allowed for each of us to get intimate, dig a little deeper and learn more about the cultures, traditions, and backgrounds of these faces we see every Sunday.  Who knew that Glenn Bautista was so funny?  Or that people from a range of age, gender, and ethnicity could still relate on so many levels?  It was truly a blessing to be in fellowship with those on the retreat, to play a rousing game of kickball, to take some time away from the busyness of daily life and to be with God among some of His most awesome creations.  -Melinda Bautista

It had been a while since I was able to be on retreat at Monte Toyon. When I arrived, I felt like I had only just been there last week! It was so familiar, so welcoming. The entire weekend was refreshing and relaxing, even while we exercised our brains in the sessions and stretched the limits of our understanding and caring for others than those of our own backgrounds. An awareness of differences in communication and relationships was recognized and developed and I learned much about myself this weekend. I am thankful for the ‘family’ feel we experienced at retreat and that we feel in our church. When all the noise and clash of daily urban life is eliminated, like at our retreat, we feed our souls and our relationships with God and with each other and our faith strengthens. God willing, I’ll be able to go to the next retreat, too! – Marty Trudell