This past weekend Christian writers from all over the Memphis area enjoyed a lovely retreat with lots of Southern hospitality to boot. Thistledome Inn, a Victorian-style B&B located in Byhalia, MS, greeted more than twenty guests on one of the most beautiful Saturdays of the fall season. Keynote speaker, Roland Mann, opened the first session after Linda Darlene Reaves led an inspiring worship and praise experience.
Small group time offered writers valuable time to socialize and network. The first, hour-long session was devoted entirely to focusing one’s faith in God and His purpose for your writing. Writers strolled the spacious grounds and settled into secluded spots to immerse themselves in the presence of God and focus in on what He would have them write about. Then an elegant lunch was served buffet style complete with BBQ, coleslaw, pasta salad, homemade chicken salad with crescents, lemon squares, other pastries, cheese and fruit trays. And of course, let’s not forget the iced tea and lemonade. Some of the writers brought their instruments and shared in song on the back porch area, while others listened from the wrap-around front porch swing and comfy chairs.
Session II, led by Roland Mann, gave insightful understanding about the concept of finding one’s voice in writing. Another small group session offered writers more time to fellowship and get to know each other better. Marylane Koch led writers in Session III to further hone in on a well-known writing technique known as ‘Show Don’t Tell.’ Closing worship, led by Gary Keith who accompanied himself on guitar, further drew writers deeper into the presence of the Lord before Roland Mann’s closing address and prayer.
This was the first of what Suzy Hayden, the head organizer for this event, hopes will begin a series of bi-annual or at least annual Christian writers retreats for Memphis area Christian writers. Stay tuned to this news page for future events. Here are some comments from some of the participants.
“Very Inspiring/Helpful/Practical. Well-organized. helped me to make connections: with God and others (and also myself).”
“Thoroughly enjoyed retreat.”
“Very well planned retreat covering very important elements of writing. Wonderful opportunity to mix and mingle with others interested in Christ, Holy Spirit, God and their gifts of writing to each of us.”
“This would be helpful, if the retreat were done more frequently.”
“I liked Roland’s and Marylane’s presentations. The worship at the end especially, but morning was good too.”
“It was great.”
“Everything was wonderful and I enjoyed the experience.”