Urban Retreat Center…

Why is it that when we go on retreats it is always to rural areas? We always go out into the country to meet and hear from God, but why don’t we ever retreat in urban contexts? Can’t we also take time to intentionally dwell in the city to hear God? Does God only speak to us when we go to less populated and less developed spaces? Or is it just a Christian bias that we all have bought into…

Maybe instead of retreating from the city we could actually retreat to the city. There might actually be some advantages to retreating in the urban context! What can God teach us in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life? How might we see Jesus anew surrounded by poor and systemically oppressed people? How might God shape and transform His people in the urban setting? What could an individual or communities time look like as they seek God submerged in the hood? I would love to hear your thoughts and perspectives on this. Freestyle with me…


  1. blackwasp19 · February 15, 2009

    I am feelin’ that idea. It is something that my wife and I may pursue as we become more settled in life. Creating places of retreat, reflection and/or monastic practice in the city not only benefits those coming in from the outside, but also those in the city that may need a retreat from their activity.

    People use the city as “exposure”, but the reality is that it is life and that there are amazing natural and spiritual happenings in the city, but we have to normalize that for people.

    I love nature, hiking is one of my favorite activities, but retreating to find God, can be done anywhere – it’s more mindset than geography.

  2. the wordsmith · February 16, 2009

    I think it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. The rural retreat thing was (and is) about getting away from the hustle and bustle and distractions. It's probably the setting some picture when we think of Jesus in Matthew 14 sending everyone away, and going up to the mountain to pray. I've been to lots of sessions and teaching seminars and such that take place in the urbs (opposite of burbs), and I agree that it's as easy to find God at 12th & Vine as it is at Black Rock if you're looking for Him.

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