Retreat Center Offers Renewal and Hope for Spirit

09/22/2013 .
Lisa Fontaine

You’ll find Jed Louvier occupying the same seat every weekend for church in the Saddleback Worship Center. A bit ritualistic? Perhaps. But Jed considers this routine to be the major contributing factor in meeting his good friends Jim and Judy — who coincidentally occupy the same seats every weekend in the row in front of him. Accepting an invitation from Jim and Judy to attend a half-day Saddleback retreat, Jed had expectations about the retreat and was excited to spend time in fellowship, worship, and learning. What he didn’t expect was how much the retreat would change his life. Prior to attending the retreat, Jed said he felt like his walk with God had plateaued. He found himself questioning God and asking, “Is this all there is?” His thirst for spiritual growth had dried up, and Jed had slipped into a spiritual doldrum. He felt distant from God, even though he knew God was not distant from him. Jed entered the retreat with an open heart and mind to learn, and more importantly, to listen to what God was trying to tell him. A Christian for less than five years, Jed notes, “One of the greatest things about Saddleback retreats is that no matter where you are in your Christian journey, God will speak to you and apply the learnings to your life. It’s amazing to feel God’s spirit fill your heart and lead you in a new direction to draw you closer to Him.”

God spoke to Jed at that first retreat, and he listened. He discovered a sense of spiritual revival and a reconnection to God. Since then, Jed has attended several Saddleback retreats and has gained new knowledge and perspective from each one. As a lay counselor and active member of the Elderly Ministry, Jed shares his experiences with others and is able to help them grow in their relationships with God. He looks forward to attending more retreats in the future, and even says that he would revisit the ones that he attended in the past to gain a new frame of reference by applying the principles to his current place in life.

In a perfect world, we could go about the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and continue to progress in our spiritual walk with little effort. But the daily distractions of cell phones, tv, and internet, plus the responsibilities of work and family, can monopolize our lives and leave us little time to focus on God. The truth is, God wants your time and attention, and sometimes getting away is the best way to grow closer to Him.

Last weekend, Pastor Rick shared that his entire family recently attended the Retreat Center’s  “Surrender” retreat as they struggled to cope with the loss of their son and brother Matthew. The retreat was instrumental in helping them let go and trust God in the midst of the immense pain and grief they were experiencing.

It’s clear how the retreat deeply impacted Pastor Rick and his family—surrendering to God was a key theme in Pastor Rick’s last series, “Get Through.” And now, the upcoming Abiding Life Conference will build on this series by helping you to discover how your past, present, and future are all important parts of God’s plan for your life.

Saddleback’s Retreat Center offers the ideal setting to help you relax, learn, and strengthen your relationship with Christ. Each retreat offers an opportunity to sideline your jam-packed schedule and experience spiritual refreshment, renewal, and hope. Located in the foothills of San Juan Capistrano, the Saddleback Retreat Center property is an oasis with fountains, lush gardens, quiet pathways, and an air of serenity. Saddleback retreats include a topic of instruction followed by time spent alone with God in prayer out in the beautiful surroundings to bring truth and light of the teachings to life on a personal level. It’s a time that invokes a profound level of self-discovery, restores spiritual focus, and unfolds true spiritual depth and transformation that become a part of a person’s everyday life.

Visit our Retreat Center web page at to learn more about the many retreats that Saddleback offers throughout the year. We also invite you to stop by the Retreat Center any time you need a reprieve from life’s chaos to pray and embrace God’s spirit in a serene setting.

Click HERE to learn more about the Saddleback Church Retreat Center.

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