This past month Gina and Nancy received a great gift: words of wisdom, freedom, and affirmation from trusted friends as we sought direction and answers for InSpero at a vision retreat at the beautiful Pursell Farms.
These creative visionaries from around the Southeast and then members of our creative tribe spoke (and sang) wisdom as we shared our desire to find a consistent place to offer thoughtful, intimate, restorative retreats for those on the frontlines of the arts and ministries and city renewal.
Their answer was a resounding YES that this kind of retreat is vitally important for them and us. But they also gave us a unified NO about finding a physical place. Their answer was “we are the place—wherever we are—whoever we are with.” They said the vision is enough weight. A physical place could add more weight than we need now.
They encouraged us to stay true to our vision for the common good to see Birmingham look more like heaven through inspiring creative community. To our belief that beauty matters and so do those who create it.
When you carry a dream or a vision for a long time, the weight of it sometimes feels like this statue pictured above at Pursell Farm's Parker Lodge. Having friends help sustain us so we can sustain others lifted our heads and hearts.
If you are reading this, you too, may have a vision or dream and wonder how you can sustain it, how you can keep going.
Here are some of the words of wisdom they gave us:
There is beauty in letting love lead us and and pursuing and valuing the “one” person.
Doing things in a small, slow, faithful way over a long period of time will continue to be our rhythm.
Full, unhurried, uninterrupted presence with each other is rare, powerful, and so needed.
We cannot do anything without the amazing people God has brought to carry us: pray-ers, hospitality givers, space-creators, table-setters, those who bring their hearts/music/visions and those who contribute financially. Thank you.
The answer we were seeking is something we already possess and we came away knowing that this intimate retreat will play a critical part in our annual rhythm and in our own lives as we continue to see hints of heaven break into Birmingham and we care for our creative community to bring beauty and hope to our city and churches.
So with a bear hug from some of our friends and a renewed affirmation of our vision, in a few days, please look for another InSpero email where we will give you links to tickets to some of our upcoming events, including our Lent Retreat March 5, David Wilcox with Andy Gullahorn events on March 21-22, and Magic City Storyteller on June 6.
It was at Rivendell the hobbits think through the vocation they have been given, carefully working out the who and what and where of the odyssey that will be theirs. But integral to all that they were, and to all that they would need to be, was the table at Rivendell, a place for the best conversations and the best food and the best drink — simply said, a wonder of wonders." Steve Garber
The never-ending hope of Easter, Writer Andrew Shaughnessy shares reflections on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and why hope and beauty matter. "We hope because we know a day is coming when, to paraphrase Sam in The Lord of the Rings, “everything sad will come untrue,” when our Creator King will dry every tear and bind up the broken hearts and restore the sundered cities and turn the world upside down."