Jill Hoffmann and I have just returned from leading a 'Resting with the Healer' retreat at Penhurst. And what a privilege it was. There was an immense anointing of the Holy Spirit and healing flowed in powerful ways; both emotional and physical. A group of previous strangers grew close as we surrendered to God's love.
Thank you to all who prayed us through that retreat: your prayers continue to be an integral part of my ministry. And let no-one be in any doubt that Jesus does still heal today (unfortunately though, not, on this occasion, the retreat leader's cracked ribs)!
I will be returning to lead at Penhurst again in September 2017. In the immediate short term I will be taking some sabbath space in order to 're-charge with God' and to consider priorities for the future.
For now though, I find myself pondering "what makes somewhere a 'thin place'?", for Penhurst Retreat Centre truly is. I think the simple and obvious answer is 'prayer'; sometimes the faithful prayers of many people over many years. But I'm not sure that it's just that. Whilst touring the islands of the Inner Hebrides recently I remember experiencing moments where a place in nature could feel 'thin' and I suspect that was much more about me, the observer, being deeply present in the moment. A thin place can undoubtedly be an environment where the God of love and healing can more easily break through. Combine that with a willingness to be present to the Spirit's flow in an open and receptive way and wonderful things can happen.
Let us all pray more deeply for the Holy Spirit's anointing on all we do.