US Faith Leaders in Retreat Hosted by RCF

The Rose Castle Foundation welcomed a group of six faith leaders from across the United States, all active in areas of social justice work, to Cumbria this week.

The group, who spent their time on retreat in the newly refurbished Rose Castle, were convened by RCF's partners at Odyssey Impact, which drives social change through innovative storytelling and media, connecting faith and secular communities.

The retreat provided space for relationships to deepen in a new context and time to enjoy the natural environment, while engaging with new tools for brave and healing conversations across divides. 

Odyssey Retreat 1

“I was seen and heard… my cup of hope has been replenished and my fountain of faith refilled. It is my prayer that when the dark, stormy and overcast

The retreat included facilitated workshops where the group explored the 12 Habits of a Reconciler, and how these can be developed and used within the group’s own context.

Michael Gibbs, a facilitator with Different Tracks Global, worked with the group to explore some of the nuances of conflict and conflict transformation skills. Odyssey Impact shared ‘Purple’, a new film that can be used to start conversation across political divides in the US. Alongside this was time for group activities and walks, making the most of the stunning grounds of Rose Castle.

Odyssey retreat 2-1

Speaking after the workshop, RCF’s Programme Facilitator, Phoebe Dill, commented: "This group is just incredible, if you want to be inspired to make change in your community, while also to laugh a lot – just spend time with these people. The journey of being formed to be a reconciler is not an easy or straightforward path but as we engage with an increasingly polarized world is vitally important. This group gives me hope that no matter where you are at in this journey we can all have a part to play in bringing change.”

One participant reflected: “I did not know what to expect but ... I was seen and heard… my cup of hope has been replenished and my fountain of faith refilled. It is my prayer that when the dark, stormy and overcast days of my work come that I may be able to draw from these moments of encouragement to go on a little further”.

RCF previously worked with Odyssey Impact during National Interfaith Week 2021, and the two organisations continue to work in partnership to equip tomorrow's faith-formed leaders in the USA with the skills, tools, and habits of reconciliation.



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