Hi, this is Eric Elder and I’m happy to announce that 3 months from today we’re going to hold our 2nd Annual Ranch Retreat! We’d love for you to come!
If you’d like a boost in your faith, I hope you’ll join us for a weekend of worship and inspiration here in the heart of the Great Midwest on Columbus Day Weekend, October 10-12th, 2014. Our theme for the weekend will be “Transitions” and we’ll be asking God to help us as we walk through the transitions each of us face in our lives, with a focus on this verse from the Bible:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
We’ll start off with a sumptuous dinner on Friday night followed by some inspirational worship led by Alan Lowry of Saddleback’s GIG Music Ministry and a message to encourage you in your faith from Greg Potzer of This Day’s Thought and myself (plus a special behind-the-scenes look at our ministry, “This Day’s Thought from The Ranch”). Al’s coming in from Orange County, California, and Greg’s coming in from Denver, Colorado, so if you’re coming from out of state or out of the country, you’ll be in good company!
We’ll continue on Saturday morning with a light and refreshing breakfast, followed by another session of inspirational worship and messages. We’ll take a break for lunch on your own and some free time in the afternoon to just relax, pray or chat with us and some new friends.
We’ll have an optional prayer walk on Saturday afternoon at the site of my late wife Lana’s Memorial Bench at a cemetery nearby where you’ll have time to consider what God wants you to do with the rest of your “dash” here on earth. (I’ll also be sharing a personal update with you during the weekend on how we’re doing with our own transition since Lana’s moving on to her new home in heaven.)
We’ll gather again on Saturday night for another great meal, more inspirational worship and another faith-boosting message. (If the weather’s nice, we may even have a bonfire and cookout here at our home, complete with a sky full of stars and some good old s’mores for dessert…you’ll like ’em so much, you’ll want “s’more”!)
If you stay over till Sunday, we’d love to have you join us for worship at the local church where we attend in Normal, Illinois (you can tell people you were “close to Normal” for a whole weekend!), followed by lunch at the church café (dutch treat) for some extra time of relaxed fellowship.
If all that sounds good to you (I know it sounds good to me!), I hope you’ll join us here in Illinois on Columbus Day Weekend, October 10-12, 2014. We’re asking for a donation of $150 per person for the whole weekend of activities, which includes a gourmet dinner and hors d’oerves on Friday night, a light & refreshing breakfast and a homestyle dinner on Saturday, and 3 inspirational sets of worship and messages!
Even if we didn’t provide any sumptous meals or inspiring worship and messages, just getting out of your usual routine for a few days might be just what you need to hear from God more clearly and give you the boost in your faith that you need. So save the dates and join us in October!
(Although we hope you can stay for the whole weekend, we know some of you might be able to join us only on Friday or Saturday, so you can sign up for a one-day registration for just $75. And as much as I wish I could host you all at my home, I think you’d find it a little crowded with all my kids here! So here’s a link to some hotels near Lexington, Illinois where most of the activities will be held.)
We’re asking for a donation of $150 per person for the whole weekend of activities (plus a $4.74 processing fee from Eventbrite). You can also register for just Friday or Saturday for a donation of $75 per person (plus a $2.87 processing fee from Eventbrite). Please note for tax purposes that only the amount of your donations for the weekend that exceed the suggested donations listed above will be considered tax-deductible.
The retreat will be held at the Lexington Community Center, located at 207 West Main Street in Lexington, Illinois. Lexington is about 2 hours south of Chicago and 25 minutes north of Bloomington/Normal. The closest airport is in Bloomington, Illinois (BMI), with flights to many major cities daily.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10
5:00-6:30 Check-in at the Lexington Community Center in Lexington, Illinois
6:30 Hors d’Oerves and Fellowship
7:00 Gourmet Dinner
7:45 Worship with Al Lowry
8:15 Behind-the-Scenes with Greg Potzer and Eric Elder
9:15-10:00 Q & A, Prayer and Wrap Up
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11
9:00-10:00 Gather and enjoy a light & refreshing breakfast at the Lexington Community Center
10:00 Worship with Al Lowry
10:30 Message by Eric Elder
11:30-12:00 Q & A, Prayer and Wrap Up
12:00 Break for lunch on your own at local restaurants
12:00-6:00 Free time for relaxed fellowship and prayer, with an optional prayer walk at Lana Elder’s memorial bench at the Lexington Cemetery
6:00 Gather again at the Lexington Community Center
6:30 Homestyle Dinner
7:15 Worship with Al Lowry
7:45 Message by Eric Elder
8:45-10:00 Q & A, Prayer and Wrap Up
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12
11:30 Worship together at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois
1:00-3:00 Lunch (dutch treat) at the church café for some extra time of relaxed fellowship
Here’s a little more about us!
For more information about the retreat, housing or any other details, please call Shelly at (214) 597-4872 or simply reply to this note. Thanks and hope to see you in October!