Adult Ministries of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church has suspended its annual retreat for 2020.
The South Carolina United Methodist Spiritual Life Retreat, held earlier this year in Myrtle Beach, historically has been scheduled during January or February each year.
“Like with many things, circumstances have led us to realize that the retreat has probably run its course for now,” said Ruth Hughes, convener of Adult Ministries, which is part of the conference’s Connectional Ministries. “Competition for our time and finances, cost of production and diminishing sustainability of interest are all real factors for every ministry.”
The Spiritual Life Retreat Leadership Team decided in March to forego the 2020 retreat, then eased into a six-month period of prayer and discernment about what’s next – and whether the retreat would return after 2020.
“We know that the purpose and need must be clear before we engage again,” Hughes said. “When we met again in September, our conversation was about visioning for this ministry.
“It has always been our desire to move toward resourcing the districts and the local churches, but that will look entirely different and follow a model of intentionality.”
For now, she said, Adult Ministries will focus its efforts on supporting and promoting other conference and district events and programs, such as the Lake Junaluska Festival of Wisdom and Grace, Ya-Ya Day in the Spartanburg District, and events at Epworth By The Sea.
“As we reshape our team for this new work,” Hughes said, “we pray that God’s plan will become clear.”