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Presbytery Retreat

A Journey with Hagar

Hagar - Journey, Desert, Art, Contemplation

In a biblical narrative that focuses on the establishment of the people of Israel, Hagar’s story is one we are too often prepared to dismiss. Yet the God-of-all-Creation meets this young teenage runaway and converses with her. How does Hagar’s story invite us to find ourselves when we are in the desert, escaping from the life before us? How can her story re-story our imagining of the God-Who-Sees?

This retreat will invite us into the story of Hagar with a lens to see and behold and be with the God who encounters us too. Through story, poetry and textiles space will be created to exhale, to wonder, to be encouraged, and to explore our own responses to the narratives that play out on the fringes.

Time will be given for contemplation and an invitation to think about the ways creativity might offer ways into the story – for us and those we serve.

Our Facilitator

Miriam Jessie Fisher works at Laidlaw in Ōtautahi as part of the education faculty. In 2022 she completed a Masters in Theology with a focus on re-reading the stories of Eve, Hagar, Leah and Mary Magdalene with a lens of manaakitanga (hospitality) convinced she would discover the largeness of God’s grace in their stories and insights that would take her beyond the tropes and invisibility these characters have experienced. Her masters included academic writing, poetry, spoken word and textiles.

Miriam Jessie is deeply convinced that Scripture speaks to our current contexts, of the wonder of the God at work in the fringes and the value of contemplation and loitering in thin places. She is interested in creative theological expression that honours the context of Aotearoa New Zealand and all the richness of bicultural partnerships, including the use of Te Reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). She has been married for 23 years to Mike and they have two teenage sons.

Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd July

Hanmer Springs Memorial Hall

There is no charge to attend the Presbytery Retreat, however you will need to organise your own travel and accomodation in Hanmer Springs. Limited accommodation is available in the Manse at Hanmer Springs at a reduced rate. If you are interested in a room in the manse please let us know when you fill out your registration form.

Dinner on Thursday and lunch on Friday will be provided as part of your registration. On Friday night there will be an opportunity to gather for dinner at a local restaurant at your own cost. Please let us know if you will be able to join us for that on your registration form.

Registrations close Monday 10th July 2023.