I have just returned from Camano Island and MSA’s annual Celtic retreat. This is always a relaxing and renewing time for me. Some of us spend the weekend camping on the land though most of the participants only come to spend Saturday with us. This year we had 25 adults and 5 children
Our Theme was The All Embracing Community: Celtic Christians held a deep love for the Trinity and every family, clan and tribe was seen as an icon of the Trinity. The Celts felt very comfortable with a God whose very nature was portrayed as a companionable relationship between persons and consequently were strongly committed to community life. As Esther de Waal expresses it “A God who is Trinity in unity challenges self centred isolation and points instead to fellowship.” They were very aware that to come into the presence of God meant to be drawn into community not just with the Trinity but with the entire human family and even into unity with God’s creation. It meant to enter into fellowship with sisters and brothers from every tribe and nation – rich and poor, young and old, disabled and whole. It meant to identify with the sick the oppressed and the marginalized.
The strongly monastic character of the Celtic church produced a model of ministry that was community minded rather than individualistic. “Ministry in all aspects… was undertaken by teams of men and women, ordained and lay, who lived together in community and operated from a common central base from which they went out among the people preaching, teaching, baptizing, administering the sacraments, caring for the sick and burying the dead.”
It was a great day of prayer, worship, meditation and celebration with friends. I hope that some of you can join us next year.