2019 REFLECTIONS

As I begin my reflections, I am reminded this is the third year since my website began. I am honored and blessed to continue to have Kelsey Monochie as my web master.

As I journey through life, I realize I cannot accomplish anything on my own. First and foremost, I need God leading me and second of all, I need a team to work with as my creativity and effectiveness are enhanced by the involvement of those who are spiritually motivated to help identify and follow the will of God in our efforts.

I feel blessed to be a blessing, as I would have never guessed that life could continue to get better every day. As we age, we have the opportunity to grow in wisdom and because I have been blessed with excellent health, I thank God each day that I have the opportunity to discover and watch for the surprises that are in store for all of us. My mother taught me so much about the joys and sorrows of living. We can grow spiritually through both. I am always curious about the mystery of life is as it unfolds.

As we have begun our Lenten journey, one of my favorite seasons of the year, I am reminded of the ways we can focus on our spiritual life remembering the reason we observe Lent in our Christian community. At Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkhorn, NE, where I serve as Pastor of Care and Wellness, we have begun a 40 day Prayer Challenge. The ministry series that goes along with that is called J-Walking. At first I was puzzled by the title…until I realized it was about following Jesus.

Everything we do in our community of Bethany is about following in his footsteps. If not, we will go off the path we have been called to follow. The path of “The Rainforth Retreat Center” is hopefully guided by the pure love that is taught by Jesus. As we plan for upcoming retreats, classes, and trips we measure the purpose by that yardstick.

As you explore our updates, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have as you discern those things you may choose to be involved in as the year unfolds. My prayer for you is that you make a decision in your life as to how you may be walking as you experience the blessed life you have been given this season.

Peace,

Judith

Judith Rainforth
2018 Reflections

Seasons Greetings!

I am always grateful to God for my family and friends. This is especially true at holiday time when we seem to make more effort to communicate. The year has been filled with much activity at the Rainforth Retreat Center.

image.jpg

It grows each year as we share our gifts and resources in the way we travel and organize retreats. This year I was able to travel with Road Scholar to the Galapagos and think it would be fun if some of you would join me for a trip there in 2019. I want to organize a trip to Quito, Ecuador to visit the Amazon and travel by boat to some of the inhabited islands of the Galapagos. I now have great contacts there that are willing to host and guide us in Ecuador. Checkout the video on the Rainforth Facebook Page and let me know if you are interested in seeing the great Galapagos!

If you want to learn more about traveling with Road Scholar you can check out their website here: https://www.roadscholar.org/

The way we all share our experiences and learning is the way we can grow spiritually and mentally. I would love to hear from each of you as you journey through your lives and enjoy each day as life constantly changes.

I have experienced another change in my life. This past fall I accepted a call to be, Pastor of Care and Wellness at Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkhorn. It is such a joy as I minister in areas where I am gifted. I am now starting a meditation group in the prayer chapel at 1 pm each Tuesday. It begins on December 4, 2018. I am praying this will be a blessing for those who are well acquainted with meditation and for those who are beginners to the process.

Again, I want to remind you that we all grow spiritually when we share what God has first given us. That can be with our time, talents and areas of interest and expertise. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May you all feel blessed to be a blessing!

Peace,

Judith

Judith Rainforth
Annual Travel Retreat

Greetings to all of you!

We continue to enjoy a variety of retreats at the Rainforth Retreat Center. 

Our Annual Travel retreat will again be to the Avon/Vail area. We have reserved the Beautiful Westin Hotel along the River Front. This will be another Spiritual Disciplines retreat with lots of time for meditation and reflection indoors and in the great outdoors of majestic Colorado. Bring your swimming suit and hiking shoes. 

Space is limited as this is a small group so if you are interested please contact me ASAP either online, jrainforth@icloud.comor via phone, 402-880-0398.  We will be leaving early morning on August 24 and will return from our day long road trip August 30, 2018. 

Each retreat we have hosted has been filled with opportunities for spiritual growth.  We experience God in the midst of our planned and unplanned activities and quiet time.

I look forward to hearing from you and  prepared to answer questions and give you more details so that you can make an informed decision in relation to joining us for this retreat in the mountains of Colorado. This trip can be as leisurely as you choose or can be more robust depending on your desire for physical exercise or quiet time enjoying the lovely scenery!

Blessings,

Judith Rainforth

Judith Rainforth
Winter Travels and Reflections

 Greetings,

I have returned from my warm winter travels filled with gratitude and inspiration for the offerings at the Rainforth Retreat Center.  I spent three months traveling in Mexico, California, Arizona and Colorado with friends who enjoy yoga, meditation and hiking deserts, red rocks and beaches.

It is such a joy to have friends to experience life with some who date back to the 80's.  Life has brought me more than I ever could have imagined with family and friends that support me on my spiritual journey. 

As I downsized my transportation options a year ago this month and bought a Toyota Highlander, I realized the joy of simplifying my life to one vehicle now that I no longer need a towing vehicle.  Of course, my therapy dog, Paco and I have traveled far and wide as we are seeing the odometer at nearly 25,000 miles of safe travel.  Road trips are such a enriching part of our lives together.  Perhaps some of you will want to join me for some upcoming trips.

My prayer is that we have many more years to enjoy our journey together, which includes prayer, meditation and nature at our peaceful setting at Riverside Lakes and along the Elkhorn River just outside of the City of Omaha.

Life seems to get so busy and for me just taking time to be a human "being" rather than a just a human "doing" is important.

Looking forward to our upcoming retreats and sessions filled with peace and serenity as we experience God in the midst of our life.

Gratefully,

Judith

 

 

 

Judith Rainforth
2017 Reflections

Another Thanksgiving and Christmas Season is upon us! I love this time of year! I confess I listen to Christmas music before, during and after Advent and Christmas! I love dancing to the music in the privacy of my kitchen as I bake cookies and remember all the love of past, present and future! This week, I have written some Christmas cards and ordered my first ever flocked
Christmas tree! I promise no decorations till after Thanksgiving! 

As I think of all the memories we have made at The Rainforth Retreat Center this year, I am reminded of each of you as we have shared so much peace and joy. It is time to update my website and remove some of the memories that are now dated. Some of those have included the spiritual directees that I have seen here, the silent retreats, travel retreats, yoga retreats, art retreats, staff retreats, youth retreats and the list goes on. Each involved person has made my life richer. I thank you for your part in making the retreat center what it is today.  If you want to attend or co-host any retreats in 2018, I would welcome conversation about such.

As I prepare to go to warmer places this winter, I know I will spend much of my time in planning for the future of the Rainforth Retreat Center. I love the freedom to explore the opportunities that present themselves daily. So many of my friends and colleagues are creative and join me in creating peaceful times for spiritual growth. When I am not engaged in retreat activities, I am enjoying serving in various congregations as I am invited to the ministry during absences of other pastors in different locations.  I feel blessed that I can continue to enjoy serving others in so many different ways. At the top of my list has been teaching Confirmation Classes for Junior High students and leading worship on weekends.

My daily prayer is to enjoy good health.  Because of this blessing, I continue to be active and filled with desire to be involved in a ministry of presence wherever I am, to reach out to others and to welcome guests to the Rainforth Retreat Center with a spirit of hospitality.  Hope to see you in this beautiful season and if not in 2017, perhaps in 2018!

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Peace, Judith Rainforth 

Judith Rainforth
MY FIRST BLOG
1-81.jpg

Today I sing the praises of my friends at KOUVS who have made my dream of a website for Rainforth Retreat Center come true. If you want a website, they are the company to do it! We have worked together as a team, brainstorming about the creation of a website that will tell the story of the ministry of all whose lives are touched by the opportunity to come to a retreat and feel the restorative power of being still and knowing God is God. 

Over the years I wondered and meandered as I sensed a calling to this place in life. None of my ministry throughout the years would have been possible, first of all, but for the love of God, my family, my friends, my spiritual directors, my sponsors, my mentors, my professors, my parishioners, and yes even my enemies. I learned a long time ago to pray for friend and foe. 

When I was on my three month sabbatical several years ago, I was able to travel to retreat centers in various parts of the world. While I was at a silent retreat in Point Loma, CA, I walked many hours on the beach and prayed. I wondered if it would ever be possible to create a retreat center near the water like the one I was experiencing. While, I am sure I had the Pacific Ocean in mind, God blessed me more richly than I could ever imagine, as I have been able to build a retreat center, not on a beach on the coast but in the middle of our beautiful United States of America, The Midwest.   

At the Rainforth Retreat Center, I am happy to live in the same state as most of my family and enjoy the fruits of my labors, which have brought me to the place of being involved in the lives of my 6 teenage grandchildren and their families.  My friends are not only here but also scattered far and wide. When I host retreats, it is a blessing to become acquainted with  diversity in faiths and cultures. My circle of friends multiply as a result of The Rainforth Retreat Center and the many ways we experience our spiritual lives. 

I realize that as this chapter of my life unfolds, the word retirement will never be part of my identity as this ministry of presence so makes my heart sing and God willing, this will be part of my life-long journey.
 

Judith Rainforth