The third component of the Congregational Formation Initiative process involves a multi-day retreat or “immersion” experience. This retreat, which is designed for those members of the congregation who have participated in the CFI to this point, offers a time of intensive focus and reflection on those aspects of the conversation thus far that warrant further exploration.
Such an immersion experience is crucial to nurturing an alternative understanding of the church. In such a setting, participants are afforded the opportunity, in a relatively short span of time, to catch the “big picture” in a manner that is substantially different than the learning gleaned week by week in more conventional learning settings.
Each retreat is planned by the local congregation in light of its specific needs. Wherever possible and desirable, EP works with these congregations to provide a pastor-scholar team capable of helping plan and lead the retreat.