This past weekend at the O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, I enjoyed a weekend long Calvert Hall peer ministry retreat. The agenda included reviewing what peer ministry is about, attributes of good peer ministers, practicing our “witness talks,” and how to lead junior retreat, small groups and prayer.
The retreat gave us a lot of hands-on learning opportunities such as simulated small group discussions and giving our witness talks to faculty members and other peer ministers. If you’re wondering what a witness talk is, it’s basically a talk centered on a designated topic that explains how we became who we are. The talks are given during junior retreats that peer ministers lead throughout the school year.
On Friday evening we started with ice-breaker activities followed by group discussions, small group demonstrations, and a guided meditation to end the night.
Saturday opened by learning how to lead things like prayers and guided meditations. We also took photos with frames around our heads with things we are involved in at Calvert Hall. Around mid-day we had a prayer service which was fueled by quotes that were distributed to us. We were asked to relate the quotes to leadership and our roles as peer ministers. My quote was by Ben Franklin: “He that cannot obey, cannot command.” To me, this quote means that to be leaders, we need to lead by example; if we want to preach God’s word, we need to live by it.
Sunday morning was predominantly reflections and group discussion. The morning closed with mass attended by all the peer ministers and some faculty members.