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The Spiritual Formation Academy was a wonderfully, relational-deepening experience for me. As a teacher myself, it is so necessary for me to receive, so to experience good teaching in the Word and then have solitary time to digest what God was saying to me, and to others, was a milestone on my journey. Will I come back again? You KNOW I will! [Frances Jennings]

When I’m asked about the 5-day Academy and why I continue to return each year, I usually say that I go because there is silence available. My daily life does include a time of silence each morning, but I’m frequently interrupted and my thoughts are on to other things. The time away at Academy offers me a time to “unclutter” my interior life. It offers me time to reflect without the possibility of a ringing phone, an email waiting or family and work “needing” me to “fix” something. I find that the voice mails, emails and situations that need fixing will either get fixed by someone just as capable as me or be there awaiting my return. It has been a learning experience for me to release my need to be needed and let the Holy Spirit work in my life and in the lives of those I’m away from for an ever-so-brief time. I return each year with new eyes and ears and the patience that comes from new understandings of myself and my relationship with God. [Marilyn Swanson]

The Academy is my annual spiritual retreat. I get my spiritual house in order, receive powerful teaching that guides me through the year, and establish deep friendships to accompany for the journey. [Rev. Larry Rankin, Director for Mission & Outreach, Florida Conference UMC]

I believe that God led me to the Academy for Spiritual Formation for two reasons. One reason was to come to know God more fully. The other reason was to connect with people who share the same spiritual yearnings that I have. It was a spiritual homecoming for me where God poured out His grace. [Melba Whitaker]

Our culture is obsessed with time. By Monday afternoon and for the rest of the week, I felt that I was living life in slow motion. The hour of silence for reflection after the talks made it easier to hear God’s quiet voice to me. [Mel Ridgeway]

To my delight I discovered the gentle, prayerful rhythm of the retreat encounter to be nourishment for my own journey. Top-notch speakers, lively discussions, interludes of silent reflection, and calls to worship and prayer molding the day into God’s design make this an experience to revisit year after year. [Lucy Wray]

The five day academy 2003 was one of the most spiritually enriching experiences in my life. Grounded in strong faith and extensive understandings of the intricacies of the Christian path, both Dr. Hinson and Sister Miriam were delightful in the classroom. The worship team wove a rich tapestry of celebration and healing to augment our academic learning and conform that learning into spiritual experience. Grateful to have another opportunity to attend. [Renee Bronson]

The 5 Day Academy provides a way to get away from the daily grind of life – to find a place apart, yet in Christian community. It is a time to be renewed, refreshed, challenged, and transformed. It allowed me to reflect on the sacred rhythm of life in the Spirit, to come to know Christ more fully, and to renew my commitment to Christian discipleship. [Warren Pattison]