By Laura Nolte
Saint Mary’s University will be holding a three-day Together Encountering Christ (T.E.C.) retreat open to college-age students Feb. 3-5 at Alverna Church in downtown Winona.
Many of SMU’s students and staff will be going on the retreat or helping out. Lynn Streefland, a member of SMU’s Office of Campus Ministry, is one of the retreat leaders..
On the retreat, students will “have opportunities to hear talks given by peers,” Streefland said. “They spend time in small groups. They play games, listen to music. They have an opportunity to spend time in prayer. In addition, there are many fun surprises that happen throughout the weekend.”
Sometimes the surprises can make people wary of going on the retreat. For others, they make the retreat more enjoyable.
“The secrets sometimes make me sad because [T.E.C.] is not meant to be exclusive,” Streefland said. “Rather, I prefer to think of [the secrets] as surprises where if you found out about the surprises, it wouldn’t ruin it. But the surprises bring delight and excitement on the weekend.”
Streefland said that T.E.C. is a great opportunity for students to connect with their faith.
It’s another way to “notice the many ways that God speaks to us,” Streefland said. “I like the fact that it’s open to anywhere you are on your faith journey. Some people are just starting to engage in their faith; some have been practicing for years. On T.E.C., both have a common faith experience that grows in faith together.”