Sunday, 28 October 2018

News - October 2018

The last few weeks have been a mixture of sadness, joy and anticipation about the future. Our last retreat at the centre, led by John Bell, was a beautiful celebration of the diversity of gifts from the globe. The final service of thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Los Olivos was moving and truly memorable. The stories and testimonies of those present at that last service echoed the words of our many friends over the years. We are humbled and grateful for the way in which God has touched so many of you through our ministry of hospitality over the past 8 years, and thank you for your friendship, love and support.
The first week of October was also very special, as the sculpture of John of the Cross was moved from the courtyard at Los Olivos to the gardens of the Carmelite Priory in Ubeda, the place where he died. The move was logistically complicated and quite stressful, but his new home is just right. It felt like the sculpture had been created for that spot all along, standing on the mediaeval turret of Ubeda's city walls with the stunning landscape of rolling mountains and olive groves in the background. On the sixth of October, the Carmelite brothers organized a special inauguration event, at which local authorities, including the mayoress of Ubeda, were invited, along with all the local media. Daphne Tengbergen, the creator of the sculpture, was able to join us from the Netherlands, and it was lovely to share with her too.
On the 16th of October we officially sold Los Olivos, after weeks of packing and moving furniture to a storage facility in Granada. We signed for our new house in Benalmádena on the 22nd of October and have been slowly settling down in our new town. The building works will start in just a few days and we hope to move in before Christmas. In the meantime, Guy continues to work for Keytree Spain and the Madrid office, whilst Daniel is taking a break from the faculty to focus on the building project. He will resume his new role as internationalization coordinator in January.
Finally, our programme of retreats for 2019 is nearly full now. You can find an updated version of our Malaga retreat programme below (pdf link) and on our website, , as well as further information about the venues and speakers.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

San Juan arrives in Ubeda

Yesterday we had quite a nerve wracking time with the moving of the sculpture of St John of the Cross to his new home in Ubeda. We started by having to remove him from his spot here at Los Olivos. He was "glued" in, so this meant a crane having to nudge him in small stages to release him from the floor.
He was then lifted over the back wall, and onto a lorry to begin his journey to the monastery. The trip down the track had to be at walking pace, to ensure that none of the statue was damaged on the way down.
On arrival he was given a police escort to the monastery through the medieval streets of the old town, where after 2 hours of maneuvers with a fork lift truck he was finally inched into the correct positioning. The whole process took 12 hours!

We are so pleased with his new home - the monastery where San Juan died, and also in the most amazing spot on the old town walls. It is like he was made for this spot.

He will also be enjoyed by the many people that go on retreat at the monastery each year. This could not be a better place.

There will be an inauguration ceremony on Saturday for his arrival, and we'll post some pictures.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Moving San Juan

Today we have been preparing San Juan for his moving from the patio here at Los Olivos. We have had 2 specialist art removal men on site, preparing the box that will be used to transport San Juan to the Carmelite monastery in Ubeda.
A crane will come tomorrow to load the statue onto a lorry and then we will drive with San Juan to the city, and oversee the unloading and moving through the small medieval streets to the monastery. It's going to be quite an event.
Please pray that he will arrive and be installed there in one piece.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

This week we look forward to welcoming John Bell, for our last retreat at the Los Olivos centre

He will be introducing us to Gifts from the Globe .. . .. 

If God created and loved the whole world, perhaps it is time that Western Christians became aware of the poetry, theology, worship traditions and song from the Southern Hemisphere. It might save us from imagining God as an anglophone deity who sits on a throne draped in red, white and blue in whatever constellation. Asia, Africa and South America have great spiritual gifts and insights to offer - some of  which we will share in this retreat. 


Monday, 3 September 2018

This week we are pleased to welcome back Mark Burrows

He will be focusing on Rilke’s later poems, inviting participants to consider how we might answer the poet’s call to “do the heart-work with the images [we] hold within us,” coming to see that “the world, the more we observe it, wants to flourish in love.” 

What this can mean calls us into the deep of our own lives, suggesting what it might mean to dare transformation in our lives. We will also consider short excerpts from Rilke’s remarkable letters to augment our work with the poems. Retreatants will be invited to keep a journal in the form of letters written to friends—an old fashioned soul/art that needs reviving in our times.