“So Jesus got into the boat…” (Luke 5:3)

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I would love one day to do a Bible Study on all the references to Jesus and boats in the Gospels. There are loads of them! I am sure there must be deep spiritual insights we can glean. He sleeps on boats, calms a storm from a boat, calls people away from their work on boats. Jesus often gets into a boat either to teach the people (perhaps so he can be better seen or heard) and also as a means of moving away from the crowds for a while to rest.

Either way, I’m sure the boats he used were not much like the one we stayed on this weekend… Several weeks ago, the teachers within our Called and Gifted team were looking for somewhere to hold our training weekend. Being August, we were struggling to find a retreat centre. In the midst of our search, a friend texted me to say her boat would be moored nearby – could we use it for any small groups or retreats? Could we?! It seemed the perfect solution to our prayers!

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Peaceful sunset

So, this is how we ended up on the gorgeous “Queen of Peace” for the weekend. We felt so incredibly blessed to be on this boat named after the Blessed Mother. We had a lot of work to do – planning for the year ahead, practising our teaching and giving each other feedback, prayer and formation. I always think that beauty and location are enormous helps in our work and in spiritual renewal. And there was a great sense of peace and refreshment as we left the “Queen of Peace” today.

Having a priest and a Sister with us, we also had the “added bonus” of a bit of Catholic witness! The boat was moored at the foot of the Spinnaker Tower and so the Sister in our group seemed to prove an irresistible tourist attraction to the people passing by!

This weekend has reminded me more deeply of the great providence of God, of his desire to bless us more abundantly than we could imagine. How much he wants to lavish upon his children…!

If you want to find out more about Queen of Peace, contact the owners through their website: www.yourclassicyacht.com

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