'Discovering God's Beauty' Titoki Retreat Nov 6 - 8

'Discovering God's Beauty' Titoki Guided Retreat Nov 6-8

Dear Friends,

We invite you to join us for a fully hosted guided weekend retreat at Titoki Christian Healing Centre in rural Whakatane from Friday November 6th - November 8th.  

The retreat is themed ‘ Touch of Beauty | How To Cultivate the Healing Power of Everyday Beauty' and will be facilitated by Linda Parnell and Raewyn Higgins.

Beauty can be transformative, opening the soul to a deeper understanding of God and His call on our lives. Ultimately, He is the Beautiful One from whom all else flows. In this retreat participants will be invited to discover and deepen the impact that intentionally noticing everyday beauty can have on healing the soul. By learning to recognize these invitations of God we are drawn into a deeper appreciation of our faith.

Linda, who is this retreat for?

‘Discovering God’s Beauty’ is a retreat for men and women who are interested in learning more about the healing power of intentionally bringing beauty into everyday life.  Much has been written about the transformative quality of experiencing sudden, life-changing unexpected beauty - a sunset, a breath-taking view. 

But a few years ago, during a bleak period in my life, God led me on a journey of bringing beauty into my life on a daily basis. 

Since I had heard very little about this during my walk with the Lord, I embarked on a period of research.  I will be sharing a little of my personal journey and the impact it had for my own health, identity and faith in Christ, alongside excerpts from my research articles which are based on the writings of both men and women.

What do you hope people will experience?

Spiritual direction is about helping people notice the movements of God in their everyday living, often in ways that we don’t notice.  We tend to notice the extra-ordinary and can miss the ways God is present in our lives in the smallest details. 

"As a counsellor and spiritual director, my hope is that retreatants will be drawn to notice how developing an appreciation of beauty in everyday life can not only change the way we ‘see’ God, ourselves, others and the world, but also bring healing to our own lives and assist us to create a healing attitude and environment for the benefit of others."


About Retreat Facilitators 

Linda Parnell

I have been married for 43 years and have 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren.  I was involved in Women’s Ministries for many years, which culminated in my training to become a counsellor in 2003 at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute (I currently have a small private practice in my home).  A year after I graduated, the Lord led me to attend the formation process at Spiritual Growth Ministries to become a Spiritual Director, which I am still in the very final stage of completing. This was followed by several years of ill health, burn-out and times of intense loss which put my study on-hold. However, it is as a result of these experiences that God led me into the journey of ‘Touch of Beauty,’ based on Isaiah 61:3 which speaks of Him giving us ‘beauty for ashes,’ and Proverbs 24:3-4, which speaks of a house being filled with treasures (through the wisdom He provides). This had reminded me of God’s promise to give us treasures in the darkness. During this period I also had a dream about a house that needed transformation and I learnt that dreams about houses are often about our own lives.  Subsequently, it has been as a result of His guidance and leading that I now have the privilege and the heart to share this journey with others.  

I have long held an interest in Titoki Christian Healing Centre, as I am drawn toward the ministry of providing a place of rest and recuperation for people and have witnessed the healing impact resting in serene, beautiful surroundings has had on other’s lives.  I have also stayed at Titoki, having attended retreats as a participant as well as co-facilitating a retreat in 2012. 

My prayer is that others will also discover the many ways that ‘touches of beauty’ can help us to experience life – in spite of all its disappointments and challenges – with fresh hope and renewed appreciation of the goodness and beauty God has so freely given us. 

Raewyn Higgins

Friends for over ten years, Raewyn shares Linda’s passion that people would experience encouragement and gain resources - to recognise Gods’ invitations towards reassurance and healing in their lives.  Providing opportunities to explore these invitations in a respectful and honouring context - is a strong value informing the approach to ‘Discovering God's Beauty’ Retreat. Raewyn has been ‘gratefully’ married to Grant for 32 years and they have two adult sons, Richard – 28 and Campbell – 23. A counsellor with a background in physiotherapy, and training in mind / body awareness and processing - Raewyn brings experience and appreciation for both creative and therapeutic approaches with collage and Focusing – and a gratitude and excitement, trusting  Gods’ perfectly timed and unique invitations to each of us, in joining Linda and ‘Discovering God’s Beauty’ Retreat participants, at Titoki.


Retreat Q&A

Will this retreat be taken in silence?

This will be a guided retreat with periods of silence encouraged for reflection. Retreatants will be invited to spend time in silence to enhance their listening; for example, while they are writing in their journals and during the Focusing session. If participants opt to spend their meals in silence, their requests will be respected.

What is the format of the retreat?

People are encouraged to arrive from 5pm on Friday in time to settle in their rooms before dinner at 5.30pm. The first session will commence at 7:30pm on Friday evening and the retreat will conclude with lunch on Sunday. 

The Titoki team is happy to collect you from a bus or plane if you are travelling to be with us.  

The retreat will be delivered in a reflective setting.  Our time together will combine aspects of sharing and teaching alongside opportunities to listen and reflect.  Retreatants will be invited to spend time alone in quiet reflection and to create an  ‘art journal’ to visually record and represent their own discoveries.  (Journals, drawing and collage materials and other decorative elements are provided by us and included in the cost of the retreat).  

It is a process that honours our uniqueness and the way God invites us to celebrate who we are in Him. An opportunity to step aside from the cultural pressure for us to conform to the world’s model, in order to reconnect with the unique qualities He has placed in each of us.  This will be enhanced by Raewyn offering a session on  ‘Focusing,’ which is a way of listening to ourselves and deepening our appreciation of the God-given wisdom we hold for providing a healing environment for our own souls.  

People will also be offered a spiritual direction session to deepen their learnings if they choose.


Can you describe the accommodation at Titoki?

This is a two night retreat. Accommodation is in Titoki’s traditional homestead style building where there are ensuite queen rooms and assorted single rooms with shared bathrooms. Rooms are heated and cozy.  

Titoki provides an atmosphere that offers rest and restoration - from the comfortable beds, the pretty gardens and scenery, the inviting courtyard, a beautiful little chapel and lovely food all provided by gracious, caring hosts. It is a setting that provides the perfect back-drop for such a retreat as this.  All meals are included in the price, including delicious morning and afternoon teas. 

What are the retreat accomodation costs?

The retreat cost is $220 which includes accomodation at Titoki, meals and all materials.  A koha (donation) for the retreat facilitators would also be appreciated.  For those who opt for a single-bed room with shared bathroom, the price is $180.

What do we need to bring?

People only need to bring their Bibles, a koha for the facilitators and a bag for the journal and pieces they will collect during the retreat. They may wish to bring favourite colouring pencils etc if they choose, but as these will be provided this is not essential.


How do we book?

Contact the Titoki team as soon as possible to secure your spot.  Email: info@titoki.org.nz  Phone:  07 308 6503   Address: 71 Titoki Road, Whakatane

We look forward to meeting you and hosting you at Titoki for this special retreat which we are all looking forward to.

Every blessing,

Margie Upton | Titoki Counsellor

Posted: Friday 2 October 2015