SLD Blog

Invitation to Retreat – A Book Review

Invitation to Retreat
Author: Ruth Haley Barton

Having read a number of Ruth Haley Barton’s writings as well my own personal desire for a time of retreat, when the opportunity came to preview Invitation to Retreat I was eager to begin reading. Ruth Haley Barton did not disappoint with a book that is easy to read, full of real life examples, and practical suggestions.

In Invitation to Retreat, Ruth Haley Barton walks the readers through the stages of personal retreat including planning, what to do while on retreat, and returning home. Through the twelve chapters, Barton elaborates on seven specific invitations from God: to rest, relinquish, replenish, recognize, respond, recalibrate, and reengage. Barton shares from experiences with personal retreats as well as leading others in retreat.

Invitation to Retreat is designed so that it can be read prior to or during a retreat. Each chapter ends with practical suggestions for Practicing Retreat. These suggestions include practical advice such as “Don’t overplan” and “Go to bed when you are tired.” She raises thought-provoking questions to ponder and allow God to speak. There are three strategically placed interludes that provide thoughtful poetry and prayers to break up the reading. The appendices provide resources for Fixed Hour of Prayer and additional information for planning your own retreat, including a suggested schedule.

Whether a seasoned retreater or one seeking to take a personal retreat for the first time, if you are longing for space to connect with God, Invitation to Retreat is a valuable resource to walk you through this experience.


Review by Lisa Collier, Ministries Development Coordinator, PENDEL Division, USA East