by AT News Team

“More and more people describe themselves as ‘unaffiliated and unattached’ in terms of religion,” reflects Gregory Nelson, a life coach who once was senior pastor of the Collegeview Seventh-day Adventist Church on the campus of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Former Adventists I am meeting feel this way too.”
His conversations with many “who have disengaged from attending church but are still hungering for meaningful ways to develop and build their spiritual lives” has led him to announce a series of weekend retreats starting January 25-26, 2013. Each is limited to a group of 20 people and more information is available at
“It’s a bit more tricky for them on a cultural level, since many of their connections from the past still remain, and they still love sharing the stories of Adventist life—even if only to laugh and smile about it,” Nelson told Adventist Today. “Like cultural Jews, there are definitely cultural Adventists, no longer embracing all the fundamental doctrines but still feeling warmth about their cultural connections.” And they are “trying to navigate their way through the vast plethora of options out there.”
Nelson explained that “these retreats will give them the space to evaluate and reflect upon what they feel they need to let go of considering where they’re at … and how to honor that in a respectful, healthy way, and then to consider how to innovate a faith and spiritual life that brings them to a place of greater wholeness, peace, joy, contentment and compassion for the world.”
The author of an outstanding book on the Sabbath—A Touch of Heaven: Finding New Meaning in Sabbath Rest published by Pacific Press in 1999—Nelson went from one of the largest congregations in the denomination to plant a new church among young professionals in Seattle. He now lives in San Francisco where he is part of a small house church.
If you know someone or are yourself “at a stage in your spirituality where you’re having a difficult time connecting to traditional church anymore, and yet you deeply hunger for a meaningful spiritual life that makes a contemporary difference,” then Nelson’s retreats may be what you need. He will offer a series of three retreats over the coming year in the Bay Area with three Webinars in between. He is also open to providing the same retreats in other places if there are 20 people willing to participate.