SARA: A Retreat Ministry for Pastors in Brazil

SARA 2014 handout.JPG

SARA is an acronym for a retreat ministry that has been developed by Outreach’s Portuguese-language Ministries Coordinator, Pezini, and a colleague in the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil, the Rev. Mario Gois. The meaning of the Portuguese words is “serving,” “helping,” “refreshing,” and “befriending.” The retreat involves up to 20 pastors in a one-day pre-retreat, a month interval of reading selected books and articles, and a thirty-hour retreat. The outcomes envisioned for those participating in a SARA retreat are that they would establish (re-establish) a life of personal piety making use of the classical spiritual disciplines, that they would find a spiritual mentor, that they would engage in spiritual conversations with fellow pastors as part of their being colleagues in ministry, and that they would take a regular day off.

The retreats to date have been funded by contributions from the participants themselves, from the church that the Rev. Mario serves, and from Pezini’s travel allowance. However, for 2016 Mario and Pezini have been asked by distant presbyteries to put on the retreat in their parts of Brazil, which are located in very poor areas.

It looks as though the SARA ministry will be an ongoing and expanding ministry for Pezini and his co-worker. Therefore, Pezini has asked that The Outreach Foundation set up this retreat ministry as a separate project with travel subsidy for Mario and him when they go where participants will not be able to underwrite the travel costs. Pezini estimates that the need for 2016 is $5,000 for two trips to remote presbyteries for two leaders plus unanticipated retreats that are not fully covered by other funds.

Minimum Goal for 2016

$5,000 for retreats for Brazilian pastors facing burnout