How is the retreat team formed?
As you may know, each TEC retreat can only have a certain number of people on the retreat team, and with so many new faces in the community, we often receive more applications to work than there are positions to be filled. For this reason, a Discernment Team meets to pray and form the retreat team who will serve on the following TEC, basing their decisions on a variety of factors for the good of those who will be making the following retreat, while allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them in their discernment.
What follows is an explanation of the Discernment process so that you can appreciate and understand what takes place in discerning teams for each TEC weekend.
When does it take place?
On or shortly after the first Tuesday following Comeback, usually lasting from 6PM-9PM.
Who makes up the Discernment Team?
- Chairperson and Spiritual Director of TEC
- One representative of leadership from each team of the previous TEC
- Two youth and/or young adult members from each team of the previous TEC
What is the Discernment Team?
A team that gathers to pray together asking the Holy Spirit to guide them in the process of forming the team for the next TEC retreat. Because we are a faithful community, we stand confident that the Lord continues to work through and among us. Even when decisions are made that may not necessarily seem to us to be the best ones, God can still redeem those situations, work in and through them, and allow His work to be accomplished.
What happens on the night of Discernment?
- After much prayer, the team comes together and opens their hearts to the will of the Father and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- The team sorts through all of the applications, reading each one and taking notes, so that each team member is aware of the desires of each applicant and their reasons for applying.
- Extensive discussion follows and eventually a decision is reached regarding the leaders and members of each team, as well as those who will offer the meditations.
- The discussion, while honest, is always carried out with charity, regardless of whether affirmations or concerns are shared, so that decisions can be made out of love with the good of the individuals and the community in mind.
What criteria is taken into account when determining the teams?
- A blend of males and females
- A mix of experienced and new, outgoing and quiet, etc.
- A sampling from different regional areas, high schools, colleges, and parishes
- The set number of individuals in each age group, as determined by the structure of the retreat
- The number of “out-of-towners”
What else is taken into consideration?
- The applicants’ gifts and talents and how these may best be used
- The applicants’ desire to serve the TECites (and not be served) in imitation of Christ (John 13:1-17)
- How long it has been since the applicant has worked last (applicants who have not worked in a while may be considered before applicants who have just worked the previous TEC)
- Whether an applicant has already worked two weekends in a row (which may eliminate some individuals right away since it is not permitted to work more than two weekends in a row)
- Authenticity of faith witness and dispositions necessary for positions of leadership
- Opportunities to mentor and provide experience for potential future leaders in order to ensure the perseverance of leadership in the community
All of the criteria is weighed in order to provide the best experience for the TECites of the following retreat, while also considering the initiative to further develop one’s personal skills and spiritual gifts, ensuring leaders for the future of the community and its goal of helping teens encounter Christ.
If there are ever any questions about discernment, please feel free to contact our Chairperson or Spiritual Director, and they will be as honest and as clear as possible in explaining the discernment process.