CMDA Philadelphia 2017 Fall Retreat

 

CMDA Philadelphia Fall Retreat

Remember the days when following Jesus was easier?  Whether you’re a student, practicing professional or somewhere in between, a life in healthcare makes it hard to pursue Christ with your whole heart.  Let alone look around you to serve others.  

If you’re like most, you want to keep growing in your relationship with God.  But it can feel overwhelming, and it’s easier to do the minimum, hoping it all gets better ‘someday’. Deep down, though, you know that ‘someday’ won’t be any easier.  If you’re going to pursue God, you’ve got to get started now, even when life is crazy.

That’s what this year’s CMDA Fall Retreat is all about.  We’ll provide a simple, biblical framework for following Jesus so that you’ll know how you’re doing, and, where you need to keep growing.  And we’ll do it together, in community, with others who understand what you’re going through.  

Our time away will help you reconnect with God and other believers, and refresh your sense of calling to serve Christ through healthcare.  We hope you’ll join us!

Contact information: Sharon Stoudt: stoudts@gmail.com; 856.524.2125.

Speaker Information: We will have a panel of various local professionals with us, and we hear teaching from God’s Word by pastors Matt Cohen and Bryan Stoudt.

Venue Information:  The Welcoming Place | 21 South 12th Street | Akron, PA 17501

(Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes west of the city in Lancaster County)

Schedule: We’re still putting finishing touches on the schedule, but in addition to our main sessions and panel, we’ll have plenty of time for rest (study if you must!), refreshment and fellowship.

Price includes 4 meals. Linens, towels, etc. are also all provided.

Students: $40 double occupancy / $55 single occupancy

Residents: $50 double occupancy / $65 single occupancy

Professionals: $60 double occupancy / $75 single occupancy

Children ages 4-12: $30

Children ages 13-17: $45

*You can arrive as early as 5pm. Dinner will be available from 6:00-7:00pm. Programming will begin at 7:15pm, but just come when you can on Friday night, we know everyone’s schedule is different.  (There will probably be leftovers you can heat up if you arrive after 7pm.)

Have You Registered For Our Fall Retreat?

It’s getting to be that time where you’re past the initial buzz and energy of the new academic year.  Where you’re wondering why you signed up for this.

You know that you’re in it to serve Jesus and your patients, but do you really know?  The daily grind of exams and life in the hospital can make it hard to remember.

Group shot - cropped

That’s why it’s time for our CMDA Fall Student & Resident Retreat (Fri, Sept 30th 6:30p -Sat, Oct 1st 7:30p).  In just 25 hours, you’ll have the time to reconnect with God and other healthcare students and residents who get what you’re going through.

All in beautiful Lancaster County, just a little over an hour outside of the city.

We’ll also have great teaching, an ‘ask anything’ session with local professionals, and – yes – time for rest and studying.  (If you stay home, you’ll probably end up binge-watching Netflix anyway.)

So, what are you waiting for?  Online registration is open through Monday, September 26th.

Hope to see you there!

Welcome to Philly

If you’re just arriving to Philadelphia, we want to give you a warm welcome!  (Even though we’re known as the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, that may not be your first impression.)

LOVE Park, Philadelphia

Whether you’re a new student, resident, fellow or practicing professional, we’re so glad that God has led you here.  Our passion is to come alongside you and help you serve Christ, and the people around you, as much as we possibly can.

You’re coming to Philly at a great time.  God is really at work in our healthcare community!

  • In April, we held our first banquet and 190 people came out to learn more about, and support, God’s work in and through our healthcare community.  There’s a lot of momentum as we look forward toward the fall!
  • Just this past month, we launched our first group for professionals at the home of two local professionals.  The group is open to all allied health, dental and medical professionals and residents, and plans to meet regularly, focusing on transforming, personal relationships.
  • In the fall (August-September), we’ll kick off our fall bible study brunches for students and residents around the theme of Growing Closer To God Even When Life Is Crazy.  The brunches take place every 3 weeks in the home of our area director and feature a great home-cooked meal, home-roasted coffee and opportunities to connect with the Lord and healthcare folks from all around the city.
  • On September 30-October 1, we’ll hold our annual student and resident fall retreat.  Just over 24 hours, the retreat is a fantastic time to get away from the grind and remember why you chose healthcare in the first place.
  • As we head into the New Year, we hold our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend (Fri. 13th-Sun. 15th). Students, residents and professionals from DC to NYC gather together for great food, fellowship, teaching, worship, and yes – relaxation.
  • June or July 2017 – we anticipate holding our first-ever international missions trip in Central America through Global Health Outreach, CMDA’s short-term missions arm. Stay tuned and let us know if you have interest!

As you can see, God is doing great things in and through us.  We feel so thankful that God has called you to Philadelphia for this next stage of your journey.

Please let us know how we can serve you, and, help you as you settle in!

Fall Student & Resident Retreat

Fall 2015 Philadelphia Student & Resident Retreat

Friday, September 11 (6p) – Saturday, September 12th (8p)

Location: The Welcoming Place | 1:15 west of the city in beautiful Lancaster County, PA

Ever feel like – slowly, but surely – your life has become all about school or your work?  That you want to connect more with God and others but don’t know because your life is so busy?

If that’s you, you’re not alone.  And although there are no easy answers, God’s Word and Christian community offer real hope even when training threatens to make our lives one-dimensional.

Join us for our annual fall retreat where we’ll consider, in community, Bigger Than You: Following Jesus in Your Training to A Life of Meaning, Healing & Growth.

Mealtime 2012

This will be a great chance to:

  • find rest and refreshment
  • develop relationships with your peers from around the city who understand exactly what you’re going through
  • connect with mentors who have gone before you
  • add some balance to your life and start your year off on the right foot

All allied health, dental and medical students and residents welcome!

More details and online registration may be found here.

Fall Student & Resident Retreat!

Group shot - croppedWhat would make this year a great one for you?

If you’re like most, slowing down long enough to ask (let alone answer) that question can be a source of stress!  Although there are no easy answers, God’s Word provides a solid foundation we can return to even when training threatens to make our lives one-dimensional.

Join us for our fall retreat where we’ll consider, in community, What Matters Most: Laying a Strategic Foundation For Serving In Healthcare.  This will be a great chance to be refreshed and develop relationships with your peers and even mentors from around the city!  All allied health, dental and medical students and residents welcome!  (Professionals, please contact us for additional information on pricing and involvement.  We’d love to have you present as mentors!)

Here are the details:

  • Sat., Oct. 11 (9a) – Sun., Oct. 12 (lunch)
  • Held at The Welcoming Place in Akron, PA (just 1.25 hours from Philly; same location as last year)
  • Theme: What Matters Most: Laying a Solid Foundation for Your Year
  • Cost of $40 includes lodging and all meals
  • Graduate panel (students/residents can ask anything) likely held early Sat. afternoon

Register now right here!  See you there!

Recent Happenings

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful for another great season of ministry. Here are some highlights since we’ve last written!

Fall Student Retreat

panelists

Our healthcare panel addresses the theme of work and life balance at the fall retreat.

In October, we held our first-ever citywide fall student and resident retreat.  After several years of prayer, God finally opened the door and allowed us to move forward!  We had an absolutely fantastic time as we considered the theme of rest. Dr. Josh Uy and I shared the teaching, and a panel composed of graduate healthcare providers interacted with the students in sharing how they balance the demands of their careers and families.  We also had plenty of relaxed, informal time together.

Global Missions Health Conference

2013 Philly Global Missions Group (2)

Our Philly group at the 2013 Global MIssions Conference!

Earlier this month, I joined a group of about 20 healthcare students and professionals on a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Global Missions Health Conference, the largest medical missions conference in the world.  Beyond picking up fresh ideas for our area ministry and networking, the best part for me was spending lots of time in meaningful conversation with people from our local healthcare community.  It was especially rewarding to meet with former students, now medical residents throughout the country, to see how they’re doing and have the opportunity to speak into their lives again. They are a living picture of what our local healthcare community is all about – investing in those God sends us in the hope that they will go out and carry the Great Commission forward!

Expanding Our Team

God continues to bless our ministry with growth and expansion!  Although sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the Lord(!), he continues to provide committed co-laborers.  In the past month, Dr. Neil Pitts, a pharmacist, has joined our ministry council, bringing a heart for the underserved, students, and a desire to help us wisely partner with those at our schools who may not share our faith commitments. In addition, Sharon has been hired as our part-time ministry assistant.  I’m biased, of course, but I can’t imagine anyone more qualified both to serve our women and capably assist with the growing number of administrative tasks!

Deep, Lasting Change

Perhaps more than anything else, we passionately desire that those we reach change in lasting ways that better enable them to serve God and those around them (the two greatest commandments).  By God’s grace, we are witnessing this on a regular basis and it brings us such great joy.  Here are some recent examples: one student has seen that he tends to keep others at arm’s length, but now he’s moving toward the difficult people in his life and helping them change.  Another has appreciated more deeply how fully he’s accepted in Christ, which has given him courage to ask for help and ‘be himself’ in his campus fellowship, which in turn is opening new doors for personal ministry.  Still another is struggling in a new city, but wants to take specific steps to stay connected to God and others where he is, rather than hoping to find it elsewhere as he has in the past.  Although often quiet, we are privileged to be on site as the Spirit works in the lives of those around us.

As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, we are especially grateful for you, our friends and support team.  We hope you are encouraged by the fruit of your investment!

Giving thanks,

Bryan & Sharon

Please lift up these praises and prayers along with us:

  • Praise for a great fall Intermed, fall retreat, Global Missions Health Conference and so many relationships where God is at work!
  • Praise for God’s provision of Dr. Pitts for our council and Sharon as our ministry assistant.  Please pray for wisdom as they begin their new roles.
  • Pray for a strong year’s end financially so that we are positioned well for the coming year.
  • Pray for God to give wisdom as our team meets with students for times of discipleship and mentoring.
  • Pray that God helps our leaders and I conduct ‘halftime evaluations’ in December and make any necessary adjustments for the spring.
  • Finally, pray that the Lord leads many to attend our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference (Jan. 17-19) for refreshment and transformation.  Please pray also that God provides generous funding for the event, always a challenge since we subsidize students’ attendance.

Fall Intermed Update & More

Intermed Update

One constant feature of our ministry here in Philadelphia is change.  Students, residents, fellows and even professionals come and go at God’s leading.  Because healthcare training is comprised of many transitions, we made this the theme of our most recent Intermed, a gathering of local healthcare students and professionals for teaching, worship and fellowship.

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Drs. Jim & Thanh Kirkpatrick share about their own transitions at Intermed.

Drs. Jim & Thanh Kirkpatrick shared about their own transitions, both personal and vocational, during a great message that challenged those who came.  It’s vital for students to hear personally from those who have walked with Christ down the same roads they are about to travel.

Worship during Intermed.

Worship during Intermed.

Intermed, though, is about much more than the message. It’s also a time of connecting with others, worshiping together, and, processing the message in community during small group time.  By this measure, the event was a tremendous success!

Turning Point

Now that we’re well into the semester, we’re going through a (small) transition of our own.  I’ve visited all our campuses (at least) a few times, met the new first-years, reconnected with our returning students, and helped our leaders develop and implement a strategy tailored to their campus.  After this season of intensity, Sharon and I turn our attention to investing in the relationships formed in August/early September.  From now through early December, we’ll be going deeper with students, helping them to live out the gospel in the day-to-day grind of their everyday lives.

To give you a feel for what God is doing through us, I wanted to share (with permission) a portion of an email we received from one of our closest student friends, following a good conversation with him:

‘Thanks for today and for chatting and musing along with me… [and helping] me do a 180 degree on the recent “wilderness” trek I’m going through — I definitely was lost in the sense I didn’t (and still don’t really) see God’s hand in my life in a tangible way, but when you said that God is blessing me in this moment, I definitely realized that was so true — He loves me so much that He is allowing me to go through this period, molding me and shaping me more into His image; what else can I really ask for, right?’

It’s our tremendous privilege to be in relationships where we can have meaningful conversations like the one above.  While we feel our weaknesses and limitations, God seems to use the questions we ask, the attention we give, and, the encouragement we offer to make a consistent difference, and for that we give thanks.

On that note, we would be remiss if we didn’t end without giving thanks for you, our support team.  Intermed and the relationships we have are only possible because of our prayers and gifts.  May God bless you many times beyond all that you’ve given!

With love,

Bryan & Sharon

Here are some prayers and praises for this month:

  • Praise God for a terrific Intermed, home bible study brunches, many new first-year students, and, many wonderful times on campus.
  • Pray for our student overnight retreat Oct. 12-13.  Specifically, please ask that God helps students connect with Him and one another, and, that God blesses Dr. Josh Uy & myself as we speak on the theme ‘Rest for the Weary’.
  • Pray for wisdom and fruit as Sharon & I turn our attention to deepening relationships with students, especially our campus leaders and first-year students.

Fall Student Retreat – Registration Extended Through Saturday!

registerRegistration for our Fall Student Retreat (Oct. 12-13) has been extended through this Saturday, October 5th!  You can register online now at tinyurl.com/phillyfallretreat2013!

This will be a great time to connect with others from your campus, other fellowships, and, most importantly, spend time alone with the Lord.

We hope to see you there!

CMDA Citywide Student Retreat – Save The Date!

ImageSave the date! On Oct. 12-13, we’re holding a one-day, overnight retreat for healthcare students around the city.  Here are the details:

Where: The Welcoming Place (Akron, PA – just 1 hour from Philadelphia)
Theme: Rest For The Weary (Speakers: Josh Uy, MD; Bryan Stoudt, MDiv)
Cost: $30 covers meals and lodging

Why: This retreat is designed to refresh you through worship, fellowship, biblical teaching and small groups. We’ve also built-in times to rest, slow down, and have fun.

This is a great opportunity to become more deeply connected to your campus fellowship while also meeting others in healthcare training from around the area.

Online registration will open September 9th, but you can read – and see – more now through our brochure.  (Since we only have space for 40 students, you may want to register quickly!)

Retreat Update – I Feel Like I Was Saved Twice!


As you know, this past weekend we held our second Intermed Retreat for healthcare students and professionals in the Philadelphia area. By all accounts, it was an amazingly successful time! Please read on for a quick update on some prayer items for the retreat, as well as its surprise ending.

* turnout – We had 64 students and professionals come for the event, a very solid turnout. We also saw a significant increase in the number of professionals in attendance, a real encouragement and learning opportunity for the students.

* relationships – I had asked you to pray that significant relationships would be formed, and God really answered this prayer. Those who came were still talking 45 minutes after the retreat had ended. In fact, we only left because we had to, and even then many continued their conversations at local restaurants and night spots.

* my involvement – God truly blessed my time at the retreat as well. There was a special openness in our group that allowed us to wrestle deeply with the talk on “annoying patients” we had just heard. I also had many spiritually significant conversations throughout the evening.

Earlier in this post, I had mentioned a surprise ending. Based on its title, the second talk for the evening promised to be about how our shortcomings and failures are actually great preparation for medical missions, something many of the students are considering. We were all ready for a standard message on how the Lord used some significant, but relatively minor, ups-and-downs in preparing the speaker for his upcoming medical missions venture to Africa.

No one could have guessed, though, just how honest he was going to be. Despite being raised in a godly home on the mission field, and knowing what to expect during medical training as the son of a surgeon, things became incredibly bleak right after graduation from medical school. Isolated, seriously depressed and certain that his life had been wasted, he was literally just a moment away from taking his life when God miraculously intervened. Through tears, he spoke of God’s astounding mercy in restoring hope, becoming chief resident in his residency program, and allowing him to move forward with his vision for medical missions. “I feel,” he said, “like I’ve been saved twice.”

This was an amazingly powerful moment for everyone there. Healthcare providers are trained to “have it all together.” Failure is not an option, or, at least not something you admit. This mentality – prevalent even among Christians – has a devastating spiritual impact. The truth is none of us “have it together spiritually” – or even professionally – and a climate where failure is unacceptable encourages us to hide from God, and the help He wants us to receive from the Christian community.

So, in sharing his experience transparently with the students, the speaker gave them “permission” to be more honest with God and each other. Far from being embarrassed about their weaknesses and failures, he encouraged them to find their security in Christ and see their shortcomings as opportunities for Him to accomplish His saving work. Nothing can stop God from using us for His purposes!

This is why we’re in medical ministry. It’s an incredibly tough environment where spiritual stagnancy and decline are the norm. We’re there to connect students with resources like this retreat, and to help them not only hang on, but thrive, during their training. When this is handled properly, the students go on to become people who can truly walk alongside their patients with humility and hope, physicians following the Great Physician in treating body and soul.

Thank you for your prayers, gifts and encouragement. With your support, we are making a real difference in this corner of the Kingdom!

For the King,
Bryan & Sharon