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A Rockford church is giving people a chance to relax before the holidays

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The holiday season can be a stressful time for some. A northern Illinois church is giving people a chance to ground themselves before things take off.

Frank Langholf is the pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rockford. He said "The Ancestors: Retreat" will center those who attend.

“And most of these experiences of reflection take us inward,” he explains, “and [then] open ourselves up to that presence that's within us and around us that can help ground us for the living of ordinary days.”

He said this experience can carry them through the upcoming days.

“And this would be a good time to kind of pause for a while," he said, "and hear the wisdom of what Parker Palmer has called 'our inner teacher' — some of us use 'the Language of Spirit,' others 'language of the divine' — within ourselves.”

Langholf said the event will start with honoring deceased Native Americans because the gathering is taking place on their land. Other ancestors will also be acknowledged. Other activities include altar viewing, journaling and yoga.

Those attending are encouraged to bring a pillow and something to lie on. The retreat is free, but donations are welcomed.

The 24-hour refuge begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 19th at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 920 Third Avenue in Rockford.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.