Welcome to Branches Center

dazzeling whiteThank you for viewing our site.  Branches Rest and Renewal Centers, Inc. is located on beautiful Seneca Lake, NY.

You are invited to attend one of our day retreats.  While immersed in a peaceful lakeside setting we “unplug” from our daily lives and take time to pray, rest and deepen our faith.  Take a look at our Upcoming Retreats tab for our summer schedule.  The Setting tab, under About Branches, provides a description of our property.

We welcome you to visit our site often. Please don’t keep us a secret with your family and friends!  Whether you visit us online to frequent the Prayer tab, enjoy our photographs, or better yet in person at our retreats to soak up the experience, we hope you will draw closer to Jesus and His love for you.

Branches

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Branches Christian Rest and Renewal Centers, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  We invite you to view our “About Branches” and “Upcoming Retreats” tabs to learn more about us.  Our “Stewardship” tab suggests ways that people can help.  It is our hope that people will visit our “Prayer” tab often.  Take time to join us on beautiful Seneca Lake, in a peaceful setting as we deepen our faith together.

PS…If the lake is calm, you may take one of our kayaks out for a paddle.

Rest with Us

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The word retreat means to withdraw.  We invite you to “unplug” from daily life and retreat with us.  We find our waterfront setting to be peaceful, quiet and a beautiful location for rest, solitude and prayer.  Look at our “Upcoming Retreats” tab for our schedule.

Be Not Afraid

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On Divine Mercy Sunday, 2012 the weather was unseasonably warm and the lake was as smooth as glass.  I was most excited to be able to go for a paddle so early in the season.  I carried my kayak to the same shoreline location that I typically launch from.  As usual before I launch, I scan the area looking for interesting shells and driftwood. Nothing of interest to be had, so I hopped in my kayak and began my happy travel.

Frequently I paddle to a private cove where I rest, pray and have a conversation with God in solitude.  I was sharing with God my concerns about building a retreat center.  For almost every concern, the phrase “Be not afraid.” echoed in my mind.  While paddling in my return to my usual entry and exit location, I found myself singing this hymn, “Be not afraid. I go before you always…”

As I was pulling my kayak out of the water, my breath was taken away at what I saw.  shore crossThere leaning against the shoreline rocks was a worn piece of lattice in the shape of a cross.  I was in awe!  With excitement, I ran to get my husband and my camera.  I told my husband that I did not see the cross when launching the kayak and there it was upon my return. He was astonished too.

This is the photo I took before I picked-up the cross.  After picking-up the cross we went for a walk and we both decided that the cross was a sign to give us confidence that we are doing the right thing with our property, which is using it to bring others closer to His love.  Amen.

How Great Thou Art

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When in prayer, immersed in beautiful nature, one’s awareness for “How Great Thou Art” is heightened. (Photo taken at Branches.)

“How Great Thou Art”

Verse 1:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Chorus:
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Verse 2:
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Chorus

Verse 3:
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Chorus

Verse 4:
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Chorus

Dazzling White

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This photo was taken at Branches during a retreat on the Feast Day of the Transfiguration.  Matthew 17 was being read for our closing prayer and the lake was shining like a million diamonds.  Truly, God is with us.

The Transfiguration.

Matthew 17:1-2  “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became dazzling white.”