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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Feedback on RETREATS

Thought I would pass along a short article written for a parish newsletter. It's written by Sue B, business owner and spiritual seeker, who had never before been on a retreat. She attended a guided retreat entitled "Love your Enemies". Let her - in her own words - give you the flavor of one woman's experience of investing in a retreat.

Incidentally, she is speaking of Kirkridge, a retreat and conference center in Bangor, PA. Beautiful in its surroundings set on in a hill not far from the Delaware Water Gap, it has been - for years - a place where people have spoken peace or dedicated ground on which to speak of it, embraced ecumenical dialogue and practiced intentional conservation of natural resources.

For further information on Kirkridge, contact them at

Thanks, Sue for sending this to the Farm for sharing.

To Retreat or Not to Retreat!

Back in March I took a desperate action. Desperate for me that is. I went
on a Retreat. Alone. Well, alone with what became a group of 12 other
people who were struggling with many of the same feelings as I was. It
cost a whopping $250 for the weekend, which I thought was an awful lot of
money to spend on me. I should be able to handle my problem alone. I
should be able to cope. I should be bigger and better and stronger than I
am. But I have struggled for several years and the problem was only
becoming bigger and stronger as time went on.

So off to the Kirkridge Retreat Center I went. Alone, and $250 poorer. I
wasn't scared, I was desperate. Kirkridge is beautiful. It is a mostly
Christian, but not entirely, spiritual retreat center which has been around
for more than 30 years. It is on Route 191 south, halfway between
Stroudsburg and Bangor. My group was in the Nelson Lodge which is at the
top of a very large hill. It is also about 30 yards from a section of the
Appalachian Trail. Friday night through lunch on Sunday, no tv, no radio,
no computers, although my cell phone did work, probably because we were at
the highest point for miles around. The views were spectacular.

It was a time of listening and sharing, crying and laughing, solitude and
companionship. And there was also the food! Kirkridge is for the most
part vegetarian, but the food was wonderful!!! I had the best Eggplant
parmesan that I've ever had. Even Hank wouldn't have missed the meat.
Fruit, nuts, crackers, snacks, coffee, tea, and other beverages were always
available. All you can eat. And I didn't have to cook it or clean it
up. It was heaven!

I met 12 wonderful people ranging in age from 27 to 79. One Priest, two
deacons, and an assortment of others. All happened to be Episcopalian,
except for the Baptist who said that I cry even more than his wife
does. He hadn't thought that was possible.

I came home relaxed, refreshed, and with many new perspectives. Just what
I was hoping for. My problem is still there, but I now have some new ways of coping and faith that God will help me to deal with what is. $250 was a bargain.


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