For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you and understanding will guard you.
We frequently schedule programs after the beginning of the year, so do keep in touch with us via our email list, Facebook, or web site to hear the latest program offerings!
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Calendar at a Glance
Rev. Rebecca Husband-Maynard
Rev. Rob Field & Becky Hannah
Thursday – Sunday, March 16 - 19
Thursday, August 31 - Sunday, September 3
(Labor Day Weekend)
$308 Full Program (per Weekend)
$191 Commuter Rate (includes all meals)
Accommodations in the Mission House
Some people dream and talk of writing while others just do it. Writing is lonely and not easy, but it is the most satisfying expression of our thoughts and feelings. We find that it's much easier to write in the company of like-minded people and with the guidance of a professional who loves to encourage others in the craft of writing. Join this group of women writers to capture memories, define thoughts, express emotions, bring order out of chaos. New writers are most welcome.
A native of Thessaloniki, Greece, Katerina Whitley has worked as a church journalist on the diocesan and national levels, taught at universities, and is the author of six books.
You are welcome to attend one or both workshops. Full Program rate covers all lodging, meals, and program costs. Commuter rate includes meals and program costs. Deepen and hone your craft, get to know some wonderful women, and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Valle Crucis for a long weekend. What could be better?
Good Friday Labyrinth Walk
Friday, April 14
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
$40 includes lunch
The Apple Barn and Outdoor Labyrinth
To cap your Holy Week, you are invited on a modern-day pilgrimage. What is the labyrinth and how can it help us in our spiritual journey? Explore our outdoor labyrinth and learn how this ancient tool can transform your Lenten experience. In case of inclement weather, we will use the Apple Barn and the large Chartres-model labyrinth there.
Facilitator Rebecca Husband-Maynard received her Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator and received a Certificate in Spiritual Formation through Columbia Theological Seminary. Her husband, Mark, and she reside in Elkin, NC.
The Spirituality of Flowers in Holy Spaces: A Work in Three
Saturday, April 29
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Karen T. Lumpkin
$50 includes lunch and program materials
Johnson Hall 1st Floor
The art of flower arranging is considered a form of prayer and meditation in many cultures. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn some of the rich history of this art, as well as its purposes, goals, and basic principles. You will also practice design elements such as working in threes, the mechanics of hidden shapes, and how to best use containers, tools, and materials. In the afternoon, you will get a chance to create your own arrangement to take with you. Participants should plan to bring their favorite cutting implement. No experience is necessary to participate in this workshop; beginners and experienced arrangers are all encouraged to attend!
Karen Lumpkin is a retired English teacher who has studied and practiced flower arranging for well over 30 years. Her passion has led her to design floral arrangements for many occasions, both joyful and somber, in religious and secular settings. Karen specializes in liturgical floral arranging, and has served as arranger/designer in various Episcopal parishes in South Carolina and is currently arranger/designer at Church of the Apostles, The Cathedral of The Diocese of the Carolinas of the Anglican Church in North America. She has three grown daughters and two adorable grandchildren, and lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband and two cats who rule the roost.
Family Plant Walk
Saturday, May 6
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Deb Vail and Harry LeBlanc
Grandparents of the Forest
$15 includes lunch and program materials
Walk begins in Johnson Hall 2nd Floor and continues up the Crab Orchard Falls Trail
Join our very own Grandparents of the Forest, Deb and Harry, on this adventure walk for the whole family! Grab comfortable walking shoes and your nature-spotting eyes as we learn all about the wonderful edible and medicinal herbs and flowers that fill the extensive grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center shelters - how to spot them, what to do with them, and how to keep our land safe for future generations.
Deb Vail and Harry LeBlanc started the Grandparents of the Forest to share their extensive knowledge of and love for nature in all its forms, and especially herbal, medicinal, and edible plants. As Deb says, “At this point in my life, what I want most in the world is to bring people to Nature for restoration and wellbeing ~ both for them and Nature.” Explore the world of Nicolas and Elia Graybear, the Grandparents of the Forest, at www.grandparentsoftheforest.com.
The most visible faces of yoga are the popular stretching, postures, and breathing techniques practiced by many people, but yoga offers an entire toolbox of ideas to live life to the fullest. From ethical guidelines to commentary on the nature of reality and divinity, students of yoga through the ages have left a trail of breadcrumbs to guide us. We'll follow that trail through physical yoga, meditation, journaling, discussions, and more, as we explore the possibilities to begin or deepen our individual yoga practices.
Chad Hallyburton turned to yoga as a means of physical healing but soon embraced the practice as a spiritual journey and reconnection to our core foundation. Teaching in gyms, schools, and churches, Chad adapts the tools of yoga to the individual needs of students, whether they seek physical or emotional health or tools for a deeper spiritual practice. He is also a student of “Jnana Yoga,” the yoga of study and knowledge, incorporating themes from the Christian Gospels as well as works from other spiritual disciplines.
As Nature Intended: Healing with Native Flowers and Herbs
Friday, August 18, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
$50 ($40 program + cost of materials)
Deb and Harry make Sacred Forest Flower Essences from wildflowers growing here in the Appalachian forests and fields. Join our Grandparents of the Forest as we enjoy a hands-on workshop showing us how to connect to plants, make and use native flower essences for healing as well as how to make basic herbal infusions which can be used as nourishment for our bodies.
Short Introduction to Centering Prayer
Saturday, August 19 - Sunday, August 20
Rev. Rob Field & Becky Hannah, Center for Spiritual Wisdom
$140 Full Program (Commuting Not Recommended)
Most spiritual traditions have some form of contemplative practice. Virtually all have a goal of expanding, or deepening, the consciousness of the practitioner. Centering Prayer is a surrender method of contemplative prayer, that reaches back to the early days of Christianity. Modern-day masters such as Fr. Thomas Keating and Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault refer to Centering Prayer as a "heartfulness" practice. Join Rev. Rob Field with Center for Spiritual Wisdom, and Becky Hannah with Contemplative Outreach, as we learn the basics of this ancient method of contemplation.
Participants should plan to arrive early for this mini-retreat. Arrive by 9:30 in the morning on Saturday for an introductory workshop, followed by a "mini retreat" Saturday evening through 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. A short and sweet introduction in a holy place — the perfect morsel of contemplation to prepare you for autumn!
Sunday – Sunday, Nov. 26 – Dec. 2
Becky Hannah, Joan Ricci Thome, & the Rev. Bob Cook
$533 Full Program
Housing in the Inn
This retreat is for those who would like a more prolonged experience of centering prayer and who are interested in entering into the more profound levels of spiritual practice in an atmosphere of silence, solitude, and community.
Centering prayer is a silent form of prayer that directs a person's attention toward God, with ancient roots in the mystical and monastic tradition. The retreat will help participants develop and sustain a regular centering prayer practice. In addition to several centering prayer periods offered daily, you will also have opportunities for contemplative worship, individual meetings with retreat leaders, walks and hiking, labyrinth walks, and time for solitude and reflection.
Retreat leaders are Becky Hannah, co-coordinator of Contemplative Outreach of Western NC, and Joan Ricci Thome, presenter of contemplative prayer retreats at the Oratory and St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, NC. The Rev. Robert Cook, Vicar of Christ Church, Walnut Grove, NC is spiritual director for the week. Joan and Becky have both been trained to facilitate centering prayer by Contemplative Outreach, the organization founded by Father Thomas Keating as a spiritual network committed to living the contemplative dimension of the gospel in everyday life.
Due to the length of this retreat, each participant should have an established practice of centering prayer for at least a year. This retreat is limited to the first 20 registrants. Participants must stay on campus and plan to attend the entire retreat.
If you have questions about the contents or itinerary for the retreat, please feel free to contact Becky Hannah at (828) 702-3518.
A Short Advent Retreat
Friday, December 8
10:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
$40 includes lunch
Location: 1st Floor of Johnson Hall
What comes to your mind when you think of Advent? Can you stop worrying about decorating and gift buying to concentrate on the Coming of the Christ Child? Every year, people of faith long for something different, spiritual and holy, to prepare them fully for a Christmas to remember.
Katerina Whitley will focus and refine this longing. The world waited for this “central event in the history of creation,” as C.S. Lewis called it. We will examine this waiting through writings, poetry, the prophets, the Birth Narratives, and our own hopes and desires for peace and joy.
Katerina is well-known in the Diocese of Western NC and beyond. She is the author of several books, including two about Advent, and a writer of Advent Chancel dramas and plays.