May 6-7

Please mark your calendars for Friday evening and Saturday morning May 6 and 7, 2016, for Covenant’s Spring Retreat.

More than 16 years ago, we dreamed about building a church out in the woods: one that would also serve as a retreat center — a sacred space for prayer and rest and contemplation, available to friends and strangers, seekers and pilgrims, a kind place for belief and doubt. Since the spring of 2007, we’ve held semi-annual free retreats that offer overnight contemplative experiences to restore the body, soul, mind and spirit.

At each retreat we pray and worship together and carve away time to breathe, pray, walk, cook, and sing. There will be free time for conversations and opportunities to journal, draw, nap, or just walk about in the woods.

Sample Schedule:

Friday
6:00 pm  – Arrivals, a light dinner, get settled
6:45 pm  – Welcome & Introduction
7:00 pm  – Vespers
7:30 pm  – Session I
8:30 pm  – Creative Stations
9:00 pm  – Chocolate & Coffee Tasting
10:00 pm  – Compline
10:30 pm  – Late-night labyrinth walk

Saturday
5:50 am  – Bell rung for Lauds
6:00 am  – Lauds
7:30 am  – Pancake Breakfast
8:30 am  – Terce (outside, weather permitting)
9:00 am  – Working on the Grounds
10:00 am – Creative/Meditative Stations
11:15 am – Concluding Conversation
12:00 pm – Sext (Community prayers, Holy Communion)
12:30 pm  – Group photo, lunch offsite

What to Expect

Sleeping Arrangements
Unless it is a crowded retreat and we have assigned you a place to sleep, you are free to choose a room of your liking to set up camp. At our smaller retreats there are generally enough rooms for everyone to have a space to themselves. You will be provided an air mattress, pillow, bedding and towel for the weekend. All are gifts from other faith communities who heard about our retreats — simple symbols of love and holy encouragement. Remember, we all rise at 5:50 am on Saturday for a special 6am service you won’t want to miss. Please consider making this a commitment.

Camping Arrangements (select retreats only)
Depending on the retreat, camping on the grounds may be an option. Campers can pitch their tents in the space marked on the map. Please ask a retreat staff member to walk you to the location when you arrive. Check inside your shoes and sleeping bags for scorpions occasionally — they’re a rare occurrence but we’d prefer you be prepared just in case. Please practice ‘leave no trace’ — pack out any trash, replace any tent stake divots, and double check your campsite prior to departure. Please camp in simplicity and relative silence. Burn bans are in usually effect for this part of Texas: no open campfires. Thanks.

Free Time
Depending on the retreat, you’ll have several optional free time activities from which to choose, ranging from poetic or artistic endeavors to physical work projects around the church; from chocolate or coffee tastings to creating prayer beads or working on a personal rule of life. Different offerings are presented at each retreat. We will make those options known throughout the weekend, and will make art supplies, work gloves and tools available.