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"And the LORD God planted a garden (an oasis) in the east,

in Eden (delight, land of happiness);

and He put the man whom He had formed (created) there."

 Genesis 2:8 Amplified Bible

"The Garden"

 a Summer Overnight Retreat

Thurs. June 10th - Sat. June 12th, 2020

(this retreat has been postponed)

Are you craving some fresh beautiful scenery and to get out of your house and see people in person?


Does your mind need some help quieting, calming & focusing on the Lord?


Does your heart long for a deeper connection to God

 especially after this turbulent year?


Is your body in need of some true soul rest?


Come,  join other Jesus followers... and spend some time with

Him, as you walk in His beautiful Garden.

Take a deep breath....come walk a little slower... linger and pause... listen ... sit by the water and reflect... gaze and drink in more of Jesus, more beauty, vibrant nature, real people... notice... ponder... wonder ...feel... embrace... soak-in... rest .... ahhhhhh...... RECEIVE the invitation to retreat!

This retreat will begin Thursday evening at 6pm on June 10th with our fellowship dinner - and last through our closing lunch celebration Saturday June 12th, 2021.   It will be held on the beautiful campus of St. Mary of the Lake at the Joseph & Mary Retreat Center in Mundelein, Illinois.   Open to both men & women.  

The Retreat will include:

  • Music, art, beauty, nature, prayer walks 

  • Scripture Reflections, guided meditations and a variety of spiritual practices

  • Times for silence, rest, and personal reflection

  • An Optional Spiritual Direction/Immanuel Prayer Sessions (prior reservation required)

  • Optional times for sharing in groups

  • A time of embodied prayer. Light stretching while praying with biblical postures found in Scripture

 “If we don’t come apart for while, we will come apart after awhile.”
–Dallas Willard

Retreat Outline

“The Garden”

a Two-night, Three-day Soul Nourishing Retreat

June 10-12th, 2021


The Lord will surely comfort Zion

and will look with compassion on all her ruins;

he will make her deserts like Eden,

her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.

Joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

 Isaiah 51:3 (NIV)




            4-6:00pm Check-in, get settled and Relax

            6:00pm Fellowship Supper

            8pm *Welcome & Orientation, Evening prayer

                    Meditation 1 –  The Invitation to Retreat. The Rescue

What is it you seek?  

John 1:38

   9:30pm ~Rest & Quiet until breakfast


            8am Breakfast

            9am Morning Prayer

                                    Meditation 2 – Created for a garden. Nature & Beauty

Did you know you were made for a garden? 

Genesis 2:8

 10am-12pm  Morning of Quiet and On your own time/Nature Prayer walks.  (1-1 Prayer Sessions held during this time)

 12pm Lunch

            1pm Midday Prayer

                                    Meditation 3 – Tended by the Gardener. Remember Who you love

Who's Gardening your soul?

John 15:1


   2-5pm Afternoon of Quiet and On your own time/Nature Prayer walks.  (1-1 Prayer Sessions held during this time)

            5 pm Vespers Prayer                       

Meditation 4 - Made to garden. Pulling weeds and planting seeds

What's growing in your soul's garden? 

John 15:2

            6pm Supper

            8pm Evening Prayer by the firepit (weather permitting)                   

Meditation 5 – Connected to the Vine. Drinking Life

What does the soul really need? 

 John 15:4

 ~9:30pm Rest & Quiet until Breakfast


            8am Breakfast

            9am Morning Prayer

                        Meditation 6 – The Garden made New. New Earth, New Life

What do you see? 

Rev. 21:5

   10am A Holistic, Embodied time of Worship with biblical prayer postures, light stretching, images & music

            11am *Closing Benediction and Re-Entry

            12-1pm Fellowship Lunch

            1pm Packing and Departure

All activities offered are optional and retreatants are encouraged to attend what feels life-giving to them during the weekend.  Although, we do encourage you to attend the first* and last* sessions.

 This retreat will NOT be a completely silent retreat, as we've done in the past. 

It will include some times of silence, but also other times during the day for optional group sharing.

Some attendees are longing for quiet after being quarantined in their homes with several people or small children... and then there are others who come that have been isolated for so long and are needing conversation.

We hope to provide opportunities for both! 

There is a minimum of 8 required to hold the retreat.

Outline & times subject to change prior.  This will be a cell-phone free retreat.

"There's a madness to our moment, and we need to name it for the lunacy it is.

First, there's the blistering pace of life. 

Now we're living at the speed of the swipe and the 'like,' 

moving so fast through our days that typing a single sentence feels cumbersome.

Then there's the deluge of media coming at us in a sort of mesmerizing digital spell. we have the tragedies of the entire world delivered to us hourly on our mobile devices.

This is all very hard on the soul. Traumatizing, in fact.

The world has gone completely mad, and it's trying to take our souls with it.

Now, if we had more of God, that would really help. 

We could draw upon his love and strength, his wisdom and resilience. 

After all, God is the fountain of life (Ps 36:9)."

-John Eldredge, Get your life back

Jesus said; And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world

but lose your own soul?

Mark 8:36 NLT

A  three day/two night retreat - Registration is now open!

Reserve your spot today by simply completing the form below and make a non-refundable (but transferable) deposit or payment below. 

Retreat dates: Thursday June 10th beginning 6pm (come anytime after 4pm) to Saturday June 12th at 1pm.

Retreat Location: @ the Joseph & Mary Retreat Center in Mundelein, IL. 

This Retreat includes:

  • Two nights in a private room w/your own bathroom, all 6 meals (D,B,L,D,B,L), all materials & handouts, a small journal, take home art project, healthy in between snacks, a gorgeous campus to explore and your fully guided retreat- complete with Scripture meditations & exercises, optional sharing in the groups, and meaningful prayer times.  

  • This retreat includes an optional 1-1 Session of: Immanuel Prayer, Mentoring/Coaching or Spiritual Direction, if desired & reserved prior.

Your time away begins with Thursday night's fellowship dinner at 6pm (but come as early as 4pm to avoid the traffic, get settled in your room & start relaxing).  The retreat ends Saturday at 1pm after our fellowship lunch.

Total cost $325

(If the costs prohibits you from coming, reach out and let us know what you are able to pay, we often have scholarships funds available.  Pay some now, pay some later. Also invite those that support you to offer some assistance as a gift! What could be a better gift to everyone then tending to your soul!)

Funds are also accepted through Chase QuickPay Zelle,  ApplePay,

Venmo @ cecilia-whitacre

or you can mail an old fashioned Check to this address,

Last day to register is 5/25!

Registrations let us know if we have enough people to hold the retreat, so please don't delay.


While at the retreat center we will adhere to their current Covid 19 protocols & the CDC at the time of the retreat.

We look forward to having you join us!

Please reach out with any questions.

Jesus said to them,

`Come away with me.

Let us go alone to a quiet place

and rest for a while.'

Mark 6:31

Do you hear Jesus inviting you to come away with Him?



Why go on a retreat? for more reasons & what to expect, click here.

Make Payment & Register below:

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