Fall Retreat 2023

Mark your calendars for September 22-24, 2023 at Brethren Woods.

Registration is available Aug. 15 – Sept. 10. Assistance with completing the online registration will be available at the retreat table in the fellowship hall Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.

Cultivating Community: Building Person-to-Person Relationships

When in your spiritual life have you had the best opportunities to connect with others?  When were you able to move past superficial or impersonal conversations, and start to talk about your beliefs, challenges, and hopes for the future? These sessions will explore the difference it makes when we are thinking about building person-to-person relationships in our congregation. We'll consider how we can facilitate more authentic contact with each other, so that the church is equipped to solve problems and serve others. Examples and exercises will be provided. Participants will be given opportunities to generate their own ideas about how small changes can facilitate relationship building in a congregation.

Kathleen Smith, LPC, PhD, is a licensed therapist in Washington, DC and associate faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. She is a member of Capitol Hill United Methodist Church in DC, where she serves as a lay leader for nurture and connection. She is the author of the book Everything Isn't Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down, and an upcoming book on relationship building with St. Martin's Press.

Retreat mission: To plan and facilitate an annual all-church retreat that enhances community life and provides opportunity for spiritual growth.



5:30-7:00 pm Registration /campsite set-up – Please check in at Pine Grove

6:45 pm              Gathering – Pine Grove

7-8:30 pm          Square Dance – Pine Grove

                            Lawn games, snacks and drinks – outside Pine Grove                 

                             Intergenerational – all ages welcome!

8:30-10 pm         Board Games – Pine Grove           

Quiet hours from 10 pm – 7 am


7:30-9:15 am: Breakfast – Retreat Center    Hot breakfast served 8-9am

9:30-9:45 am:  Gathering – Pine Grove

9:45-11:15 am:  Session 1 with Kathleen Smith – Pine Grove; Children’s Activities – Meet at the Dining Tent

11:45-12:45 pm: Lunch – Retreat Center

1:15-2:45 pm: Session 2 with Kathleen Smith – Pine Grove; Children's Activities/Cooperative games – Meet at Dining Tent

3-5:30 pm: Free time and group activities – Hiking, games, Ultimate frisbee, biking, canoeing, coloring, GaGa, jam session 

5:30-6:30 pm: Dinner – Retreat Center

7-8:30 pm: Team Trivia with Jacob Sider Jost – Pine Grove

8:30pm: Snack (MYF Fundraiser) – Pine Grove

8:45pm: Campfire – Fire Circle by the pond

Quiet hours from 10 pm – 7 am


7:45-8:45 am: Breakfast – Retreat Center, and big kettle donuts by Wayne Gehman and friends

9-10:00 am: Cabin and campsite cleanup

10-11:15 am: Worship – Amphitheatre

11:45-12:45 pm: Lunch – Retreat Center

1-2:00 pm Cleanup

Please Note

  • No pets.
  • No riding bikes after dark.
  • High school youth are encouraged to participate in all adult sessions and worship; youth and parents have the ultimate responsibility for attendance.
  • Children are expected to be supervised by a responsible adult when not in programmed activities.
  • Please respect nature – don’t leave trash.
  • Please bring extra money if you would like to participate in the MYF fundraiser snack on Saturday evening. Your generous donations are appreciated.

The Retreat Committee

Linda Martin Burkholder, Chair; Sher Waidelich, Hospitality Representative; Kenton Derstine, Member-at-Large; Jason Gerlach, Pastoral Team

Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in Pine Grove. If you arrive later in the weekend, please stop by to pick up your nametag and confirm your registration.

Lodging options at Brethren Woods include tenting, RV camping, cabins for men only, women only, and family cabins.

Meals will be catered by Camp Brethren Woods and supplemented by traditional CMC retreat foods such as barbecued chicken, and homemade donuts.

Retreat fees may be paid online. Click the Donate button on cmcva.org. Cash or check payments, (payable to CMC with “Retreat” in the memo line) may be made at the retreat table in the fellowship hall or in the church office. Retreat fees are $60 per person ages 5 and up for the weekend, or $30 for one day.  Lodging is $15/person for cabins or $5 to camp. Fees are capped at $200/household. 

Scholarships are available. Gifts to help cover those scholarships are welcome.

CMC’s Sunday Worship will be held at Brethren Woods, beginning at 10:00 am.

What to bring: Sleeping bag/linens, sweatshirt/jacket, personal supplies bicycle and helmet, walking shoes afternoon snacks for Sat., insect repellant musical instruments, Bible table games, flashlight outdoor game equipment, lawn chairs for outdoor worship

Contact office@cmcva.org with questions