An exciting Multi-Parish collaboration happening on the South Coast is the annual Four-Parish Retreat. Church of our Saviour in Somerset, Christ Church in Swansea, Church of the Holy Spirit in Fall River and St. Luke’s also in Fall River gather for an October weekend retreat at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in New Hampshire. The retreat is loosely structured around a monastic day. We gather for dinner on Friday and close with Eucharist on Sunday.
The retreat was originally formed and designed for a single parish, Church of Our Saviour. In 2017, our tenth anniversary, we heard God calling us to invite our neighbors at Church of the Holy Spirit in Fall River. That was the beginning of expanding the circle of our neighbors and friends. Since then, we have added a new parish into the retreat each year. Christ Church, Swansea, joined in 2018, and St. Luke’s, Fall River, in 2019.
We offer a weekend of formation, spiritual renewal, relaxation, fellowship and worship, with programs for adults, Jr/Sr High youth, and for the younger children. We also incorporate multi-generational programs.
There are four scheduled formation sessions led by our facilitators. Interspersed in these scheduled sessions, participants have many opportunities to practice the spiritual techniques of stillness, conversation, prayer and service that they are learning. The retreat center allows space for community building, conversation, stories and getting acquainted.
Participants also have free time where they may choose from various pre-planned activities or take much-needed time for stillness, prayer and reflection. Free time activities for 2019 included a drum circle, nature mandalas, hiking, essential oils, pumpkin carving and board games. Attendance at the retreat has remained relatively steady, ranging from 55 – 70 participants.
For more information contact Jennifer Paiva.