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  • Writer's pictureDiocese of WNC

Renewing Retreat Draws Young Adults from Campus Ministries, BRSC

By Colin Rice, BRSC member

Not even the initial rain and fog could bog down the spirits of two of our Diocesan campus ministries and our service corps program, who met for an overnight at Montreat this past weekend. A perfectly packed schedule was orchestrated by The Revs. Gaelyn Evangreene (ECM at Western Carolina University), Anna Shine (PECM At Appalachian State/“3rd Place”), and Kevin Todd (Blue Ridge Service Corps). Formation-based offerings included meditation and spiritual direction from Haden Institute Graduate,

Jada Bryson; a creative, therapeutic art and poetry workshop taught by Natalie Callahan, and general support and unique “get to know you” exercises led by Brevard’s CrossTown youth minister and BRSC board member, Abby Glass. 

“I liked the music meditation and the still moments,” BRSC member Tay Allen said.

Callahan’s art workshop, entitled: Being & Becoming: A Personal Myth Remix, encompassed a significant portion of the second day of the retreat, and provided a safe space "where meditation & memory work make way for assemblage art and ekphrastic (descriptive) poetry." Three-dimensional collage-style works of art were drafted based on memories reflected from meditation and came from ordinary natural and human-made objects. To maintain the sanctity of the safe space, norms were discussed, and Bryson taught a variety of centering and resetting techniques. 

“I thought Natalie’s workshop was interesting as it managed to bring out the creative side of me which I did not know that I had.” PECM student Owen McDaniel Said, “It also left me feeling calmer and more at peace than I was beforehand.”

The second half of the final day was reserved for individual or communal recreation and spiritual direction. The retreat ended on Saturday evening with a sending out into the world in prayer. The support of the Diocese, campus ministries and service corps program, and Episcopal Church grants made this offering possible. 


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