GOSHEN — A 14-acre natural setting offers a place of rest, reflection and renewal at the Pathways Retreat on the fringe of the city limits in Goshen.
There are paths winding through the woods with benches, two prayer labyrinths and a wildflower meadow with meditation coves for a person to find rest, silence, solitude and peace, said Linda Lehman Thomas, co-director with Julie Stegelmann and Evan Miller.
Their vision for Pathways Retreat has been to expand personal and community well-being as people experience deepened connections with God, self, others and creation.
“We have a cottage nestled in the woods or lower level rooms in the retreat house that can be rented for an individual retreat,” Thomas said. “We have an expanded meeting room for groups seeking a prayerful place to meet. We are a day retreat and do not provide overnight accommodations.”
An addition to the main floor meeting room in the retreat house, called “Gratitude,” was added in 2015 providing room for up to 20 people with a sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, conventional and microwave ovens available for groups during a retreat.
Thomas added the three lower level rooms in the retreat house have been named Wisdom, Serenity and Courage, after the well-known Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
The three rooms have a recliner, rocker, handcrafted desks made from cherry, walnut and oak, with the third room, Courage, featuring a bed for resting during an individual retreat, Stegelmann added.
“We love to have the rooms rented out as much as possible and we have suggested donations for all our services within a range affordable for all,” Stegelmann said. “We rely on donations and are grateful for all donations.”
Their services include a variety of weekly, monthly and seasonal programs and retreats including weekly and monthly prayer, seasonal prayer, Wisdom Jesus, spiritual directors day away, workshops and spiritual formation groups.
“We have quiet prayers here from 7:30 to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and praying scripture at 8 a.m. Fridays,” Stegelmann said. “Those are open to the public and no registration is needed. We are Christian and open to anyone. We are ecumenical Christians but it’s not sponsored by any one church.”
An Iona healing and prayer service is held at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month as well as the spiritual directors offering one-on-one spiritual companionship in the form of spiritual direction and Gestalt pastoral care, Stegelmann added.
The Legacy House refers to the existing retreat house which includes the welcome room, a library, and upper prayer room for up to six people.
“We have three bathrooms now instead of just one,” Thomas said. “We built this addition with no loans but just donations from churches, businesses and individuals. It was amazing.”
A grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County provided money for furnishings to the new gathering room and the lower level rooms, Thomas added.
“Everyone at Pathways Retreat is deeply grateful,” Thomas said.
The Pathways Retreat is located at 309 1/2 Hackett Road in Goshen and for more information, visit their website at www.pathwaysretreat.org.
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