Dear Retreat Participant:
Welcome to your retreat! We look forward to working with you at Bend of Ivy Lodge. If you haven’t been here before, you can preview your visit at Bend of Ivy Lodge.
The retreat is very participatory. Please anticipate working hard; you can also look forward to some relaxation and reflection as well!
Here are a few things for you to know:
The retreat will begin at 9:00 AM on the first day.Packages include lodging the night before the retreat start (usually Sunday for Monday start,) with arrival after 7:00 PM; this provides an opportunity to settle in and meet other participants. Please do not arrive before 7:00 PM as another group may be occupying the Lodge. If you arrange to stay elsewhere the night before the retreat, please arrive no later than 8:00 AM in time for breakfast.
Dinner the evening before the retreat is not available at the Lodge, so plan accordingly. Breakfast will be served at 8:00 the first morning. (Restaurants and a supermarket are ten minutes away in Weaverville or in Asheville; you’re welcome to keep food in the refrigerator if you wish.)
Please consider this a retreat experience. Retreats include early morning and evening sessions. We strongly advise against planning visits with friends in town, or booking conference calls or other business while you’re here. The retreat deserves your full attention.
We will complete by 2:00 PM on the last day. If you’re flying, the Lodge is about 35 minutes from the Asheville airport (AVL,) served by American, Continental, Delta, and United. You are safe to book a flight any time after 4:00 PM on the final day of your retreat. You may rent a car from the major agencies, or arrange for a limo by making reservations in advance with Carolina Transport at 800-242-9712 or Asheville Airport Shuttle at 828-231-1053. Cost can be shared. Click here to download a list of ground transportation providers. You can also fly into Charlotte; while ticket prices are sometimes cheaper, drive time is about 2 hours and 30 minutes and you will need to rent a car.
About three weeks before the retreat, Jenny will send out an email to ask who is interested in coordinating ground transportation. She will connect those who respond, and you can work out details with each other.
If you’re driving to the Lodge, a map and driving directions are available on-line. The street address is 3717 Bend of Ivy Rd, Marshall, NC. We strongly recommend using our directions, not GPS, as some databases have the Lodge in the wrong location. On arrival, unload at the Lodge entrance, then move your car immediately to the parking area, as the turnaround area at the Lodge is small. There is no need to stop at the office for check-in.
Meals and Lodging
Meals and lodging are included in your registration package (except for LIPCC and the Advanced Retreat which are purchased separately). On-site lodging is double occupancy; a very limited number of single rooms are available for individuals with extenuating circumstances that require a single. We advise staying on-site because of the long hours, the importance of the community, and the value of the uninterrupted time in a retreat environment. That said, if you wish to stay off-site, please contact Jenny for a list of local lodging. There is still a “commuter” fee for site use and meals, if you do stay off-site.
Living at the Lodge
We will be very casual. You’re invited to feel at home and to explore the land. There are 63 acres here, with gardens, waterfalls, a river, and lovely trails with high views. Spending time outdoors is an integral part of your retreat. Please bring comfortable walking shoes, and clothing appropriate for being outdoors in mountain weather that can change dramatically and rapidly. Plan accordingly.
We ask that participants remove shoes at the Lodge entrance; you may wish to bring slippers for the retreat days. Also, bring comfortable loose clothes for indoor stretching: light sweatpants and a T-shirt are great.
You will most likely have a roommate; if you know another participant and wish to room with that person, let us know. There are four shared bathrooms. Towels, linens, soap, and shampoo are all provided.
If you have special dietary needs, please complete the dietary request form so that we can provide your requests to the caterer. Because of the caterer’s planning and purchasing process, we need this information no later than ten days before the first day of your retreat. Last minute requests cannot be accommodated.
What to Bring
Suggested items to pack:
- Comfortable clothes for being outdoors in a range of weather conditions. You can check the weather with a ten-day forecast for Bend of Ivy.
- Walking shoes
- Slippers for indoors if desired
Presence-Based Coaching retreats each have a required text. Reading the entire book before arrival provides the cognitive frameworks that support the strong experiential focus you can expect at the retreat. We suggest ordering books well in advance, to ensure adequate time for reading. For the PBC I retreat, the text is The Mindful Coach. For PBC II, the text is Presence-Based Coaching.
For all retreats, expect additional information by email about pre-work about six weeks in advance.
There is a phone for calls in the entryway, and wireless for laptops. The number at the Lodge is 828-658-9865; there is an answering machine to take calls when retreats are in session. Mail and overnight services can be delivered to you c/o Bend of Ivy Lodge, 3717 Bend of Ivy Rd., Marshall, NC 28753
Please email Jenny or call her at 505-908-9211 with logistics questions.. We look forward to seeing you soon in the North Carolina mountains!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of reading is required as part of the program?
The reading list is a treasure trove of resources that will prepare program graduates to be knowledgeable in the field of contemplative writings, classic and contemporary.
How do I discern if this program is right for me?
Notice the movement of the Spirit. Is there a sense of call to leading contemplative prayer groups and/or retreats? Is the nudge coming from your spiritual heart and from others? Continue to pray about it and talk about it with your spiritual companions. Also feel free to call Ann Dean, program director, at (301) 762-5237 to talk further about participating in this program.
Must I already have experience in leading contemplative groups or retreats?
No. Many of our applicants are exploring a new call and have little or no experience of this dimension of spiritual leadership. Our program provides the resources and experience for the preparation you need.
Are scholarships available?
There is limited reduced-tuition assistance for those who demonstrate need. Often financial support is available from your local church, family or workplace, so please be sure to check those possibilities.
How much time on a daily basis is required to fulfill the program requirement?
Although this varies, a good daily guideline would be 30 minutes of contemplative prayer supported by 30 minutes to an hour of spiritual reading.
What are the writing requirements?
A brief, one-to-two-page retreat leadership reflection paper and a final paper up to 10 pages, which can be a retreat plan or a research paper, are part of the program requirements.
What if I am not connected to a church or retreat center? Where might I offer my group?
There are so many possibilities! Consider your own home, a retreat center, a community center, private spaces in restaurants, museums and art galleries, and outdoor settings.
What staff and community support is offered between residencies?
- Shalem staff and faculty are available for consultation at any time.
- As a participant, you will be assigned a peer group leader throughout the program who will serve as your mentor. This mentor will respond to your papers and reports.
- Your peer group or other self-initiated groups, such as a reading reflection group, may arrange meetings and conversations via conference calls to provide ongoing community connections.
- You will be asked to work with a spiritual director and an at-home support group as part of the program requirements.
What if I have other questions?
We are here to help. Don’t hesitate to call the program administrator, Trish Stefanik, at (301) 897-7334. She is also a program graduate and frequent faculty leader; she will be happy to talk with you further.