2023 Shalom Retreat: All Creation Sings!

We hope to see many of you for our annual congregational retreat at Highland!

We’re looking forward to a joyful time of celebrating our connections with one another and with the created world. There will be plenty of time for conversation, play, laughter, & spending time outdoors.

If you plan to come, please sign up right away. Your prompt reply will help the retreat planning team begin to coordinate lodging and meals.


Click here for the Retreat Registration Form

When: Friday evening September 8th- Sunday afternoon September 10th.

Where: Highland Retreat Center, 14783 Upper Highland Dr, Bergton, VA 22811. We spend most of our time in and around Red Oak Lodge, with additional lodging available at campgrounds and Mt. View Lodge. You are welcome to come and stay one or two nights, or to commute for part or all of the time. For written directions, including where to go when you arrive at the camp, click here.


  • Friday p.m.: arrive from 5:30 p.m. onwards (earlier if you’re helping with set up). Head to Red Oak Lodge for your lodging key, if required.
    • 5 pm: Set-up for meal tents
    • 6 pm: hot dog roast in the camping loop. **Bring your own plates and tableware, and a side to share. Hot dogs (veggie and meat), buns, and condiments provided.
    • 7 pm: intergenerational kick-ball game
    • Throughout the evening: conversation, snacks, and games 
  • Saturday
    • 7:30-8:30 a.m.- Breakfast
    • 9-11:30 a.m.- Morning Sessions
      • 9: Welcome, Orientation, Inter-generational activity
      • 10 am: Nursery care for children under 5; activities for children over 5 & youth; break-out groups for adults, including: birding & nature walk, nature-based art project, soil science & health workshop, and creation-songs hymn sing.
    • 12-1:30 p.m.- Lunch
    • 1:30-4:45 p.m.- Games, play, hikes, free time. Opportunities for comforter knotting, pickleball, corn hole, climbing wall (ages 8-18–make sure to register!), and even more fun. 
    • 5 p.m.- Dinner
    • 6:30 p.m.- Talent Show
    • 9 pm – Youth Campfire and Camp-out
  • Sunday
    • 8 a.m.- Breakfast
    • 10 a.m.- Worship (outdoors, weather permitting)
    • 12 p.m.- Catered Lunch
    • 1 p.m.- Clean up and depart

What to bring

  • Snacks and games (indoor and outdoor games, including your own racket for pickleball)
  • Sunscreen, bug spray, a water bottle
  • If you’re coming to the Friday evening hot dog roast: your own plate, tableware, and a side to share
  • Lawn chairs, especially for Sunday morning worship
  • Your talents for the Talent Show!! 

Where Will I Stay?

If you’ve indicated lodging preferences on the RSVP form, then you’ll hear from Donna Schminkey by Sep 3rd or 4th with information about where you’ll be staying. We work hard to make sure everyone has a good option for accommodations, but we’re not able to give everyone their first choice. Donna will communicate whether or not you need to bring linens for your overnight accommodations.

Click here for the Retreat Registration Form