2016 Retreat


Dear Friends,

Please join us at this year’s ALL PARISH FALL WEEKEND November 11-13, 2016 at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in Greenfield, N.H.

The theme for this year’s parish weekend is LIVING ABUNDANTLY.   There will be time for fun, games, meals, and socializing, as well as hiking, fishing and quiet reflection.

Most of us will arrive sometime Friday evening.  Plan to have dinner on your own before you arrive.  We will gather at St. John’s Lodge at the Camp for some social time and a fun activity.  Bring snacks and/or beverage or beer or wine to share.

Saturday morning will include programs for children of elementary age, teens, and adults.  With the help of Amy Cook from the Diocese of Massachusetts, the adults will explore Living Compass, a faith-based wellness initiative. There are many resources and tools associated with this program, and we will have an opportunity to practice and examine several of them.  There will be something in it for everyone!

After lunch on Saturday, there will be plenty of time to sit, walk or nap.  Weather permitting, the ropes course will be available, or the young people supervised by the Camp.  We have also reserved part of the gym.  If you like to fish, bring along your rod, and join the anglers on the waterfront.

This year, we are offering a book discussion group on Saturday afternoon, for anyone interested in participating.  The suggested read is:  Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.  Paula Antonevich has offered to facilitate that discussion.  A number of parishioners already read this bestseller and a few have expressed an interest in talking about it within the church community.

Before dinner on Saturday, we will have a social hour for adults and an activity for children.

After dinner on Saturday evening there will be a fun intergenerational activity followed by a campfire (with s’mores, of course).  Be sure to bring a flashlight and warm clothes, including hats and gloves, as it will likely be very cool after the sun goes down.

Sunday morning is worship preparation and our Eucharist service which will be outdoors, weather permitting. Traditionally, the youth have accepted the challenge of presenting the Gospel in dramatic fashion. Members of the Redeemer Band will provide music.

The program ends after lunch on Sunday. We like to know if you need to leave before this final meal, so the kitchen does not prepare too much food.

We hope you can come!  We have prepared answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, but if there is anything you would like to know please contact us.

In the attached reservation form, we ask that you register by Wednesday, September 28 if you can.  We should be able to accept registrations after that, but the camp is full and we need to give the camp our minimum registration numbers before the end of the month.

Janet and Chris Needham    617-835-4396 (Chris’ cell)  needfam@gmail.com


What is the venue like?

The Barbara C Harris Camp and Conference Center is owned by the Diocese of Massachusetts.  It is a lovely facility, about an hour and a half away from Lexington. The camp is only about 15 years old, so the cabins and facilities are in good shape, with running water and heat. The lodge rooms are clean and quite basic, but have private bathrooms.  The regular cabins hold 8-12 people.  We also have the Bunk House this year and it is configured similar to two cabins with 8 beds or each side.  People may be put together, but families are not split up.  Please let us know if there is a family or other adults with whom you would like to share a cabin.

Is there a lot of walking to get from place to place?

Most of the group activities are located in the Doran Center, a function hall near the lake, a 5-10 minute walk down a dirt road from the Dining Hall. We will have a car or golf cart available for anyone who needs assistance. It is a good idea to wear sturdy footwear.

What about meals?

Meals are served buffet style, and we eat at 8-person tables. The kitchen does a great job in meeting dietary needs/ requests, so be sure to mention any restrictions on your registration form.  One of the great aspects of the weekend is to “mix it up” from meal to meal and spend time with a variety of folks. Some families prefer to sit together, while others like to spread themselves around. Redeemer has a section of the dining hall reserved, so you will be eating with only our group.

Is there WIFI?

Cell service is spotty and WIFI is weak. Do not count on WIFI access.

Do I have to participate in everything?

You may join in everything, or nothing!   Most people attend the Saturday morning program, Sunday worship and meals. Saturday afternoon is really free time. We offer a few activities for those who wish to participate, but many people choose to “do their own thing”.

What does it cost?

The prices are listed on the registration form. The camp charges us on a per person basis depending on the lodging.  Prices include two nights and five meals. There are no discounts for a single night, or only four meals.   Unfortunately the cost is the same for teens 13 and over and for adults.  We provide a family cap to help make the retreat accessible to families.  We want to make sure that cost is not a factor and that everyone has an opportunity so come, so there is confidential financial assistance available – see the registration form for details.

What about if I can only come for the day?

We will try to arrange transportation, or facilitate carpools for anyone who would like to come for the day. You are welcome to stay until 5 PM.  Lunch is included.  The camp charges $35 for day visitors.



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