Contemplative Retreats


Before the coronavirus and COVID-19, the School of the Spirit Ministry offered weekend retreats, with two- or three-night stays, held at various retreat centers. Until we can safely return to those centers, we are holding day-long eRetreats, the first of which took place June 20, 2020.

More than ever, in these days of sequestering, we need times for our Spirit – times of “retirement” as early Friends used to say. We need time for com­munion with God and the refreshment of the soul, even in our own homes. Come and simply be with God. Attend to the divine stirrings of the soul, opening to grace.

Attendance at future eRetreats will be limited to 15 participants, two leaders, and a Zoom coordinator. In advance of the day, participants will receive documents to help guide the day. We will begin the day at  9:00 AM (Eastern Time) with a gathering on Zoom for introductions and a brief time of worship. Leaders will offer suggestions for spiritual practices during the day, and retreatants will gather for sharing at mid-day and at the end of the afternoon To learn more, and register, please email


During the retreat, participants will experience the distinctly Quaker manner of knowing soli­tude in community. There will be individual silent time for prayer, reflection, rest, walks, and contemplative interaction with scripture and other spiritual resources. Meals will be taken in silence, and an evening spent in “active silence,” where we will gather comfortably to read, journal, do hand-work or artwork, or engage in some similar quiet activity.

Labyrinth at Avila Retreat Center, North Carolina

Sinking down into the silence, we may want to give voice occasionally to what is encountered there. Thus there will also be opportunities for speaking out of the silence in groups, as well as an invitation to meet one-on-one with a retreat leader. In our sharing, our souls touch and we find ourselves gathered in blessed community.

Space is limited, so please consider registering early. We offer flexible fees based on your assessment of your means. If the “minimum” cost is not within your means, please contact us:

You may also include a donation to support another Friend’s attendance. The School of the Spirit Ministry is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving the Religious Society of Friends.

Retreat Leaders

April Allison is a member of Red Cedar Monthly Meeting (Lake Erie Yearly Meeting), a spiritual director and an experienced retreat leader. She has led contemplative retreats under the care of the School of the Spirit in Wisconsin and Michigan since 2102.

Jan Blodgett is a member of Davidson (NC) Monthly Meeting (North Carolina Yearly Meeting [Conservative]) and a graduate of our program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer. She has led a number of retreats, most recently in North Carolina.

Linda Chidsey is a recorded minister in New York Yearly Meeting and former clerk of that yearly meeting. She was a member of the very first class of On Being a Spiritual Nurturer. Among other retreats, Linda has led an annual retreat at Powell House with Carolyn Moon for about 20 years.

Catherine Cox is a member of Goose Creek Monthly Meeting (Baltimore Yearly Meeting), is a graduate of our program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer, and has completed the Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. Catherine has led retreats under the Care of the School of the Spirit since 2016.

Sharon Frame is a member of Red Cedar Monthly Meeting (Lake Erie Yearly Meeting) and a graduate of the School of the Spirit’s On Being a Spiritual Nurturer program. She has served as director at Beacon Hill Friends House (Boston) and as resident friend at Friends Meeting at Cambridge. She  is now leading contemplative retreats in Michigan.

Roger Hansen is a member of Milwaukee Monthly Meeting (Northern Yearly Meeting) and has led retreats in Wisconsin since 2014.

Carolyn Moon is a member of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) and has facilitated Contemplative Retreats with Linda Chidsey for many years. 

Upcoming Retreats

Dwelling Deep – A Contemplative Retreat in the Manner of Friends at Powell House, 524 Pitt Hall Rd., Old Chatham, NY, scheduled for January 15-18, 2021, but time will tell if we can go ahead with it. Please check back in October 2020, for more information and to register.

All Shall Be Well: Contemplation in an Age of Crisis – A Contemplative Retreat in the Manner of Friends at Siena Retreat Center, Racine, WI, is scheduled for April 8 -11, 2021. Please check back in January, 2021, for more information and to register. Or email to be put on a waiting list.

Resilience, Courage and Hope; Sacred Whispers of the Quiet Heart – A Contemplative Retreat in the Manner of Friends at the Weber Retreat and Conference Center, Adrian, Michigan. Has been rescheduled for 2021, due to the coronavirus. Please check back for more information.

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