Contemplative Retreats

PLEASE NOTE: Our programs have changed and continue to evolve in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we hope to return to in-person programming as soon as possible, the safety of our teachers and participants takes priority. Please stay tuned for updates by subscribing to our newsletter.

Before 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, with either two or three leaders, and a Zoom coordinator. In advance of the day, participants will receive documents to help guide the day. We will begin with a gathering on Friday evening for introductions and considerations of plans for the retreat. Then, on Saturday, we’ll start the day at  9:00 AM (Eastern Time) with 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.

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

Scott Wagoner is senior pastor at High Point Friends Meeting (North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends) in High Point, North Carolina. He previously served for nineteen years as pastoral minister of Deep River Friends Meeting (North Carolina Fellowship of Friends) in High Point, North Carolina. He is a graduate of Taylor University and the Earlham School of Religion. Scott is also a certified Development Coach and is President/Founder of Growing Edge Resources. He has also trained with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in leading contemplative groups and retreats. He currently serves as clerk of School of the Spirit’s contemplative retreats committee.

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 2012.

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

All Shall Be Well: Contemplation and Transformation – A Contemplative Retreat in the Manner of Friends will hopefully take place on in April of 2023.

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 will hopefully take place in the summer or fall of 2023.

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