St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
There's a place for you here.
Parish weekend at Shrine Mont
Friday, June 21-Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Frances Murchison, speaker
Online registration is closed; please check with the Rev. Leigh Preston about available space.
A weekend with Frances Murchison, and with each other
Frances Murchison, founder of Mindfullyfed, is a certified holistic health coach, trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Frances, who had a successful career in advertising before turning her attention to wellness and health coaching, is married to an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, and they live in Lake Forest, Illinois. Frances is no stranger to St. Stephen’s; she is a graduate of St. Catherine’s School and has visited St. Stephen’s to conduct workshops and retreats in the past. Her book, See. Breathe. Nourish. Energize. is available in the Bookshop @ St. Stephen's. More about Frances' program is available below.
What is Shrine Mont?
Shrine Mont is the home of the Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration—the cathedral of the Diocese of Virginia. It is “a place where people give thanks to God for his creation — from the beauty of the streams, flowers and wildlife which are at home here, to the people who come to this place to celebrate being part of the family of God,” as beautifully stated on Shrine Mont’s Web site. St. Stephen’s annual parish weekend at Shrine Mont is designed to bring us together through fellowship, recreation, reflection, worship and song, all in a lovely setting featuring wildlife, fresh air, blue skies, springs, and friendly people.
The property features a spring-fed swimming pool; hiking trails for various skill levels; tennis courts; large fields for soccer, volleyball, softball, etc.; and plenty of porches with rocking chairs.
Who should come to Shrine Mont?
Shrine Mont is a special place for all people–individuals, couples and families. It is a restful place apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Once you arrive, everything is taken care of, and you can do as much or as little as you desire. Activities are organized for Friday night, after dinner, and Saturday morning. After lunch Saturday, various leisure activities are available: hikes, tennis, swimming, reading, napping, conversation. Saturday evening activities bring everyone together. Our Sunday morning worship service is held at the outdoor cathedral, a natural setting where God’s presence can easily be felt.
Those who experience Shrine Mont enjoy treasured memories. With a church the size of St. Stephen’s, attending the parish weekend at Shrine Mont helps both new people and longtime members connect and reconnect, forming relationships that last.
Costs and registration
Costs include room, meals and program. Shrine Mont has raised its rates since we were last there (in 2011), but we have worked hard to keep this event affordable, and will offer scholarship assistance for those who need it.
The registration deadline was Tuesday, May 21, but a few last-minute spaces have opened up. Please contact the Rev. Leigh Preston by June 7 if you are interested.
Adults: single occupancy $175 per person ($195 per person single occupancy, if available)
Children ages 8-12: $110 per person
Children ages 4-7: $60 per person
Children under 4: no charge
Child care for children age 3 and under is available for an additional charge (TBA), if requested in advance. (Children age 4 and older will have supervised activities which are included in the program costs.)
Donations are most welcome; they help make scholarship assistance possible and thus assure the widest possible participation in the parish weekend.
You can download and print a brochure HERE.
To learn more about Shrine Mont, visit the conference center's Web site.
Led by Frances Murchison
In a spirit of letting go and letting in, how do we make space for God to find us? How can we be open to the Infinite and to infinite possibilities for our lives?
Many of us live within our own story that we must earn our worth by comparing, judging, criticizing, achieving. These sabotaging thoughts take us out of the present moment and into both the past and the future, simultaneously. Yet it is in the present moment that the One who is seeking us dwells.
How can we stay present to the Divine spirit living within us? How do we practice holding a space for the God who is calling us to return, to ourselves and to God? How do we let go of our illusions, our attachments that keep us from embracing God’s abundant healing for us?
Over this weekend, we’ll explore ways to open the heart, mind, and body to what has been there all along – God’s divine presence and radical grace. We’ll practice tools to help us wake up and see our true nature – who we truly are in the eyes of God. We’ll practice letting go of those illusions that distract us from God’s sweet embrace. We’ll practice simple ways to care of the body, mind, spirit to make space for God.
What better setting than Shrine Mont, which for so many is a “thin place,” where one can experience the union of heaven and earth? Where better to make space for God than the Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration and its surroundings, providing generations of God’s people rest, refreshment and transformative experiences?