$295 – $425

Frederica Mathewes-Green | SPIRITUAL WRITING RETREAT

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Ottauquechee Farm | A Creative Sanctuary

298 Holiday Farm Road

Bridgewater, VT 05034

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Join us with gifted and accomplished spiritual writer Frederica Mathewes-Green in a contemplative weekend retreat for writers of all genres — in this unique opportunity to be renewed and inspired by both one’s faith and the joy of the writing process.

Here I Am, Lord

What does it mean, to be called to be a writer?

The Prophet Isaiah had a dramatic and unmistakable call. He saw the Lord “high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple” (Isa 6:1). At the sight, he was stricken with awareness of his sinfulness and unworthiness; in response, one of the seraphim touched his lips with a burning coal, and told him that his sins were forgiven. Then the Lord said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah responded, “Here I am! Send me.”

When we respond to the Lord’s calling to write, when we say “Here I am, send me,” what comes next?

  • Do we become sharply aware of our weakness and sin?
  • Do we feel uncertain about what, exactly, we’re supposed to do?
  • Do we fear that it’s not coming out right?
  • Do we feel confused about what part of our mission is our responsibility, and what part depends on God?
  • Do we worry about success and failure? Are we not supposed to care about being successful?

Even at the moment of Isaiah’s calling, the Lord told him that he would not be successful. The people of Judah would not repent, and they would be conquered by other nations. Isaiah prophesied for fifty years, his word was rejected, and in the end he was martyred.

On the other hand, his words have been heard and read and treasured by the people of God for 2600 years. So what does “success” mean, really?

Join us for this unique workshop focused on the challenges of being a writer, addressing doubts and roadblocks, and identifying ways to move forward, relying on the power and calling of God.

Frederica will be present for the workshop and sharing meals on Saturday of the retreat. Both Friday night and Sunday morning will be hosted by Keri Wiederspahn. People are welcome to stay longer on Sunday to enjoy the farm, and depart as desired.

Please contact Director of Arts Initiatives, Keri Wiederspahn at keri@oqfarm.org or call 802.230.7779 for more immediate information.

Frederica's full bio can be found at the bottom of this event description below.

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The full retreat package cost includes all instruction, shared semi-private housing (more info below), and all meals. A private room upgrade is available on a first come/first served basis with limited availibility, as well as a Saturday-only option for those commuting or who prefer to stay off-campus which will include both lunch and dinner on Saturday.

The workshop provides a unique retreat experience where students will share meals, all workshop sessions and optional evening and morning prayers while together for building fellowship and community.

We ask that people try to arrive by dinner on Frtiday night to break bread together the night before the workshop begins, and are welcome to depart anytime after breakfast on Sunday.

Tickets to the workshop can be purchased here on-line, or by sending in a check. *PLEASE NOTE: there is a $10 fee for registering through this site.

Those who prefer to pay by check instead of through this site should send payment directly to our foundation offices:

SWORD & SPOON WORKSHOP *Attn: Frederica Writing Retreat, 52 Waltham St., Lexington, MA 02421 USA


All workshops are hosted at the 500-acre OQ Farm: A Creative Sanctuary (www.oqfarm.org)-- a peaceful and beautiful working Vermont farm and retreat center only a little over two hours from Boston, MA, and only 10 minutes outside of the renowned and quintessential Woodstock, VT along the Ottauquechee River. The farm is currently now in development as a sanctuary for devoted to the spiritual renewal of artists and the creation of new artistic works. We are Christian-based, and ecumenical in welcome.


The lodging is comprised primarily of nicely appointed cabins with shared baths. No more than 4 participants will share a cabin. There are 8 private rooms available for an additional surcharge ($25 per night), on a first come – first serve basis, and will still share a bath with one other person. There is also a very nice Bed and Breakfast Inn within walkable distance (less than a mile) from the farm for those wishing full privacy: October Inn: http://octobercountryinn.com, as well as many other four and five star hotels (including the world-renowned Woodstock Inn: http://woodstockinn.com) less than 10 minutes away in downtown Woodstock, VT if you are traveling with your own car.


Food will be fresh, healthy, locally-sourced as possible, and prepared daily. We will try to accommodate any special dietary needs or allergies if given ample notice.


OQ Farm is easily accessible from Boston (2.5 hours by car or bus), or New York City (4.5 hours by car, bus or train). Feel free to contact us so that we can help to make suggestions as to what will work best with arrival and departures to the workshop.

By Plane: The nearest airports are Lebanon, NH (30 minutes), Manchester, NH (1.5 hours), or Boston’s Logan International Airport (2.5 hours). People coming into Logan can take a Dartmouth Coach bus direct to Lebanon, NH or take a connecting flight into the Lebanon, NH airport. We can help suggest local transport to the farm for participants from the NH Manchester Airport. We are able to easily pick up from the Lebanon, NH Airport anytime free of charge. The Burlington, VT Airport may also be considered, but all connecting transportation to the farm will need to be handled independently (by personal rental car or car service for instance).

By Bus: Destinations are either White River Junction, VT (Greyhound Buses) or Lebanon, NH (Dartmouth Coach). Either of these bus stations is convenient for us to pick up anytime free of charge.

By Train: Rutland, VT and White River Junction, VT are destination stops with Amtrak, originating from New York City.

By Car: We are just off of Rte 4 -- 8 miles West from Woodstock, VT, in between Killington and Woodstock in the small town of Bridgewater Corners. GPS should be set to 298 Holiday Farm Road, Bridgewater, VT.


Please contact Keri Wiederspahn at keri@oqfarm.org or 802.230.7779 for any other questions and with special lodging requests and their availability, or to request any of our other local lodging recommendations.


What's the refund policy?


  1. Cancels up to 8 weeks before workshop: 100% refund, minus Registration Fee ($50)
  2. Cancels up to 6 weeks before workshop: 75% refund, minus Registration Fee ($50)
  3. Cancels up to 4 to 2 weeks before workshop: 50% refund, minus Registration Fee ($50)
  4. Cancels up to 1 week or less before workshop: 0% refund, yet full tuition fee will be held and can be used towards another workshop

In the unlikely event that we need to cancel a workshop for any reason, a full refund will be given.

Any last minute emergency drop situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please understand that the above policy will allow us to maintain high quality workshops. Any non-refundable funds distributed to our operations from cancellations will be acknowledged as a donation to the non-profit, and will be acknowledged as such.

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About Frederica:

Frederica Mathewes-Green is a wide-ranging author, whose work has appeared in such diverse publications as the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Times, First Things, Books & Culture, Sojourners, Touchstone, and the Wall Street Journal. She has been a regular commentator for National Public Radio (NPR), on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, a commentator on the Hallmark TV network, a columnist for the Religion News Service, Beliefnet.com, and Christianity Today, wrote regular book reviews for the Los Angeles Times, movie reviews for National Review Online and Christianity Today Movies, recorded a podcast for Ancient Faith Radio, and was a consultant for Veggie Tales.

She has published 10 books, including Welcome to the Orthodox Church (Paraclete Press, 2015), The Jesus Prayer (Paraclete, 2009), Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy (HarperCollins, 1997) and The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation (Paraclete, 2001). Her essays were selected for Best Christian Writing in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006, and Best Spiritual Writing in 1998 and 2007. She has published over 700 essays.

She has also appeared as a speaker over 500 times, at places like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Wellesley, Cornell, Calvin, Baylor, and Westmont; at the Smithsonian Institute, the Aspen Institute, Washington National Cathedral, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, the American Academy of Religion, the Veritas Forum, the Family Research Council, and the National Right to Life Committee.

She has been interviewed almost 700 times, on venues including PrimeTime Live, the Diane Rehm Show, the 700 Club, NPR, PBS, CNN, NBC, Fox News, and by Time, Newsweek, the New Republic, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times.

She lives with her husband, the Rev. Gregory Mathewes-Green, in Baltimore, MD, where he is pastor and she is “Khouria” (“Mother”) of the parish they founded, Holy Cross Orthodox Church. Their three children are grown and married, and they have thirteen grandchildren. Since 1997, Frederica has been recording books for the blind with the Radio Reading Network of Maryland.

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Ottauquechee Farm | A Creative Sanctuary

298 Holiday Farm Road

Bridgewater, VT 05034

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