SOLT "Take A Deep Breath" Retreats

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Event description
Pause, relax, rest, eat, drink, be outdoors or stay inside. Take a break. Take a deep breath. Take in some worship. Let SOLT nurture you.

About this event

Colleagues and Friends,

We know you're fried. SOLT has a free gift for you. Join us for one of the five different "Take A Deep Breath" retreats listed below. Each one will start at 2pm and end by noon the next day.

Depending on the setting, you will have options for hiking, walking, swimming, lounging, reading, chilling, talking, biking, sleeping, snacking, campfiring, or doing absolutely nothing... We just want to give you some space where you can decompress a little.

So....each retreat will offer unstructured sabbath time with a few things in common:

  • We'll gather for intros and gentle worship at 2.00 pm (but you're welcome to arrive earlier). No ice breakers, we promise.
  • Later we'll re-gather for a nice group dinner at a designated time.
  • At some point we'll have an evening social with good food and drinks for those who want to stop by. Stay as little or as long as you'd like.
  • Sara and other hosts will be around the whole time for anyone who wants to talk or just chill in the company of others.
  • We'll have some boardgames and puzzles for people in the mood. There could be doodling. (Maybe some knitting?)
  • Breakfast will be provided. And always, the coffee.
  • We'll gather for gentle worship. And you won't even be asked to lead any of it...
  • We'll send you on your way by noon (but while you're already there, you're welcome to stay longer on your own..).

Choose from One of Five Locations:

Aug 5-6: I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign IL

Some of their amenities include: fitness center, bicycles, helmets and trail maps, 3-mile and 5-mile walking trail, outdoor patios and spa services* (this last one is at the participant's expense).

Aug 9-10: Geneva Center near Rochester IN

A perennial favorite of many Presbyterians... 235 wooded-acres of trail walking, campfires, canoes, paddleboats, the labyrinth. Motel-like rooms.

Aug 12-13: Stronghold Camp and Conference Center near Oregon, IL

Hiking, frisbee golf, storming the castle, exploring Rock River, roasting marshmallows around a campfire. Motel-like rooms.

Aug 17-18: Starved Rock State Park near Utica IL

13 miles of trails and 18 canyons to explore, extraordinary views and great places to relax. Indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, campfire, lodge. Motel-like rooms.

Aug 23-24: Benedict Inn, Beech Grove, IN

Located in southeastern Indianapolis. 3-acre nature garden and labyrinth. Nuns don't lie: "The quiet and spacious grounds invite and promote reflective relaxation. An atmosphere of peace, prayer and community help to facilitate an integration of body, mind and spirit." Motel-like rooms.

Here's the Fine Print:

All participants must be vaccinated.

Each location is a little different, but for the most part we have a mixture of double occupancy rooms (two beds in a room) and single rooms. We want to include as many weary pastors as we can, so if you're willing to double up for just one night, that would be appreciated. But you get to decide. Maybe you have a friend in ministry who could use a retreat too?

Update, 7/11/21: We currently have plenty of single rooms at each location, so if you'd prefer one, please register soon.

Registering: Who, How and When

Did we mention that this is free?

Full-time pastors who serve either in congregations or in specialized ministries are invited to register at any time, and as long as there are rooms available. You must be in current good standing with one of the eight SOLT presbyteries, and all that stuff.

.75 (3/4) time or less pastors actively serving either in congregations or in specialized ministries are welcome to register beginning July 15th, and as long as rooms are available. You must be in current good standing with one of the eight SOLT presbyteries, and all that stuff.

Non-ordained church program staff (eg., children's ministry directors, youth directors, etc.) who are at least half-time employees are invited to register beginning July 30th, and as long as rooms are available. You must be actively working in a PC(USA) congregation in IL or IN, at least half time.

Finally, if you have questions....

Contact Sara Dingman ( for questions of eligibility and such.

Contact Wynesia Jackson ( for logistical questions.

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Organizer Synod of Lincoln Trails

Organizer of SOLT "Take A Deep Breath" Retreats

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