Provide Sacred Places Apart: A Perspective from Alton L. Collins Retreat Center

January 19, 2018

Reflections on the Seven Foundations for Camp & Retreat Ministries 

Foundation 1: "Provide Sacred Places Apart"

A Perspective from Alton L. Collins Retreat Center

by Dan Benson, Director of Alton L.Collins Retreat Center

“You can just feel the peace as you come up the driveway.”

These words have often been shared with me as I show people around Alton L Collins Retreat Center for their first time.
 
Whether one is taken in by the tall trees, the harmonious architecture, or simply the atmosphere of peace that infuses the space, there is something special that happens as one enters the property.  This space, which is less than an hour from Portland, stands apart from the pace and distractions of home and work.
 
We encourage people to immerse themselves in "being apart" from everyday life.  For some it is how we experience God: stepping out of routines, spending time in reflection, discovering tranquility.  For others it provides perspective on how God has been with us through the activity of our lives.  We often need this separation from our ordinary lives so that we can discover the "extraordinariness" of God; God who is present to us in that moment, who has been present to us in the busyness of our lives, and who is calling us to abundant life with God in the days ahead.
 
This is the heart of the surprising contradiction of going on retreat.  It is vital to move out of the flow of everyday life so that we can make sense of our lives and so we can re-engage with the life to which we are called more fully and completely.
 
How are you doing in setting space in your life to encounter the divine and reflect on your life?  
If answer is “not as good as you would like”, feel free to get in touch with us at the Collins Retreat Center so that we can help you reconnect through this sacred place set apart.

© 2014 Camp and Retreat Ministries:

A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon