Winter Peace Retreat at Spruce Lake

Jesus and the Road to Peace

February 9-11, 2007 (Friday-Sunday)
Canadensis, PA (in the Poconos)


Adult Program

Youth Program

Childrens Program




Other Info.


Contact Us

Family retreat with separate programs for adults, youth, and children, sponsored by The Peace and Justice Committee, Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church USA.

Read reports about the 2007 retreat:

Adult Program:

Jesus and the Road to Peace:
A Spirituality of Gospel Nonviolence

with Fr. John Dear
Jesuit Priest, Peace Activist, and Author

Our time with Fr. John Dear will focus on the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes. We will read through and discuss the text of the Sermon on the Mount which Gandhi and others call the greatest manifesto of radical nonviolence ever written. We will step aside from our busy lives and focus on these critical teachings from the peacemaking Jesus. We will reflect on the Beatitudes, hear the call to love our enemies, and commit ourselves to the path of active nonviolence, so that once again we can practice the core teachings for which Jesus gave his life.

Fr. John Dear is a Jesuit priest, a peace activist, organizer, lecturer, retreat leader, and author/editor of 20 books on peace and nonviolence, including Living Peace, The Questions of Jesus, Jesus the Rebel, and Disarming the Heart. The former executive director of Fellowship of Reconciliation, John Dear lives and works in New Mexico where he leads a campaign to disarm Los Alamos

Youth Program:

The Path is Made by Walking:
Discipleship and Skills for Peacemaking

with Grant Rissler

Through a variety of interactive activities, participants will develop their own vision of peace and creatively articulate the connection between peacemaking and Christ's call to Come and follow me. Using both biblical and current day scenarios, participants will analyze the risks present in peacemaking and practice skills of reflection, analysis and action that are essential for Christian disciples. Putting these skills into practice in a safe space they will have opportunities to wrestle with possible responses to conflicts in their own congregations and communities.

Grant Rissler is Peace and Justice Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) - East Coast and part of MCC s Youth and Young Adult Network. Grant served with Mennonite Voluntary Service as an associate at the MCC United Nations office in New York City, and as an immigration paralegal for a pro bono asylum project in Harlingen, TX. He has studied conflict transformation in Colombia, Switzerland and the United States.

Child Care/Children's Activities

We will provide child care and activities for children up to age 12 during the adult sessions. We also appreciate parents or other adults who would like to help out with one or more of the children's sessions.


Spruce Lake Retreat Center, RR#1, Box 605, Canadensis, PA 18325. (570) 595-7505.
Spruce Lake Retreat is located 2.5 miles north of Canadensis on PA Rt. 447, in the Pocono Mountains.

Preliminary Schedule

Friday, February 10
7:00 PM Check-in
8:00 PM Opening program for All
Music, sharing of peace stories
9:30 PM Snack*
Youth: Get-Acquainted Gathering
11:00 PM Bedtime (Quiet)
Saturday, February 11
8:00-8:30 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM First Adult Session and Youth Session
10:30 AM Adult Discussion / Free Time**
12:00-12:30 PM Lunch
12:30 PM Free Time**
3:30-5:00 PM Second Adult Session
5:30-6:00 PM Dinner
7:15 PM Third Adult Session and Second Youth Session
9:30 PM Snack*
11:00 PM Bedtime (Quiet)
Sunday, February 12
8:00-8:30 AM Breakfast
9:00-10:30 AM Final Adult and Youth Session
10:45 AM Worship Service with Communion
12:15-12:45 PM Lunch

*Please bring bagged snacks (cookies, pretzels, chips, etc) to share with others during the evenings. You are also encouraged to bring your own mug for snack times or coffee during the program sessions.
**During "Free Time" on Saturday morning there will be extended adult discussion time (10:35-11:45) with the adult leaders. On Saturday afternoon there will be videos and discussion time (on peace issues) as an alternative to outdoor recreation.

  • After Sunday lunch you and your family may stay for more recreation or head for home.
  • Weather permitting, the following winter recreational activies are available at Spruce Lake: cross-country skiing with ski rental, tubing, and ice-skating (bring your own skates).

    Registration Information

    [Printable Registration Form]

    Please plan to register early; space is limited. Sometimes we have had to turn away families because of the space limitation.

    Most rooms accomodate up to four people (a double bed and a bunk bed with private bath), and one or two additional family members may be accomodated in the same room on the floor if you wish to bring sleeping bags for them. Single adults who wish to room together should send in their registration forms together, otherwise they will be paired with other singles if space is limited.

    Cost to Participants:

    $135.00 Adults *($125.00 if paid by Jan. 4, 2007)
    $40.00 Children (Ages 6-12)
    $65.00 Youth (Ages 13-18)
    Children under 6 are free!
    This year it will be possible to register for the Saturday program only; check with us for details and cost.

    --------------------- Registration Form ------------------------------

    City, State___________________________________ZIP____________
    Child's Name              Age                        Sex
    ____Adults @ 135.00 each*   __________
    ____Children @ $40.00 each  __________  
    ____Youth @ $65.00 each     __________  
           (Additional donation __________ )      
                 Amount Enclosed___________
         Amount Due at Check-in _____________________
    [It is possible for adults to register for only the Saturday 
    program; cost is $35, including lunch and supper. Check with
    us for additional details.]
    Make checks payable to:
                       Eastern District Conference
    Mail this registration form to:
         Becky Felton
         942 Camp Trail Road
         Quakertown, PA 18951 
    Registration deadline is January 17, 2007
    Any questions?  Need more information? 
    Call  Becky Felton, 215-536-7935,  E-mail:
      or  Robert Walden, 610-861-0653, E-mail:

    Financial Information

    Our registration rates are listed on the registration form above, but the actual cost of the retreat is substantially greater than what the participants pay. The difference is made up with funds from the Eastern District / Franconia Peace and Justice budget. Registration charges cover personal expenses for lodging and meals, but not our program costs such as honorariums, travel, and accomodations for our presenters, publicity, and other miscellaneous expenses.

    Your donations are much appreciated since they allow us to provide scholarships for low-income families or individuals.

    Some financial help is available for those who find it difficult to pay the amount we charge. We want to enable as many people as possible to attend this retreat. (Contact Bob Walden, 610-861-0653.)

    If you have dietary restrictions or require other special accomodations (e.g., diabetic, or vegitarian, or difficulty climbing stairs, etc.) please include information about your needs.

    Camp Policies

    • Public areas and recreation areas are to be vacated by 11:00 PM. All areas are to be quiet after this time.
    • We strongly object to smoking. Under no circumstances is anyone permitted to smoke in any rooms of any building.
    • Pets are not permitted.
    • Guests are requested to leave their shirts on while at camp.
    • Use of alcoholic beverages is not permitted.
    • Motorized recreational vehicles (minibikes, snowmobiles, etc.) must be registered at the camp office before using them on the grounds.
    • Electrical appliances, such as electric fry pans, are not permitted.
    • Radios, tape players, etc. are permitted only in rooms designated for your group and only with the volume low. They are not permitted in public areas or outside.


      (to be updated)

  • For more information about the Peace and Justice Committee, see

  • Contact webmaster:

    Last Updated: 5/4/07
    Created: August 28, 2006