Winter Peace Retreat at Spruce Lake

Compassionate Peacemaking

February 12-14, 2010 (Friday-Sunday)
Canadensis, PA (in the Poconos)

8.5"x11" poster (pdf)

Retreat Brochure (pdf)

Adult Program

Youth Options

Childrens Program





Other Info.


Contact Us

2009 Retreat
2008 Retreat
Family retreat with separate programs for adults and children, sponsored by The Peace and Justice Committee, Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church USA.

Adult Program:

Compassionate Peacemaking:
Extending Hope And Healing To Those With Soul Wounds

with Carolyn H. Heggen

Carolyn H. Heggen, a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery, is an international trauma consultant and trainer. She has lived and worked in Pakistan, Puerto Rico and Nepal, and currently resides in Corvalis, Oregon, where she is an active member of Albany Mennonite Church. Carolyn is affiliated with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University as director of the Healing the Wounds of War project, and authored the book Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches. She has a longstanding interest in the intersection of psychology and theology, and in the redemptive, healing potential of healthy congregations.

Trauma often results in altered identity and soul wounds for victims. Carolyn Heggen believes that these spiritual issues can be addressed within the context of a redemptive community that reflects and mediates God's gift of grace. Through lecture, stories, poetry and group discussion, participants in the retreat will examine the effects of trauma and consider ways that Christian peacemakers can become agents of compassion, hope and healing for those suffering from the trauma of nature-caused or human-inflicted violence and the trauma of participation in war.

Youth Options:

This year we are not offering a separate program for youth, because many of our congregations now hold winter retreats specifically for high school and junior high youth. However, youth will be welcome to participate in this retreat if they come with other family members. Some mature youth may benefit from participation in the adult program; also, there will be an opportunity for a few youth to help with the child care. Please check with us for details.

Note that we can also work with church youth group leaders to help plan a youth retreat with a peace and justice theme.

Child Care/Children's Activities

We will provide child care and activities for children up to age 12 during the adult sessions. Pat and Maria Pietrak will lead peacemaking activities for children ages 6-12 in which each child will assemble and paint a woodworking project. We also appreciate parents or other adults who would like to help out with child care for one or more of the 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 12
7:00 PM Check-in
8:00 PM Opening program for All
Music, sharing of peace stories
9:30 PM Snack*
11:00 PM Bedtime (Quiet)
Saturday, February 13
8:00-8:30 AM Breakfast
9:00-12:00First Session
12:00-12:30 PM Lunch
12:30 PM Free Time**
3:30-5:00 PM Second Session
5:00-6:00 PM Dinner
7:00-9:00 PM Third Session
9:00 PM Snack*
11:00 PM Bedtime (Quiet)
Sunday, February 14
8:00-8:30 AM Breakfast
9:00-10:30 AM Final Session
10:45 AM Worship Service with Communion
(adults & children)
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 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 accommodate up to four people (a double bed and a bunk bed with private bath), and one or two additional family members may be accommodated 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:

    $155.00 Adults
    $70.00 Youth (rooming with parents)
    $45.00 Children (Ages 6-12)
    Children under 6 are free!

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

    City, State___________________________________ZIP____________
    Child's Name              Age                        Sex
    ____Adults @ $155.00 each   __________
    ____Youth @ $70.00 each     __________
    ____Children @ $45.00 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 22, 2010*
    [*Availabilty of meals & lodging not guaranteed after Jan. 22nd -- check with Registrar] 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 accommodations 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.)

    Special needs: If you have dietary restrictions or require other special accommodations (e.g., diabetic, or vegetarian, 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.

    Resources -- Transforming the Wounds of War
    Compiled and Recommended by Carolyn H. Heggen

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Civilian Suicide Prevention
    Military One Source (Suicide)
    National Domestic Violence

    On Line Resources

    Books and Journal Articles

  • Resource List [pdf]

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

    Contact webmaster:

    Last Updated: 2/24/10
    Created: July 27, 2009