About The C.S. Lewis Retreat and the C.S. Lewis Foundation
The C.S. Lewis Retreat is a three day annual retreat designed to engage mind, spirit, and imagination in the tradition of C.S. Lewis. Registrants are drawn from many walks of life and include scholars, artists, clergy, campus ministers, lay readers, and writers. Though the event currently only takes place in the fall in Texas, there are plans to expand the retreat to add additional venues at different times of the year.
C.S. Lewis Foundation Mission & Programs
The C.S. Lewis Foundation was established in 1986 as a non-profit organization with a mission:
“Inspired by the life and legacy of C.S. Lewis, the C.S. Lewis Foundation is dedicated to advancing the renewal of Christian thought and creative expression throughout the world of learning and the culture at large.”
From its inception, the Foundation has endeavored to fulfill its mandate through a wide range of events and initiatives. From the acclaimed Summer Institute held every three years in Oxford and Cambridge, to the establishment of the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at “The Kilns” (Lewis’s beloved home in Oxford), to Faculty Forums in universities across the country, to our regional conferences and retreats, our goal is singular: living the legacy of C.S. Lewis by actively promoting the integration of the life of the mind, the imagination, and the spirit.
The C.S. Lewis Retreat as Part of the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Mission
Hosted annually over the past ten years, The C.S. Lewis Retreat has taken on a special role within the spectrum of the Foundation’s events. In the warm, informal setting of Camp Allen, The C.S. Lewis Retreat offers a haven of intellectual, artistic, and spiritual fellowship that is rooted in the mission of the Foundation.
Whether our attendees come with a bent toward writing, reading (study/scholarship), or growing in Christian devotion, this time together is specifically designed to nourish and equip each attendee to fulfill their calling. From our plenary sessions to prayer and worship services to workshops and hosted groups to Bag End Café, a warm welcome and the spirit of hospitality abound. No small wonder that it is a vital gathering much anticipated and cherished by attendees and staff alike.
The C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Retreats in the Southwest had their origin at a one day conference held at the Texas Military Institute in San Antonio in June 2001. It was over that weekend that an Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese suggested we should convene an annual retreat at the Camp Allen Conference and Retreat Center in Navasota, Texas.
In 2003, the C.S. Lewis Southwest Regional Retreat launched at Camp Allen on the theme “Discovering Reality with C.S. Lewis.”
The Retreat was successful, and in subsequent years, we were encouraged to regularly convene the Retreat at Camp Allen.
2004: “Wrestling with Culture: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Spiritual Mentors”
2005: “Aslan on the Move: Narnia Revisited”
2006: “Growing Up with C.S. Lewis (and Staying Young with Jack!)”
2007: “Seas, Islands, and Solid Ground: Navigating the False Infinites with C.S. Lewis”
2008: “Redeeming the Time: Overcoming “Screwtape” in our Everyday Lives”
In 2009, we launched the Writers Workshop as an addition to the Southwest Regional Retreat. Since artistic expression inspired by the Holy Spirit is an essential element of the Foundation’s mission, incorporating a second part of the event for writers was a natural progression.
2009: Retreat: The Company We Keep: Creativity & Community with C.S. Lewis & the Inklings
Workshop: More Than A Hobby: Letting Community Take Your Creativity to a New Level
2010: Retreat: The Weight of Glory: Reflections on Longing & Belonging
Workshop: Writing Past the Watchful Dragons
2011: Retreat: Fling Wide the Gates: C.S. Lewis & the Pursuit of Joy
Workshop: On Stories: Imagination to Incarnation
Beginning in 2012, responding to feedback from our registrants, The C.S. Lewis Retreat has fully integrated the separate Retreat and Writers Workshop elements into a single program featuring two tracks (a Readers of Lewis track and a Writers track).
Hosted Group Sessions
Invocation / Meditation
Bag End Café