In his book, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis takes the reader with him on a trip to the foothills of Heaven. His tour guide is George MacDonald, the 19th century Scottish author and minister. Lewis encounters ghosts from “the grey town” and observes their interactions with the shining Spirits sent to welcome and lead them to Heaven – that is, if each first chooses to surrender his or her Self, taking the first steps “further up and further in.”
By observing Lewis’s characters choosing between earthly temptations and eternal desires, we are moved to ponder our own struggles. Our choices in the here and now define not only who we are today, but also who we will become in the future and where we spend eternity. It is not simply a matter of making a single decision to follow God’s commands. To the contrary, it is a thousand daily choices – the oft tiny, repetitive choices of day to day belief and obedience. These choices sculpt and reflect the inclination of our souls and ultimately determine the presence of Heaven or Hell in our lifetimes on earth.
Our guide in this discovery is Professor Joseph Pearce, the widely esteemed author of biographies of literary giants including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and G.K. Chesterton, who will help us see through the lens of Lewis’s unique experience as relayed in his fictional tale of a transformative bus ride to Heaven.
Come, open your heart and mind and grow as we together learn to choose the ways of Heaven in our everyday lives.
Centered on you — the writer — the Writers Workshop Track will build your relationships with other writers and professionals in the writing community while you learn practical tips and techniques to improve your writing and its reception. This will be an experience to stimulate your intellect, enlighten your spirit, and delight and refresh your imagination.
Our vision is to bring together and disciple a community of writers in the spirit of C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, whose works continue to inspire and influence thousands. Our mission is to actively recapture the essence of community Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and their fellow writers enjoyed and create it afresh in our current culture.
Come join us for our workshops, lectures, and interactive group sessions for the jump-start, dusting off, or home-stretch encouragement you’ve needed to move forward with your writing. We all know that writing well is, in part, a talent. But moving from God-given gift to a finished — and perhaps published — product requires self-discipline and dogged perseverance, as well the encouragement and feedback of others.
We offer an affirming atmosphere for learning from respected authors, reading and commenting on one another’s work, and discussing specifics for creating a writing life that is more than a rainy-day hobby. Writers of all expertise levels are welcome to come celebrate the creative life — and the privilege of working in community.
Recommended Ages: 7-12
To Narnia and the North! Journey with Aravis, Bree, and Shasta
This year the children’s track for the Retreat will focus on The Horse and His Boy, a book that takes two young children and two Narnian horses on both a physical and spiritual journey from exile to
the land of Narnia. We’ll learn about becoming the kind of child (or horse!) that Aslan wants us to be.
The children’s track will include reading aloud together, discussion questions, memory verses that correspond to the lessons of the book, guest artists, and creative activities – including time for the children to write their own stories about Narnia.