Summary: This retreat offers participants a chance to address questions like, “How do we make the most of our time left? What does age ask of us? What spiritual practices can enrich our relationship?” Themes like the dance between “me & we,” “welcoming the stranger,” and “the daily bread of communication” are explored.
(When aging) we do not need formulas or rigid models to follow;
we need to be drawn into a common process of search that
will suggest new ways of being.
—Mary Catherine Bateson
Based on the true soul stories collected in the newly released book, Side by Side: The Sacred Art of Couples Aging with Wisdom & Love, the authors offer this one-day retreat designed for all couples in committed relationships, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, living into the autumn/winter of their lives.
While interviewing couples, we discovered a longing for deep conversations, truth-telling, and honest inquiry into the nuances of aging, relationships, and spirituality.
This retreat offers participants a chance to address these themes within the safety of a trustworthy community, where we will tend to questions like:
Themes like the dance between “me & we,” “welcoming the stranger,” and “the daily bread of communication” are explored. Participants will actively engage in rituals, tell stories, view interview clips, and share in small groups using the Circle of Trust process.
At the completion of the day, you will be invited to join an optional “Side by Side Soup & Story Supper Club” to meet weekly for six sessions to continue structured discussions based on the Readers’ Guide in the book while breaking bread together in the privacy of your homes. Those participating in the supper club program will return for a final gathering at Trinity on November 4th, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Event time: Saturday, October 7, 2023, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Follow-up meeting for the supper club participants: Saturday, November 18, 2:00-4:30 p.m.)
Location: First Presbyterian Church of Bend, 230 NE Ninth Street, Bend, Oregon 97701
Cost: $95.00 per person ($190 per couple), which includes a copy of the book. (Partial scholarships are available upon request.)
Meals: Coffee, tea, and snacks provided. Bring your own lunch, or go out for a meal at the noon break
What to bring: A journal, and wear comfortable clothing and shoes
Deadline for Registration: September 30, 2023. Participation is limited, so please register as soon as you know you are able to attend.
Cancellation policy: No refunds after September 10
REGISTER HERE: https://bendfp.org/side-by-side-retreat-for-couples/
I so admire your courage and encouragement of us to touch what is real, even if unsettled or painful; you gave us many opportunities to have deep conversations. There are so few opportunities for us to give our relationship the loving care it deserves. Thank you.
I will say that while my partner and I enjoyed reading the book aloud together and benefited immensely from it, there was no comparison between the power of the in-person retreat with the times for individual reflection and writing, sharing between couples, and whole group sessions with videos. A night light (invaluable in the dark, just to say) for our relationship.