John Howie, smiling at the camera

Please join us in honoring John Howie as he retires after 28 years of contemplative labor and service at GilChrist Retreat Center! John’s gentle, compassionate spirit has been a profound blessing to this land and to all who have made this place a part of their story. We warmly invite you to join us in celebrating this enormous transition with gratitude for all of the gifts John has brought into the world, and all the gifts he will continue to bring as he enters the next phase of his journey.

  • When: Sunday, April 23
  • What: Silent meditation (3:00-3:30 p.m.) followed by an open house with light refreshments (3:30-6:00 p.m.)
  • Where: WindHill at GilChrist Retreat Center (56265 Day Road, Three Rivers, MI 49093)
  • RSVP: Kindly send an e-mail to GilChrist staff by Sunday, April 16.
  • Participate from afar: Cards may be mailed to the above address to John’s attention. You are also welcome to e-mail us a word or two of blessing that we will write on a copper leaf for an installation John is creating on the land.

And, read on for details about an event on May 31, when we’ll host a virtual silent meditation on John’s very last day of work!

“Big Sit” in honor of John’s last day!
May 31, 2:00-2:30 p.m. EST

Join us for virtual silent meditation in honor of John. John has led meditation in various forms at GilChrist, including the long-term practice from 2:00-2:30 p.m. on weekdays. This virtual “big sit” will bring the blessing of silence across the continent and the world as we send our friend into his next phase of life with peace and joy.

Zoom link:


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.