Cairn of stones with orange and yellow leaves
  • GilChrist Retreat Center
  • Retreat
  • Southwest Michigan
  • Spiritual Formation

Silence is how it all begins. Putting space between us and the everyday allows us to bear witness to our life. We are reminded that in the stillness, brought on by an intentional stepping out of the daily grind and into solitude, we can hear our own voice echoed in the Divine.

Consider this your invitation to separate from the world – just for one weekend – and find space apart from the constant thrum of convention and the need to conform. Find for yourself something sacred in the silence.

Guided meditations, journaling prompts, and creative art will frame the experience. A communal meal will open the weekend. Intentional opportunities offered throughout the weekend will offer a balance between solitude and social interactions.

No previous experience is required; just an acknowledgement that it is time to step away and find quiet in the natural surroundings of Gilchrist. Cabins are available for you to rent. Each one is nestled into the rolling hills and meadows typical of the southwest Michigan landscape. Nature will be our backdrop and will guide us as we learn how to practice the sacred art of silence.

About the Facilitator

Terri Hebert (she/her/hers) is trained and certified as a Spiritual Companion through the Haden Institute of North Carolina. She is also experienced in poetry as therapy and nature journaling.  Terri has spent 39 years in education having worked in both public and private K-12 schools, as well as in higher education. Her current role as Associate Professor of STEM Education at Indiana University South Bend allows Terri to guide individuals interested in becoming educators. Her hobbies include photography, traveling, and writing/reading. She is passionate about the healing aspects of nature. Terri is married to her wife of five years, and between them they have three adult children (and their spouses), five grandchildren, two dogs, and two cats.

Retreat Schedule

Participants arrive Friday, October 11, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and are invited to gather at WindHill for a communal dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. During this time, we will get to know each other and the weekend’s focus on the sacred art of silence will be introduced. An intentional art activity will begin our journey, and combined with a relaxed meditation, will round out the first evening together.

Saturday through Sunday at noon, participants will be alternating between group interaction and moments of personal reflection. Details will be provided to participants prior to the start of the retreat.

Sunday brunch will provide a time of community as we share insights gained throughout the weekend. Participants will be expected to clean their cabins and depart by Sunday, October 13, by 2:00 p.m.

Registration and Lodging Details

First, email Terri (click here) to register for the retreat. Early bird registration for the weekend retreat program is $325; on May 1, the cost increases to $350. Space is limited. Please inquire about options for financial accessibility.

Once you have registered and paid for the program with the facilitator, Terri will direct you to contact GilChrist to reserve your cabin using the online registration form (or by calling the main office at (269) 244-1130 with any questions). Lodging is $60/night per person in addition to the program fee, paid to GilChrist at the end of the retreat by cash or check. Participants will check into their cabins between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11, at a time you communicate via your cabin registration. Cabin check-out is at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 13.

A communal dinner will take place on Friday evening, and a communal brunch will occur on Sunday morning. Please let Terri know if you have any food restrictions. Otherwise, participants are responsible for their own meals. Each guest space at GilChrist is equipped with a complete kitchen. See the complete GilChrist FAQ for more information about the facility.


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.


GilChrist Retreat Center

Three Rivers , MI 56265 Day Rd