2017 Parish Retreat at Shrine Mont


Celebrating the Spirit

2017 Parish Retreat at Shrine Mont

Friday, September 29th to Sunday, October 1st, 2017


May 2017

Dear St. Thomas’ Parishioner,

Registration for the 2017 Parish Retreat at Shrine Mont is open! Set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Orkney Springs, Virginia, Shrine Mont, which serves as a conference center and the Cathedral Shrine for the Diocese of Virginia, promises hospitality, relaxation and rest. This year’s retreat takes place from Friday September 29 to Sunday October 1. Check-in begins at 4:00 pm Friday, and check-out is after lunch on Sunday. Meals start with dinner on Friday (dinner Friday is at the hotel, with the rest of our meals “up the hill”) and end with lunch on Sunday.

The theme for this year’s retreat is Celebrating the Spirit, where we hope to celebrate, worship and play together as our parish family!  The retreat kicks off with a gathering after dinner followed by Compline and a bonfire, depending on the weather. Weather permitting there will be a “close out the day” gathering at 9:45 p.m. in the central garden area adjacent to the top of the circular drive, across the street from Stribling. We will gather for a brief moment together on Friday night, sing the traditional Shrine Mont Camp “Good Night, Sleep Tight” song, and depart to our respective cabins to honor the Shrine Mont quiet hour of 10:00 p.m.

The initial retreat dining-hall announcements are on Saturday morning during breakfast, and we will have a group photo taken just outside the dining hall right afterwards – please don’t miss out!  As in years past, we have planned for adult, youth, and child programming on Saturday morning (new this year – adult programming will take place in the large room on the first floor of Stribling); free time on Saturday afternoon where you can take advantage of hayrides, hikes, and an art project; evening prayer at the Shrine on Saturday, with the “Shouting Prayer” to send us off to dinner; and, if the weather didn’t cooperate on Friday night, a bonfire with S’Mores, while DJ Dave hosts a karaoke party on the adjacent pavilion.  Also on Saturday night we will have movies for kids 4 years old through 5th grade (two movie rooms are planned for this year, one for younger kids and one for the slightly older kids), activities for youth 6th through 12th grade, and a get-together for adults in Art Hall. On Sunday morning we will have a youth-led Eucharist after breakfast, followed by an all-ages kickball tournament before lunch.

Childcare for the very young (3 and under) is offered during activity time on Saturday morning. We will not be offering nursery care on Sunday morning, but welcome all to the informal youth-led worship service. For ages 4-18 there are planned activities on Saturday morning as well as Saturday night. As always, we are asking for volunteers to sign up and assist the leaders of these activities.


As in prior years, there is no fee being charged for programming. There was a small increase in actual fees charged by Shrine Mont – but the committee has worked hard, and kept charges to our parish to attend the same as last year. Charges for room and board vary, based on age, from $50 to $150 per person for the weekend, which is a discount from the actual costs. As we did last year, the cost for kids 8-12 is $59.25 and we’re charging $50.  But the break for 13-18 year olds (who are billed by Shrine Mont as adults) is still a great one. These discounts, as well as any programming fees and scholarships, are funded by the St. Thomas’ Shrine Mont budget - your pledge dollars at work! Last year we raised over $500 to help fund scholarships, and with a small balance from the prior year, were able to award over $800 in scholarships In the spirit of keeping that tradition going, we hope that those who are able will contribute to our Share the Shrine Fund. Please see the donation line on the registration form. Thank you!


There are a limited number of scholarships available upon request. Scholarships are expected to be in the amount of $50 per attendee with a maximum of three per family. The scholarship deadline is July 1st; we will let you know mid July the amount you have been awarded.


We’ve streamlined registration this year. There are 2 options: you can print and fill out the form, or you can simply send an email to Matt Bryant at mattb.va@gmail.com with your name and number/ages of those attending. You will then receive a confirmation with information about submitting your deposit, volunteering and scholarships. SPACE IS LIMITED TO 100 PEOPLE so please complete your registration and send in your deposit as soon as you are able, to confirm your spot. There is a NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT of $25 per person that is required to complete your registration – We can’t register you without it! Here is how the deposit process works: click on the PayPal link on the St. Thomas website, or drop a check in the offering plate or at the church office (“Parish Retreat” on the memo line). If unfortunately you have to change your plans and can’t attend (bummer), your deposit is not returned, but is used to help cover our attendance commitment to Shrine Mont.

Payment and Refunds

You may choose to pay your fees in installments by check sent to the Office or put in the offering plate (again, “Parish Retreat” on the memo line), or PayPal. All fees are due by September 22nd. If you have to cancel your plans to attend the retreat, please notify Spencer Ballou or Matt Bryant by e-mail (ballou5@verizon.net, mattb.va@gmail.com) as soon as possible after your plans change. Remember, we will not refund your registration deposit but will refund any amount paid over that.

A Note About Free Time

If you have not visited Shrine Mont, one of the first things you will notice upon arriving is that the road to Shrine Mont ends there. It is remote, quiet, and tranquil. Many adults and children experience a sense of freedom, and the children love to roam and explore. Please be aware that, other than during the planned activities mentioned above, there is no St. Thomas-sponsored child supervision. Quiet time is from 10:00 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. Helpful parental guidelines will be included in your welcome packet.

Many parishioners have years of cherished memories of summer camps, family conferences, bluegrass festivals, and parish retreats at Shrine Mont. If you have not attended a St. Thomas’ parish retreat, please know that you are very welcome!


St. Thomas’ Parish Retreat Committee

Spencer Ballou, Barrie Bowers, Matt Bryant, Michele Burt, Rad Burt, Anne Chamberlain, Katie Cosby, Mason Dimick, Ann Fuqua, Dave Gau, John Haddad, and Beth Voelkel.



 St. Thomas 2017 Parish Retreat Registration Form

Option 1: Email your name and names/ages of those attending to Matt Bryant at matt.va@gmail.com

Option 2: Complete this form and return it to the church with your deposit.

Names and ages at time of retreat:          ______________________________________________





Please provide a contact e-mail address: ______________________________________________

Is this your first time attending a St. Thomas’ Parish Retreat?       ______


Cost:      Ages 19 & up       ______X $150    =             ______

Ages 13-18                          ______X $100    =             ______                               

Ages 4-12                             ______X $50      =             ______               

Ages 3 and under               ______X free     =              ______                               

Share the Shrine Donation*                        =                 ______                               

Total Due                                                                            ______

Non-refundable deposit (submit to reserve your space) – $25 per person attending =        _____

*Share the Shrine is a parishioner-supported offering to assist those who otherwise may not be able to attend. Donations of all sizes are welcome – thank you for your support!

Payment: After completing the registration, send in your deposit check to the Church Office (“Parish Retreat” on the memo line). Option: submit your deposit by PayPal. Space fills quickly, but no new registrations accepted after September 22nd. A deposit is required to reserve your space. You may send payments by check to the Church Office, or put in the offering plate.  You may also pay by PayPal; but you will need to add $3.00 to defray the cost of using PayPal.

Check here if you are requesting a scholarship, and note how many you are requesting (max 3 per family)          number requested: ______

Check here to pay in installments – ½ due August 4, ½ due September 22



Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet

Many Hands Make Light Work!


To make this year’s retreat the best yet, we need your help!  Please sign up for your top 3 volunteer choices, ranking them in order of preference.  We hope to have each adult volunteer for at least one shift.  You will be sent a confirmation two weeks before we head to Shrine Mont.


Friday, September 29th


Bonfire Set-Up & Clean-             7:30 – 8 pm & 9:30 – 9:45 pm



Saturday, September 30th


_____   Nursery Care for ages 3 and under                                         9 – 10:30 am

_____   Nursery Care for ages 3 and under                                         10:30 - Noon

_____   Assist Children’s Program Leader (ages 4 – Grade 5)        9 am – Noon

_____   Assist Youth Program Leader (Grades 6 - 12)                       9 am – Noon

_____   Adult Program Space Set-Up & Clean-Up                8:45 – 9 am & Noon – 12:15 pm

_____   Bonfire Set-Up & Clean-Up                                          6:30 – 7 pm & 8:30 – 8:45 pm

_____    Karaoke Night- Assist Dave                                                     6:30 – 8:30 pm

_____   Children’s Movie Night Chaperone (ages 4 – Grade 3)     7:30 – 8:15 pm

_____   Children’s Movie Night Chaperone (ages 4 – Grade 3)     8:15 – 9 pm

_____   Children’s Movie Night Chaperone (Grades 3rd – 5th)        8:30 – 9:15 pm

_____   Children’s Movie Night Chaperone (Grades 3rd – 5th)        9:15 – 10 pm

_____   Youth Night Adventures Chaperone (Grades 6 - 12)          8:30 – 9:15 pm

_____   Youth Night Adventures Chaperone (Grades 6 - 12)          9:15 – 10 pm

_____   Adult Cocktail Reception Set-Up & Clean-Up             8:30 – 9 pm & 10 – 10:15 pm




Sunday, October 1d  

_____   Eucharist Set-Up & Clean-Up                    8:45 – 9 am & 10 – 10:15 am

_____   Kickball Coordinator                                    10:30 – 11:30 am




Shrine Mont 2017 Registration form.pdf461.76 KB
2017 Shrine Mont Volunteer Signup form.pdf473.45 KB