Silent Wilderness Retreat

Silent Wilderness Retreat

Laurel Dykstra

Details & Online Registration

Program information

Cost: Sliding scale $585, $460, $350

The cost includes the light programming, overnight accommodations, and simple meals Monday dinner through Thursday lunch. 

Sept 9 at 5pm to Sept 12 at 1pm

Facilitators: Laurel Dykstra

Limit 5 participants.

The focus of this retreat is listening in nature. Your primary “spiritual directors” will be the creatures, beings, and elements of the more than human world on Kittatinny Ridge in the Appalachian Mountains, and you are encouraged to spend significant time out of doors. 

Each day will include a morning and evening circle and individual listening times with Laurel/a director. The retreat is open to everyone whether you are new to or experienced with silence, but LGBTQI2S+ folk might find that space held by a queer and gender queer practitioner particularly valuable. 

Kirkridge is a Christian retreat center that is used by people of many and no faiths. There is no expectation that participants have any faith affiliation. 

This retreat can be taken in conjunction with either or both of the Wild Gender Retreat and the Wilderness Prophets Course. 

In order to have a balance of participants of various identities and avoid patterns of domination, we are asking folks to apply rather than simply register; we will be holding a number of spots for participants with marginalized identities.

Laurel Dykstra (no pronouns or they/them) is an author, ecojustice activist, amateur naturalist, and sought-after preacher. Their Flemish and Anglo Celtic forebears came to the land of Hul’qumi’num speaking peoples near the Salish Sea as part of colonization and resource extraction projects. Laurel is and Anglican priest and founder a Salal + Cedar, a church that worships outdoors. They have experienced a life-time of spiritual formation in nature, provide accompaniment and discernment for individuals and communities involved in direct action, and have received training and supervision in nature-based spiritual direction from the Center for Prophetic Imagination. Laurel’s writing includes books, articles, and anthologies mostly at the intersection of Bible, social action, and nature, with occasional helpings of parenting and racial justice. Most relevant to their time at Kirkridge, is their newest book Wildlife Congregations: A Priest’s Year of Gaggles, Colonies and Murders by the Salish Sea (Hancock House, 2023), a reflection on interspecies loneliness in a time of mass extinctions.

Rev. Lynice Pinkard is a Black writer, teacher, healer, pastor, recovering addict, and public intellectual operating at the intersection of Christianity, economics, and social change. Her current work is dedicated to decolonizing the human spirit and freeing people from what she calls “empire affective disorder.” Her commitment is to inspire and nurture a new generation of Spirit-filled servant leaders dedicated to the remediation of day-to-day suffering, the building of collective resilience for transformative change, and the pursuit of structural and systemic justice in the world.