Jan Richardson
Illuminated Advent Retreat

FAQs about the Advent Retreat

Who is this retreat designed for?

This retreat is for anyone who wants to move through Advent in a mindful, contemplative, imaginative fashion. This retreat has come out of a longing to enter more deeply into this season in a way that doesn't involve just adding more stuff to our schedule but rather finding moments to pause, to ponder, to question, to pay attention. We think there are lots of folks who want to experience the season in this way. If you're one of them, this is for you.

With a background in ministry and a focus on creating sacred spaces through intertwining words, art, and music, Jan tends to draw folks involved in providing care and/or creativity for others: ministers, people working in the arts, spiritual directors, teachers, church leaders, seminary students—though you don't have to be any of these to share in the retreat! If you're someone who feels drawn to the spirit of this retreat and who hungers to experience this season in a more mindful, spacious, and creative way, you are most welcome here.

What's expected of me?

You are welcome to participate as much or as little as you want in this retreat. For some people, simply receiving each email and using it as an invitation into a space of quiet reflection in the midst of their day will be exactly what they need. For others, engaging in the online forum will be a highlight of the retreat. We encourage you to move through the retreat at your own pace, discerning for yourself what works best for you.

Am I required to participate in the online forum?

No. The forum is a wonderful place to be in conversation with others who are taking the retreat, to offer comments, and to share what's stirring for you as the Advent season unfolds. You'll even be able to post images as well as words, which is a great way for folks to share any creative work that they do as a way of engaging the retreat. The forum can be a place where community happens in surprising ways. But participating in the forum is not mandatory! We do ask that you sign into the forum as the retreat begins, in order to set up a profile. You'll receive information about how to set up a password and sign into the forum before the retreat begins.

May I share the retreat materials with others?

This retreat is a great way of connecting with others during the season—in a study or prayer or book group, a class, with church members, or informally among friends near or far. We're delighted to help make it possible for you to use the retreat for group conversation and reflection; if you'd like to do this, please see the next question. We do ask that each person who participates in the retreat have their own registration. Please do not copy or forward the retreat materials to someone who's not signed up for the retreat, or share your password for the confidential online forum.

Is there a group rate?

Yes! We're delighted to offer substantial discounts to those who want to participate in the retreat as a group. Visit Illuminated Info for Groups.

I'd like to participate in the retreat, but finances are tight; can you help?

Being in full-time ministry, we understand what an adventure finances can be! We have worked to make this retreat affordable but certainly understand these are challenging financial times for many. If you'd like to share in the retreat and need some help in order to do so, please email us.

What payment options do you offer?

You can pay online with a credit/debit card or a PayPal account. (To use a card, you don't need to be a PayPal member; on the PayPal page, simply scroll down to where it says "Pay with Debit or Credit Card.") You also have the option of paying by check.

I've signed up for the retreat but haven't received further information; where are my emails?

If you have not received any retreat emails by December 2, please check your spam folder. If you use Gmail and are not receiving your retreat emails, please check your Gmail inbox to see if there’s a tab marked “Promotions.” (You might find it to the right of a couple of tabs marked "Primary" and "Social.") Gmail sometimes sends our retreat emails to that folder. If you’re still not seeing your retreat emails, please contact us, and we will work to make sure they reach you!

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