Contemplative Life

The Joy of Corhaven Retreat Center

Truly we are excited about the various ways that God has been at work in and through Corhaven here in the valley in the last months. From hosting immigrants and refugee middle school youth for SLAQ’s Newcomer Adventure Day Camp, to seeing individuals and families utilize this sacred space for their own retreats, God continues to reward those who earnestly seek him out at Corhaven. Before I turn this article over to our Corhaven Host, Denise, to share her first hand experience, I want to name in simple terms the various ways you can engage with and be blessed by the sacred space we call Corhaven: 1) Join a Coracle lead group spiritual retreat 2) Have your own self-guided retreat (day or overnight) 3) Utilize our Shepherd’s Sabbath practice if you are a minister 4) Host your own group or leadership team retreat 5) organize a volunteer work day for the Corhaven Graveyard or our Corhaven Garden. To arrange one of these simply fill out our Corhaven Retreat Reservation Request Form.

“My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
    and my mouth praises you with joyful lips”
Psalm 63:5

“My Pleasure” the kind server responds at Chick Fil A after I have thanked them, upon receiving the order of my Market Salad. Ahh the Market Salad is a bit like having it all in one place. The greens, the veggies, the fruit and the protein plus a packet of Apple Cider Dressing. Someone else prepared all the ingredients AND put it all together…for MY Pleasure and I DO thoroughly enjoy that salad from first bite to last.  And this is what I hear God saying these days at Corhaven Retreat Center. 

Last Fall, God began cultivating the soil of our hearts and plucked Kevin and I up from 10 years of pastoral Ministry and planted us in a Retreat Hosting ministry for at least one year. It was a bit of a whirlwind start with working three jobs between us, down-sizing and clearing one home, welcoming renters and moving into a Retreat Center Master Suite, learning the ropes of Retreat Registrations… all in a couple of months.  We hit the ground running at Corhaven to be ready for our first large group retreat by Mid-April.

We regularly talk about how we feel as if we’ve been sent on “Voluntary Service” to spend a specific amount of time in a location different than our home, learning to know the people and culture of that place, and sharing the Love of Jesus as we tangibly work to make a difference in the world.

Sometimes service is doing things you don’t know how to do. Sometimes, you are asked to do things and find that you need to fix things first before you can actually do the task that has been asked. Sometimes, it is messy. It is just not as easy as ordering a Market Salad where everything is in one place and made for you.
But in the midst of all the challenges and messiness, God is reminding us that He is here for our delight and enjoyment.  The Creator of the heavens and the earth has made all things for our pleasure. For His and our pleasure…

“For your eye-popping pleasure….I,  God,  have given you these absolutely beautiful and varied flowers that, by the way, you did not plant.”

“For your ear-splitting pleasure, I, God, have made a haven for a cacophony of song birds to come each morning and sing songs of worship to Me… and yes, even the squawking crows.”

“I, God, have made the forest fresh with smells of birthing undergrowth in the shade of the tallest of trees and rain to continue to refresh the earth.”

“I, God, have kept the fennel, arugula and mint in the garden for you, planted by the hands of another. Enjoy.”

I have said that being transplanted here at Corhaven Retreat is a bit like being dropped into our own little “Eden” and I can say without hesitation that it is “my pleasure” to serve here. Perhaps God is saying to you, “come and enjoy at My Pleasure”.

There are many ways to enjoy Corhaven. Perhaps you want to come out to spend a morning or an afternoon with us. Or maybe, you can get away for several days in a row. We also host Coracle group retreats on themes such as Fathers & First Things, God’s First Book, and Lament & Hope. God has designed this world for your pleasure and enjoyment, and Corhaven is a great place to meet God and experience a bit more of the joy God offers us.

“You show me the path of life.
    In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 16:11

It would be our pleasure to host you.
Denise Goertzen

Share this post

Keep Growing

Do you want robust Spiritual Formation resources delivered straight to your inbox each week?