Together on the Trail: Oriented to Love’s first annual reunion!
OTL alums, please join us for a weekend of rest and connection with friends old and new along the Appalachian Trail in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
When: May 5-7, 2017. Arrive as early as noon on Friday; the reunion launches officially at 4 with a meet-and-greet and some ice breakers before dinner to help us get in the groove. We’ll wrap up by 3 on Sunday afternoon.
Where: Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center in Bangor, PA.
Located on the beautiful Kittatinny Ridge, overlooking the Delaware Valley, Kirkridge is the perfect venue for our reunion. It has a 75-year history of providing sanctuary for Christian and interfaith groups, and its longstanding motto of “picket and pray” was recently extended to “protect, tend, and embrace.” Sounds like an OTL weekend, right?
Kirkridge sits right along the Appalachian Trail, so bring your hiking boots! Down the hill from our lodgings are two opportunities for quiet reflection in the form of a prayer labyrinth and the beautiful Columcille Megalith Park. (That said, no hiking is required, and these places are accessible by car, as well.)
What: The reunion will give alums from all dialogue groups a chance to come together in a setting of rest and natural beauty. We hope to take to a deeper level some of the conversations that were sparked at the dialogues, and we’ll be reaching out to registrants to see who’s interested in helping shape these conversations. We’ll spend time strengthening existing bonds and building new ones, hearing what God has been doing in our hearts since the dialogue, and sharing stories from our lives, wherever we might find ourselves on the journey, about how we’re learning to love well amidst deep differences. We know this reunion will make God smile as together we celebrate, learn from, listen to, share with, and worship alongside each other.
Accommodations: We will be staying in Nelson Lodge, which offers double-occupancy, dorm-style bedrooms with shared hallway bathrooms. The sumptuous views make up for any lack of luxury here! The lodge features terrific views, a fireplace in the meeting room, and a gorgeous wrap-around deck in a setting that offers a private, intimate space for our group. We’ll have the whole lodge to ourselves!
Pricing: $300 includes all meals, from dinner on Friday through lunch on Sunday, and a shared room. We will try to accommodate roommate requests as much as possible. (Please note: This is for OTL alums only. We are not opening up the reunion to spouses/significant others, but we will continue to include beloveds at any regional gatherings, such as our annual dinner at GCN, at Level Ground events, and other cities as my travel schedule allows me to organize them.)
Please talk to me if you want to donate to the scholarship fund or if you want to request some help (we have a limited number of partial scholarships available). We will do our utmost to make sure lack of funds doesn’t keep anyone away. Please join us in praying that everyone God wants at this event will be able to come.
Getting there: Driving is the easiest option for those who are able. Please let me know if you’re driving and, if so, if you’re open to bringing someone else from your area along with you (or picking someone up along the way).
By plane: Kirkridge is located 30 miles from Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, PA (airlines: American, Allegiant Air, United, Delta) and 77 miles from Newark International Airport in Newark, NJ.
By bus: Greyhound has a stop in Easton, PA, which is about 20 miles from Kirkridge.
As with the dialogue, if you communicate your travel plans with us in advance, we will do our best to help arrange rides from the various landing points.
I look forward to seeing your registration come in so we can begin anticipating together the trail ahead!
- Kristyn Komarnicki