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Personal Retreat

The retreat house is an inviting cottage; self-contained and comfortable year-round. Nestled in a wooded hillside overlooking a creek, it offers serenity and privacy. With a fully equipped kitchen, bath, and fireplace, it is a welcoming home for a few days or weeks. While on retreat, you will be free to use your time in whatever way helps you to attend to yourself and to God: enjoy the wild garden or paint on the deck; hike in the dunes of nearby Lake Michigan or nap in the hammock; split wood or read a cherished book; pray on paper or stay up alone with the stars...
Spiritual Direction

In the ancient art of spiritual direction, the spiritual director serves as a companion and mentor to others, guiding them to recognize and honor their own experience of God. Initially, spiritual direction could help you to discover and keep a fitting practice, anchor you through life passages and transitions, or discern a next step for your life. As an ongoing spiritual practice, spiritual direction could be invaluable to you, fostering growing awareness, love and deeper intimacy with God. It offers the company of another spiritual pilgrim during the dark times. It helps to anchor your daily loves - for family, friends, work, civic and religious life - all in the love of God.
Pastoral Counseling

Reclaiming the time-honored pastoral work of healing, pastoral counseling addresses life's circumstances and suffering. It integrates prayerful and attentive listening, inviting questions, shared insight and practical helps with spiritual resources and wisdom. This work is complemented by Bethabara's setting, which in itself is healing.
Day retreats for small groups

Bethabara offers hospitality and leadership for day retreats for a wide variety of small groups, designing the day for each group's specific needs. To name a few, retreats have been created for writers and other artists, professionals of all kinds, cooks and bread bakers, bereaved parents, adults in addiction recovery, students of spiritual practice, men's and women's groups of all kinds, as well as staffs of businesses, churches, and service organizations.

Informal gatherings

Bethabara hosts occasions for people to pray and play together: to name a few; group spiritual direction, work days at Bethabara, book and discussion groups, and occasional fun events. In all these settings, people discover kindred spirits, enjoy themselves, do good work, relax and take heart for life  well lived.

Mary Van Andel, Bethabara's retreat master and host, provides spiritual direction and pastoral counseling at Bethabara. Typically, she provides leadership and hospitality for small group retreats and organizes Bethabara's events. At times when others lead retreats at Bethabara, Mary provides hospitality for guests.

Artists, scholars, professionals

While the main function of the retreat house is spiritual retreat, we welcome scholars, writers/artists and professionals looking for protected time and space. There is a lovely, spacious art studio on the premises which may be available.

Please inquire about availability, rates and accommodations.