Pilgrimages & Retreats

with Pastor Linda



Control vs. Faith

March 8-10, 2024
St. Francis Springs Prayer Center
Stoneville, NC
Space is Limited

This is a timely topic during this season of great uncertainty. We all wish we had more control. When our relationships are strained, when our bodies refuse to cooperate, when the future is uncertain, control promises security and peace. Or does it? Step away from your daily tasks to rest and listen to your desire for control. This desire is blocking your path towards “the way, the truth, and the life.” Come and listen and learn more about God, about yourself and your faith as you also offer and invite space for others to share. We are on an individual journey within a community of friends.

Contemplative Photography

Fall 2024

Space is Limited

Photo by Terry Wilson

“Blessed are your eyes for they see.”  Matthew 13:16
Contemplative photography is a practice for seeing and photographing the world in fresh ways, to reveal richness and beauty that is normally hidden from view. The camera is a tool; the goal is the process, not the product. This is a visual meditative practice. All skill levels are encouraged to attend. Bring a camera and a phone or just the camera in your phone.

Julie Westhofen has practiced contemplative photography for over ten years. Her first experience was a surprise when she noticed the amazing patterns on a bird’s wings at the Carolina Raptor Center through the lens of her camera. She encourages other spiritual seekers to explore new ways of relating to God, to stretch outside of our usual habits of reading and prayer.

Why go on retreat? 

Because Jesus did. Jesus would go out to a mountainside alone to pray. But you won’t be alone. You will be with a small group of us who have taken a class or two through Wakening Ministry. We will spend time together-in person-learning more about this wild faith. And then we will spend some time alone, just as Jesus did. 

We will dig into some stories (biblical and current) of lives that have been changed by an encounter with God. What happened and do these encounters still happen today? A life of faith begins with a glimpse of the light of Christ. We will share our own stories and make new ones. Come to the mountains. Let’s rediscover who we are; what has changed and what remains. 

For those who fly into the area, we will pick you up and bring you to us (and return). No charge but lots of great conversation. Share your flight details and we will handle the rest. For those coming from out of state, plan to stay an extra night if you can. Pastor Linda would love to spend some extra time with you.

Never been on a retreat and you would like to know more? Just ask.


Faith: Finding the Light

Summer Retreat 2022
Montreat Conference Center
Montreat, NC

August 19-21, 2022

Hope: Living the Light

Spring Retreat 2023
St. Francis Springs Prayer Center
Stoneville, NC

March 31 – April 2, 2023 

Love: Being the Light

Fall Retreat 2023
Montreat Conference Center
Montreat, NC

November 10-12, 2023


2019 Holy Land Pilgrimage
Mount Arbel, Israel


Holy Land

Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus
February 2025
with Pastor Linda


Why go on Pilgrimage?

The Holy Land tells a story that can only be found in the Holy Land. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John only set up the story; it unfolds in Israel. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus on the land where the events happened will change your life and deepen your faith. When we read his invitation to “Follow me” on the rocky shore of the Sea of Galilee, the well-known story will come alive. It becomes real, and personal.

If you choose to be one of the eleven* to join Pastor Linda on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, you will be prepared in every way. We will meet through online classes to learn the stories that will describe the places we will see. You do not have to know the Bible to know Jesus, but when you know Jesus, you want to learn more about his story. Let me teach you.

We will travel with our host, an Israeli-American escort.  We will arrive in Tel Aviv, meet our phenomenal guide, and drive to the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee. After a wonderful Mediterranean meal we will get a good night’s sleep. For the next few days, we will explore the sites around the Sea of Galilee where Jesus lived and taught. We will tour a vineyard. We will wade into the Jordan River. We will then travel south towards the Dead Sea. We will ride a cable car to the top of Masada, the historic palace of King Herod.  And we will float in and on top of the Dead Sea. 

Finally, we will travel up to Jerusalem. The excitement and anticipation will begin to grow as we enter into the Holy City.  We will go to our hotel for a good night’s rest before the next leg of our journey.  We will walk through the Old City visiting the many churches that were built over the sacred sites. We will touch Mount Moriah and the rock that held the cross of Christ. We will pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and from the top of the Mount of Olives. Along the way, we will stop to reflect on the stories within the Scriptures that unfold God’s plan to save the world.

To close the trip, we will travel to Palestine – to Bethlehem – and see the shepherds fields and the historic church that has been built over the cave where Jesus was born.  Your life will be marked deeply by the sites you will see, the people you will meet, the food you will taste, the land that you will touch, and the holy moments that you will feel.

Towards the end of my first trip, as I was overlooking the city of Jerusalem, deep within my heart I heard the words, “Go to the land that I will show you.”  I knew in that moment that it was God who had invited me, led me, and was showing me this land.  And I knew God wanted me to bring you to see it, too.

* Space on the pilgrimage is kept at 12 persons in order to experience this Holy Land as the 12 disciples did as we walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. A smaller group enables you to experience more and move more quickly.


Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus
Holy Land and Jordan
March 2023
March 2019
February 2018
February 2016

Walk in the Footsteps of Paul
Greece & Turkey
October 2023

Garden of Gethsemane

I felt I was all alone even though I was in the midst of a crowd. I knew a few but most all were strangers from around the world. There was a stillness within me—a silence. And then deep within my heart: “Here. He was here.” Was he? Had Jesus actually been near the very place I was standing? My heart seemed to think so. My mind could convince me that it was unlikely. But on a pilgrimage—the heart is in charge.

Follow your heart. Come, and walk in the footsteps of Jesus with me.

Communion at the Sea of Galilee

Get In Touch

5 + 12 =