Preparing for the Retreat! (November 1-3)
WHAT TO EXPECT:
We are looking forward with anticipation to our first retreat. I want to provide a few details to help you prepare for a wonderful time with God and with one another. Be sure to bring a bible and a journal, as they will be necessary. Each of you will have individual rooms at the retreat center, with individual private bathrooms and linens provided. The retreat center has paved walkways, but there are some hiking trails if you wish, so choose your shoes appropriately. There is quite a bit of elevation changes over the course of the grounds, so I’d suggest something comfortable in general. Also, there is a fair amount of free time built into the retreat, both during the day on Saturday and also in the evening on Saturday. We’re going to ask you to stay on the campus grounds during Saturday afternoon and take advantage of the space there.
For Saturday evening, you’ll be released to a much needed spiritual practice: fun & fellowship! We’ll be encouraging you to spend some time together having fun; whatever that is like for you. If you want to bring a board game, you’re welcome to do something like that. If you want to go into town with some folks and grab an evening snack or beverage together you can do something like that. The campus permits alcohol and tobacco, so if you’d like to take advantage of the retreat center spaces and enjoy a glass of wine or something of that nature, you’re welcome to do so as well. Ken will give more information around this at the retreat, but be thinking of how you can engage socially with others, and enter into a hospitality mindset where everyone has a place to connect with somebody. Saturday evening is not intended to be a time for solo space.
Also, if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, please let Dan Navarra know by Wednesday, as he will be making our final arrangements with the retreat center on Thursday of this week.
Finally, you’ll be released around 11:30 on Sunday, and lunch will NOT be provided at the retreat center. The facilitators will be staying to do a debrief, so if you are riding with a facilitator, it may be that you can go enjoy lunch in town, and then come back to pick them up after their debrief time. You’ll need to coordinate this with your facilitator. Hopefully you’re beginning to make carpool connections as well.
That’s a general overview… here are some specifics.
The retreat will be held at The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos, which is located at 300 Manresa Way, Los Altos, CA 94022. Depending on when you leave, its best to plan about two and a half hours to get there on a Friday afternoon. Normal GPS without extra traffic jams should take you via 580 to 680 and then through Fremont and San Jose, rather than over one of the bridges. If you use the WAZE Traffic App, you can set it to route you via carpool lanes.
It is highly recommended that you carpool. However, this is only advantageous if you get a FasTrak Flex to be able to use the toll lanes on both 580 and also over the Sunol Grade and through Fremont. If you purchase your FasTrak Flex at Costco for $24.99, it comes with $30 worth of tolls loaded on it. Use of the Carpool Lanes requires a FasTrak Flex (as opposed to an older, normal, FasTrak).
ARRIVAL & CHECK IN:
You are able to arrive as early as 2:30pm on Friday, November 1. However, check in with Eric will not be available until 4pm and neither will your room. You are welcome to enjoy the beauty of the retreat center in advance of our first scheduled gathering and the 4pm registration time. Our first gathering is dinner at 6pm. The Retreat Center is accessed through a residential neighborhood, so if you feel lost, you’re on the right track. When you arrive, proceed up the driveway on the left. You will have a view of the bay on your left and the retreat facility on your right as you enter and climb in elevation. About halfway between the beginning and the top of the facilities is the main office area on your right. Eric Johns will be outside the office area to oversee Check In. You should be able to see him from your car.
Once you check in with Eric and receive your key, you are welcome to go move into your room. We’d like to ask everyone to arrive early enough to move in prior to dinner if at all possible, as the first night will have dinner, cohort time, and then The Great Silence will begin; leaving little space for you to move into your rooms (though this is possible if necessary). If, for some reason you are going to be late to Check In prior to dinner at 6pm, please reach out to Eric via cell phone.
If you are willing to give up your cell phone for the weekend to remove distractions, but need to give folks back home an emergency contact number, please direct outside contact to Eric, and he’ll make sure to route that to you appropriately.
Eric Johns: (661) 644-7420 || firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Dan, or Eric.