October 20-22, 2018
Montgomery Bell State Park

Leader:  Reverend Melissa Tidwell

Theme: Writers, Readers, and Co-Conspirators: How Story Shapes Us

Register Online or Registration forms are available in the narthex and at the Retreat Table.

Our retreat theme is Writers, Readers, and Co- Conspirators: How Story Shapes Us. Melissa writes “God is telling a story and you are part of it. The Bible is part of it, too, but many people feel so distanced from the Bible’s origins that it seems difficult to apply its words to the reality we live. On the other hand, many of us have other stories, from Middle Earth to Star Wars that seem more relevant, that offer inspiration and connection to a world that matters to us. The idea behind this retreat is that we can learn from those other stories, other ways of being, to help us connect our story with God’s story. We can find ourselves in stories that shape us, and which we, in a sense, shape as we apply the insights we have received from one story to another, one world to another.”

About the Leader
Melissa is no stranger to Second.  As a longtime member of SPC she has participated in our worship, our ministry, our adult education programs, and led our Women’s Retreat. While in Nashville, worked in product development for The Upper Room and wrote for and edited Alive Now. Melissa is a graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary and noted author of Embodied Light: Advent Reflections on the Incarnation. She currently serves as minister of Wesminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio.


The first retreat session on Saturday begins at 10:00am with music by our friends and former member Mary Bomar and Bob Ritter. Plan to arrive by 9am to check in and settle in your room (if staying overnight) and/or to get children and youth settled. We will share a potluck/picnic lunch together in our reserved pavilion before engaging in intergenerational activities and some “free time”. Please bring your favorite picnic foods sufficient to share. For dinner, we’ll gather at Colton’s Steakhouse (which despite its name also offers vegetarian options and can accommodate other dietary needs …vegan, gluten free, etc… with advanced notice). We reconvene for our second session with Melissa after supper in our own MBSP space. As anticipated, intergenerational activities and games are being planned. Mary Langford promises another of her one match campfires this year to include Bomar/Ritter music and s’mores! Breakfast is available at the lodge restaurant at a cost of $5-10 per person. We gather from 9-11 for music and worship planning. We will worship together from 11-12 before closing our 2018 retreat. The fun and fellowship opportunities are endless as we settle into the respite that a fall getaway with friends and family can provide.

Registration is due by September 16th to guarantee Montgomery Bell lodging. Lodge room rates are $94.50 per night for two adults and up to three children under 16 per night, Scholarships are available. For more information regarding scholarships, contact Burkley Allen (burkley.allen@gmail.com).

We have reserved a block of rooms for our retreat. Lodge room rates are $94.50 per night for two adults and up to three children under 16 per night. A $25 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a room.

Day Registration
Those who can’t stay overnight are encouraged to participate as their schedule allows.  Registration is appreciated.

Youth, Children, and Childcare
Carly Misenheimer, Director of Youth Ministry, will lead the Youth Program (7th-12th grade). Cabins for our youth have been reserved and early registration is recommended. Chandra Allen, our current Director of Children’s Ministry, has been preparing the retreat program for the Peaceable Kingdom (1st-6th grade) and will work with Teresa Pecinovsky, Children’s Ministry Assistant, to prepare for children of all ages and in the provision of childcare during the retreat. Adult, youth, and children’s sessions are concurrent.

For volunteer opportunities with our youth or children’s ministries during the retreat or for more information about specifics, please contact Chandra Allen and/or Carly Misenheimer. 

Recreational Activities
Montgomery Bell State Resort Park boasts 3,782 acres and features 20 miles of hiking trails, fishing, a golf course, an indoor pool, and volleyball and tennis courts. There will be unscheduled time for your recreational pursuits.  For more about what to do at Montgomery Bell, check their website,

Friday Night Early Arrivers
While the Retreat officially begins on Saturday morning, there is opportunity for Friday evening lodging for the early birds and fellowship in a shared meal at Carl’s Perfect Pig (4991 E Hwy 70, White Bluff, TN)in White Bluff at 6 pm. For menu, cost and restaurant hours call 615-797-4020.

Directions to  Montgomery Bell
Take I-40 West from Nashville, to Exit 182 (Fairview/Dickson Hwy. 96 Exit). Turn left (West) onto Highway 96. Stay on Highway 96 until it dead-ends at Highway 70. Turn right (East) on Highway 70, off-ramp provided. Stay on Highway 70 approximately 3 miles. Park entrance is on the right. Goggle Map Link