Retreats and Worship

Draw Close to Others, Draw Close to God

Our souls yearn for rest and renewal and to be reminded of God’s presence in the world and with us. Hinton Rural Life Center offers space and place for individuals and groups to draw close to God and one another. Beautiful lake and mountain views, walks through the woods, and the sounds of nature inspire and soothe.

To view our lodging options, click HERE

Retreat and worship facility/campus offerings are below.

For information and reservations: 828-389-8336 or

Upcoming Retreat Offerings

Rural Clergy Renewal Retreat

Monday-Wednesday, September 12-14, 2022

Cost: $300 Includes lodging, 5 meals, resource leaders, and Hinton amenities.

Register by September 1:  Online HERE.  Or, download pdf registration form HERE

For info flyer, click HERE.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” — Jesus (Matthew 11:29, MSG)

This renewal retreat for United Methodist clergy serving rural appointments offers opportunities to breathe deep, exhale, commune with nature, rest, and take in scenic views that will restore your soul. Options for this lightly scheduled retreat include times for morning and evening devotions, conversations with seasoned pros on rural ministry topics (for those who want some content!), delicious meals with your rural ministry colleagues, campus amenities, and area activities. Contact your district and/or conference to explore the availability of clergy renewal funds.

LEADERSHIP: Leading morning and evening devotions will be singer/songwriter/guitarist and worship leader Tom Conlon. Tom has traveled the country for many years, giving concerts, leading worship, and serving as a worship resource and guide for many congregations. For several years he led worship and a worship workshop for Kentucky’s Residents in Ministry retreats. The Rev. Telley Gadson, superintendent of the Hartsville (SC) District, has 22 years of pastoral ministry experience and is passionate about rural communities, churches, and clergy. And, Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith, rural ministry guru, teaches rural ministry certification courses and serves as an adjunct for Garrett and Wesley seminaries; he lives in Western NC and starts serving a 2-point charge in July 2022.

Your renewal retreat, which begins with a 5:30pm Monday Welcome/Orientation and concludes Wednesday at noon, includes:

  • Private room with bathroom; linens and towels
  • Hinton campus amenities: trails and gardens, porches and rocking chairs, fish/swim/boat dock on Lake Chatuge, kayaks/canoes, Market & Gift Shop, disc golf trail, scenic mountain and lake views, indoor/outdoor worship spaces, executive chef
  • Add-ons: therapeutic massage, spiritual direction
  • Conversation opportunities on rural ministry topics, with our retreat resource team
  • Campus and area activities, including gardening, horseback riding, farm tours, wineries and breweries, John C. Campbell Folk School, historic downtown Hayesville, golf, marina, and more!
  • Light retreat schedule, with some rural ministry specific content, but everything is optional — do what you need to do for You!

*You can add to your stay – before and/or after the retreat – and receive our clergy discount on lodging. Contact Kelli at 828-389-8336 or to book additional nights.

Life in the Garden Retreat

Monday-Wednesday, October 3-5, 2022
Led by Terry Hershey


Lodging is in Hinton’s two large retreat houses, which feature private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, plus indoor and outdoor gathering spaces.

  • $315/person – includes single occupancy lodging, 5 meals, programming
  • $255/person – includes double occupancy lodging, 5 meals, programming
  • $165/person – includes 5 meals and programming — for those who want to commute or who want to arrange other on-campus lodging, such as Hermitage cabins or smaller retreat houses. Contact to make these other lodging arrangements.

Register online HERE  Download pdf registration form HERE. REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 19, 2022.

Life in the Garden: Making Space for Gratitude, Renewal, Wonder, Balance, and Delight — This retreat is for those who experience, or long to experience, the Power of Pause. Highlights include indoor and outdoor workshops, exploring “sanctuary” trails and gardens, and personal time for walks, prayer, rocking chairs, and reflection. Retreat leader is writer, speaker, humorist, and gardener Terry Hershey, author of The Power of Pause, Sanctuary, This Is the Life, and The Gift of Enough. Terry also writes “Sabbath Moment,” a daily reflection posted on

The retreat begins on Monday, October 3, with dinner at 6pm in Hinton’s Lodge Dining Room and concludes at noon on Wednesday, October 5. Participants interested in extending their stay to include the weekend or the rest of the week should contact Kelli Miller,, to check availability and rates.

For promotional flyer, click HERE.

The Wesleyan Way: An Adult Confirmation Experience

Led by Rev. Dr. Chris B. Hughes
Friday-Sunday, November 18-20, 2022 

Cost: $155 — Lodge Overnight rate — Includes 2 nights lodging and 5 meals in our Lodge, retreat leadership, and supplies; $99 — Commuter rate — Includes 5 meals, retreat leadership, and supplies. For retreat house options with registration, contact Kelli Miller at 828-389-8336 or .

Register online for Lodge Overnight and Commuter options  HERE.  Download pdf registration form HERE. REGISTER BY OCTOBER 1, 2022.

The Wesleyan Way: An Adult Confirmation Experience is for “hybrid” Methodists (Baptodists, Roman Methodists, Methcopalians, etc.!), folks new to The United Methodist Church, and those who want a refresher on Methodist Christianity.

Every time we would finish one of our annual “FCF Confirm” Confirmation retreats for young people, many of the adult mentors, leaders, and church staffers would tell us, “You ought to do something like this for adults!” The Wesleyan Way is that very “something like this” – an adult confirmation experience, complete with music, worship, sharing our faith histories around tables, and a culminating event celebrating and confirming each one’s place in the “ministry of all Christians” and the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Peter 2:10). – Rev. Dr. Chris B. Hughes

Adult participants will go deeper in exploring the unique vision for living faithfully that John Wesley and the Methodist movement offer. Joining Chris will be Rev. Gloria Hughes and Rev. Kyle Sigmon, who bring their creativity and gifts for music and worship to this engaging, meaningful, and enlightening event.

For promotional flyer, click HERE

Theotokos Confirmation Retreats — 2023 Registration  Opens August 1, 9am!

Envisioned and created by a design team of United Methodist clergy and laity from the Carolinas, Theotokos Confirmation Retreats launched in March 2022 at Hinton Rural Life Center. Over 300 Confirmands and their adult leaders participated.

Visit for more information.


    • February 17-19
    • February 24-26
    • March 3-5
    • March 17-19
    • March 24-26

The retreats are open to all United Methodist Confirmation groups. Follow Hinton Theotokos on Facebook and Instagram.

Click HERE for a pdf registration form.

Online registration, with required PayPal (or credit card) deposit payment, is now open. Click  HERE.

Group Retreats at Hinton

Opportunities for church groups, women’s groups, men’s groups, youth groups or other organizations include:

  • Retreat house lodging or accommodations in our Lodge
  • Fresh meals prepared by our executive chef, or options to do your own meals
  • Meeting spaces and worship spaces (see below)
  • AV resources and wifi
  • Recreation supplies
  • Appalachian culture programs (arrange in advance)
  • Service projects and/or poverty awareness activities, led by Hinton staff
  • Workshops, trail hikes, yoga, arts & crafts, Bible study — contact Kelli Miller to explore your options.

Hinton Center can also provide devotional and worship leadership for your group. (We have two clergy on staff.) Contact us at least three months in advance to discuss your retreat needs and goals.

Worship and Devotional Spaces and Places

Hinton offers a variety of worship and devotional spaces for individuals and groups. (Groups should reserve them in advance through Kelli Miller to ensure they’re available when needed.) They include:

  • Dysart Chapel, next to the Lodge
  • Vista Garden outdoor worship area
  • Lakeside Worship Pavilion
  • Labyrinth
  • Sanctuary Gardens, including The Swing Garden, Hope Terrace Garden, and Memory Garden