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

For information and reservations: 828-389-8336 or

Rescheduled for May 9-11, 2022

Senior Adult VBS-2, with Ed Kilbourne (Originally scheduled for Sept 27-29, 2021)

Back by popular demand following Senior Adult VBS in April 2019, Ed Kilbourne returns to Hinton Rural Life Center with his VBS-2. Ed brings his nationally recognized gifts of music, storytelling, and humor, combined with the wisdom and knowledge of his years as a folk-theologian, and puts them in a 3-day Vacation Bible School program for the saints and sages of the church. The morning starts at 9:30am with check-in, gathering, and coffee/tea  in Hinton’s Young Commons Building. The program of stories, reflections, and music is 10am-noon, followed by lunch in the Lodge dining room. CDs will be available for purchase at the event. Registration fee covers three delicious lunches prepared by Hinton’s executive chef. Love offerings may also be made to help cover the program cost, to make this event affordable for all seniors wanting to attend.

Register opens November 1, 2021.

November 5-7, 2021

Life in the Garden: Mindfulness, Grace, & the Power of Presence

Hinton welcomes author, speaker, ordained minister, and passionate gardener Terry Hershey to lead a weekend conference and retreat for those who experience — or want to experience — gardens as restorative, inspiring, and life-giving. According to Hershey, “The garden is a place we can learn about life, faith, and prayer.  The conference is a time to celebrate gardens, gardeners, and the role of gardens and gardening in our spiritual journey.” Gardens are sacred places that can offer, for both gardener and visitor, healing for mind, body, and soul.

Participants will enjoy workshops (indoors and outdoors), exploring and installing “sanctuary” gardens, and having personal time for walks, prayer, rocking chairs, and reflection. Attendees will be invited to embrace epiphanies (willingness to be surprised!), receive permission to live undefended and without fear, and relish the sacred in the ordinary. For a “Life in the Garden” promotional flyer, click HERE

Conference registration fee is $130 and includes program, supplies, and meals. You can register for individuals and groups.

To register online, click HERE. To download a pdf registration form, click HERE. Registration open through October 25 or until spots are filled.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required with registration. Scan and email to or submit with pdf registration. For medical exemptions, contact

For accommodations, Hinton offers lodging for individuals and groups, including Lodge rooms, Hermitage cabins, Sells Cottage, McCall House, and our Lakeside Retreat House, as available. For information and reservations, email or call 828-389-8336.


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
  • Service projects and/or poverty awareness programs
  • Workshops, trail hikes, Bible study — For ideas and topics, click  HERE

Hinton Center can also provide devotional and worship leadership for your group. Contact us at least three months in advance to discuss your retreat needs and goals.


Hinton Center offers a variety of worship and devotional spaces for groups. Please reserve them in advance to ensure they’re available when you need them. They include:

  • Dysart Chapel, next to the Lodge
  • Outdoor Chapel
  • Lakeside Worship Pavilion
  • Labyrinth