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former volunteer retreat april 22-24

We have another former volunteer retreat opportunity lined up for April 22-24 in both Troutdale, OR and Chicago, IL. This retreat is the second of a two part series focusing on vocational discernment for former volunteers. Read on to learn more about this retreat and how to register.


Years of anecdotal evidence, on top of the stats and feedback received from our 2015 former Jesuit Volunteer (FJV) survey, tell us that former volunteers from year-long service programs strongly desire retreat opportunities. In fact, nearly 60 percent of survey respondents indicated they would attend a former volunteer retreat if it were held near them. Thanks to a generous grant from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) and their Volunteers Exploring Vocation (VEV) program, we are able to host two of these retreats April 22-24, in Troutdale, OR (30 minutes east of Portland) and Chicago.

Camp Crestview main lodge in Troutdale, OR

JVC Northwest is partnering with fellow service programs Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and Mission Year (MY) to design and coordinate these retreats. JVC Northwest will handle primary coordination and facilitation of the Troutdale retreat while BVS and MY will combine to do the same for the Chicago retreat. Content will be the same across both retreat sites and will focus on concrete tools and practices for vocational discernment along your particular post-volunteer path. Vocational discernment, in terms of this retreat, will be broadly understood to mean the ongoing process of discerning and discovering the alignment of passion and purpose in your unique spiritual and professional journeys. This retreat is part two of a series on vocational discernment and will build on retreats that took place in November, 2015. However, the retreat content for this retreat will be designed in such a way that it is very accessible for those who did not attend the November retreats.

Br. David Darst Center in Chicago
Br. David Darst Center in Chicago

Retreat sessions will offer space for individual, small group, and large group reflection and processing, with adequate free time for activities, games, journaling, and/or relaxing. There will also be opportunities for one-on-one spiritual direction/discussion with experienced retreat facilitators from multiple faith traditions.

Registration is open to any former volunteers who served for a year or more in a faith-based service immersion program. However, priority will go to former volunteers who served in JVC Northwest, BVS, and MY. There will be 20-22 spots available at both retreats for former volunteers, with several spots reserved for alumni of each particular program.

Specific logistical details for these two retreats are as follows:

  • Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24
    • Retreat will begin Friday evening and conclude late Sunday morning (~12 p.m.)
  • Camp Crestview, Troutdale, OR  &  David Darst Center, Chicago, IL
    • Camp Crestview located ~30 minutes east of Portland, OR and ~3.25 hours southeast of Seattle, WA (map)
    • David Darst Center located ~1 mile north of US Cellular Field in Chicago (map)
  • Cost: $35.00
    Group photo from first vocational discernment retreat in November, 2015 in Raymond, WA
    Group photo from first vocational discernment retreat in November, 2015 in Raymond, WA
    • Retreat includes room and board (3 meals on Saturday, brunch on Sunday)*
      • Snacks provided Friday night and throughout retreat
      • *Chicago retreat will also provide dinner Friday evening
    • Attendees are responsible for transportation to and from retreat (assistance with carpool coordination available at outreach@jvcnorthwest.org for Troutdale retreat and dmcfadden@brethren.org for Chicago retreat)
    • Modest cost thanks to FTE & VEV!
  • Registration
    • Due to limited spots available, please email your name, service information (year and program), and which retreat you’d like to attend (Troutdale or Chicago) to outreach@jvcnorthwest.org to receive a link to the registration page
    • Registrants will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis until all spots are filled, keeping in mind the priority for alumni of the three coordinating programs
    • Waiting list available in case of any cancellations
    • Registration deadline, April 15 @ 5 p.m.



  • General questions about the retreats and their content, as well as specific questions concerning the Troutdale retreat, can be directed to outreach@jvcnorthwest.org
  • Questions specific to the Chicago retreat (logistics, dietary accommodations, etc.) can be directed to dmcfadden@brethren.org

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Upcoming Virtual Events

Get to Know JVC Northwest

Thursday, October 28 | 7:00pm ET / 4:00pm PT

Join us to learn all the basics about a year of service in the Pacific Northwest, including where you can serve, what you might do, and how to apply. Our Recruiter, Zayna, will also share her experience as a JV in both Alaska and Montana. Finally, we’ll open it up for an informal Q+A.

Zayna Abusada

JVC Northwest Recruiter

Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.

Catch Zayna at an Event Near You!


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