SMS Suspends On-Site Programming

After careful, prayerful consideration, the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Sewanee has decided to cease on-site programming at the Center until further notice. 

A retreat at St. Mary’s Sewanee is an experience that is firmly rooted in our physical location where we are blessed with a rich history of spirituality and religious faith, where we have the spectacular bluff view to the west, and where one experiences an indescribable feeling of peace and calm across the campus. Because of Covid-19, we can’t offer these experiences safely right now or in the foreseeable future. And we cannot offer these experiences in a way that is true to our mission. By making this decision to cease on-site programs now, the Board reaffirms its commitment to the vision of our beloved founder and friend, Bob Ayres, in a way that will ensure that St. Mary’s Sewanee exists in the future.

This is not to say St. Mary’s Sewanee will cease being a place of support and encouragement to you during these trying times. First Light, the daily email with one beautiful photograph and one encouraging quote, will continue. Sign up here if you would like to receive it. Our inspirational posts on Facebook and Instagram will also continue; follow St. Mary’s Sewanee on either platform to get a different message focused on spirituality and faith.

And, the programming and retreat leaders you have come to love at St. Mary’s Sewanee will be offering online workshops. Susan Packard’s event earlier this month was a great success; you can learn more about her July and August events by going here. We will keep you apprised of new opportunities via email, our website, and social media.

If you have scheduled an event at St. Mary’s Sewanee in the coming months, or if you had planned to attend a retreat on campus, our staff will be in touch with you directly about the details of rescheduling.

These are extraordinary times. Social distancing, along with health and safety concerns, have changed the way that each one of us lives. We pray that you use this time to deepen your spiritual life and the practices that bring you peace and calm. St. Mary’s Sewanee is here for you in a new way right now, and St. Mary’s Sewanee will be here for you when we return to gathering in person.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to St. Mary’s Sewanee.

R. Dale Grimes, Board Chair