Preload icon
May 3, 2024
May 5, 2024

Spiritual Retreat in Recovery #121

The 121st Spiritual Retreat in Recovery will be held May 3-5, 2024, at Camp Capers in Waring, TX. Our Retreat Leader will be Joan Ellis Thompson, M.A., LPC, LCDC of San Antonio, who will guide us through the retreat’s recovery theme, Spiritual Solutions for Emotional Sobriety. Joan is a private practitioner specializing in addictions and addiction-related problems. She has been in the service of addicted persons for over 51 years, helping them find spiritual solutions for their healing. Spiritual Leader for the retreat will be Rev. Bryn Caddell, Vicar of St. Michael and All Angels' Episcopal Church in Blanco, acting as Celebrant for worship services, as well as providing topical spiritual insight and pastoral care.

The recovery ministry of our Episcopal Diocese of West Texas began in 1941, when Rev. Everett Jones, rector of St. Mark's in San Antonio, first learned of the seminal Twelve Step recovery program Alcoholics Anonymous. Co-founded in 1935 by Bill W(ilson) and Dr. Bob (Smith), AA was grounded in the spiritual roots of the Oxford Movement. The Rev. Dr. Sam Shoemaker, rector of Calvary Episcopal in New York, acted as spiritual guide in those earliest years. Following his 1943 consecration to lead the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Jones advanced the idea of holding recovery services in the church, leading somewhat later to the first Spiritual Retreat in Recovery at Camp Capers, October 7, 1961. The Retreats became semi-annual in 1965, and by 2015 began alternating between spring in the Hill Country at Camp Capers and fall on the Gulf Coast at Mustang Island Conference Center. And here we are, sixty-two years and one-hundred twenty retreats later!

The earliest founders and medical practitioners of recovery programs came to believe that, at its core, dependence is a spiritual malady. As old as the Garden of Eden, it is the hubris that our human, ego-driven self-will can supplant the will of God. When we finally accepted our "dis-ease" and recognized that no cure could be provided by any human power, we prepared ourselves to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to care that out.

We all know someone –  spouse, family member, co-worker, friend, etc. –  who is in recovery. (Or at least someone we imagine ought to be –  perhaps even that face in the mirror?) Many may think recovery is about what we run away from, but it so much more about what we run toward. Spiritual Retreats in Recovery provides a safe place to deepen one’s spiritual journey –  open to anyone in recovery from alcoholism or other abuses and behaviors, as well as to families and friends affected by the disease of addiction. Members of twelve step programs AA, Al Anon, NA, CA, ACA, etc. share their experience, strength, and hope with each other in a community of love and support. We explore and share what it was like, what happened, and what we are like now.

At Spiritual Retreats in Recovery, consolidated and dedicated group meetings, on-site services, topical spiritual insight, and pastoral care are provided. Ample time is set aside for break-out workshops and individual exploration. All friends in recovery are welcome – here we seek a spiritual solution to our spiritual malady. Although grounded in Episcopal liturgy, this is not a specifically denominational event, and no church affiliation is required.

Camp Capers, in Waring, Texas, is an idyllic spot, with accommodations in comfortable Lodge rooms or in the Cabins used for youthful summer campers (with AC/heating and indoor plumbing!). Meeting facilities are modern and comfortable, yet completely compatible with the gently rustic nature of the setting. Pricing includes 2 nights and 5 meals (Fri-Sun): Lodge, $450 for single occupancy, $255 per person for double; Cabin, $165 per person (4-6); Commuter Day Rate (no lodging), $105 per person. Check-in is 5:00pm Friday; dismissal is 10:45am Sunday.

Registration information can be found at, scrolling down to the Spiritual Retreat in Recovery dates. Registration opens Wednesday, March 20 and closes Monday, April 29. Limited scholarship funds are available based on need on a first-come-first-served basis. Scholarship recipients will be expected to contribute a portion of their own funds to this program. Please contact the Registration Coordinator at 210-367-9584.

“Recovery happens in community.  At this retreat, I enjoyed the awesome presence of God through others in recovery –  and in a beautiful setting. It doesn’t get any better!”

“A great, relaxing weekend. I experienced the spiritual healing of the group, and enjoyed quiet time with my Higher Power in one of His most wondrous creations. And the food was terrific!"

Click to register