As we all enjoy the abundance of Spring, we observe April as being National Stress Awareness Month and Earth Month. This time of year, appreciating the environment and discovering alternative stress management methods are essential. This month ReEmployAbility would like to spotlight a nonprofit that embodies both themes of April, ARC Retreat Community. This nonprofit incorporates both stress management and the environment in its service-oriented community through a “home-like atmosphere” located on 90 acres of pristine wetlands and woodlands within a white pine forest. Through its mission, ARC Retreat Community seeks to “balance Action, Reflection, and Celebration, and connecting times of retreat to daily life so that the journey inward–nurturing spirit–inspires the journey outward–nourishing the world in the quest for harmony, peace, and justice.”
Act, Reflect, Celebrate
Founded in 1972 by Ruth Halvorson, ARC Retreat Community has developed into an organization that has enabled thousands of people to “find rest and spiritual renewal through radical hospitality.” Located within the traditional land of the Anishinaabe and the Ochethi Sakowin peoples, ARC offers acknowledgment to affirm indigenous sovereignty, history, and experiences. To this day, ARC Retreat Community honors its contemporary relationship with indigenous communities.
ARC’s main goals for the community it serves consist of helping others to balance action, reflection, and celebration in their lives. The nonprofit hopes to offer people a meaningful connection between their time spent at the retreat and in their daily lives to “rest, relax, and recharge.” Fortunately for the nonprofit, its service numbers have returned and surpassed pre-COVID-19 numbers. ARC is now hosting groups with “the most diverse objectives in its 45 years of being in operation,” states Executive Director, Dr. Suzanne Begin. These groups consist of people from church groups, yoga groups, wellness retreats, and much more. With all the great success ARC Retreat Community has accomplished in the decades since its inception, Dr. Begin leaves an important message stating, “We are a place to practice wellness- self-care and spiritual contemplation. Retreating is not a luxury, it is a necessity in this fast-paced world.”
ARC Retreat Community offers many amenities for their patrons to release stress and encourage appreciation for the beautiful landscape the compound lies on.
- A homelike atmosphere in group meeting spaces and private spaces
- Silent meditation
- Spiritual direction, therapeutic massage, and other healing modalities
- A bookstore, and space/time apart for writers and artists to hone their craft
- Healthy homemade meals featuring fresh ingredients, often organic or locally grown
- Trails for walking and snowshoeing through 90 acres of “majestic” white pine forests
- A labyrinth for walking meditation
- Environmentally-friendly practices
All that ARC has to offer aims to provide opportunities for rest and renewal, growth, and creativity. Visit the WHAT WE DO page to learn more!
Transition2Work Takes a Retreat
The Transition2Work program has remained an opportunity for injured workers to recover mentally and physically from a work-related injury through service at their local nonprofit organizations. The benefits of volunteerism are not only reflected in what an organization can gain from donated time and resources but remain apparent in the speed of recovery from our injured participants in the Transition2Work program.
ARC Retreat Community has realized great benefits from its partnership with the Transition2Work program. Each placement at ARC has been a “Divine appointment bringing unique skills and abilities to contribute and strengthen our non-profit,” as described by Dr. Begin. She goes on to emphasize that ARC’s relationship with ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work is a two-sided relationship one from which the injured workers also benefit. The retreat setting provides Transition2Work participants with an opportunity to step out of the stress of injury and recover quickly. Dr. Begin states, “They are treated with dignity as a whole person with value and worth. Their healing journey is respected and supported. Many former placements still check in with ARC.” She continues to say, “We enjoy our partnership with the Transition2Work. We invite employers, injured workers, and Transition2Work team members to join us on the First Wednesday of the month at Noon to experience our 90 acres of sacred land, a free meal, and a tour.”