All posts in “Retreat”

Snow’d In 2020 (middle school)


Join the fun at Heartbeat’s winter weekend lock-in at First Free Rockford located at 2223 N. Mulford Road! From unique outdoor activities to special speakers and worship experiences, you’ll create lasting memories with friends and be inspired and transformed to follow Jesus more.


Students grade 6–8


$20 per student.

Siblings are eligible for further discounts! Find out more by emailing




Closer Women’s Retreat 2019

Jesus invites us to an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit.

Our response is requested.

Draw near to God.
Delight in his creation and the beauty of fall.
Discover community with several generations of women.
Find space for worship: through gathering together, through music, through prayer and through quiet solitude.
Rest and be replenished.

All women ages 18 and over are welcome. Come on your own, with a friend, or with women from your life group, adult community or Bible study.

Fox Valley Christian Action’s Riverwoods Family Campus, an 85-acre camp and conference center along the Fox River near St. Charles.

7:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
(Friday check-in 5 to 7 p.m.)

$175 per woman includes lodging and all meals.
Register by Oct. 13. There is a $50 non-refundable fee for cancellations up to one week prior to the retreat. After October 19, retreat fees become non-refundable.






Questions? Contact Women’s Ministries by calling 815-877-7046 or emailing womensministries [at] firstfreerockford [dot] org

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Women’s Retreat: A Closer look

First Free Rockford’s Women’s Retreat, “Closer,” starts Friday evening, Oct. 25, and ends at noon Sunday, Oct. 27. The site is Fox Valley Christian Action’s Riverwoods Family Campus near St. Charles. Register here. Registration deadline is this Sunday, Oct. 13.

We spoke with retreat coordinator Brandy Pardee.


What has your own spiritual journey looked like over the past few years?

I got to a point where I had been doing all the things that were recommended for a Christian to follow Jesus. Good things. Serving regularly, attending church regularly, doing a Bible study. Heck, I had my Bible degree. I married a pastor. All those things. But at the end of the day, I didn’t see lasting and real transformation.

Over a period of time … I finally just said, I’m still angry. I’m still prideful. I still go on this cycle all the time, trying to repent or do better. I get caught up in my own pride and performance and ego. There has to be a different way. If I’m supposed to do all these things, and this is how they make me feel, I don’t really want to do them.

Brandy Pardee and her family.

I also saw a disconnect among Christians. What we were supposed to act like — deeply caring for and loving one another and actually walking it out — wasn’t happening. We’d go to church and I’d come home angry and sad. I felt worse, and more shallow and unseen.

So after my oldest son, Teigen, was born, and I was changing diapers and tired all the time, I just said, God, if you are really alive and active and if you are who you say you are, you either need to show yourself or I’m ready to peace out. This isn’t worth it anymore.

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Serene Park Bench

A retreat for parents of kids with a developmental disability.

Dear Pastor Luke,

I can’t begin to express my deep gratitude for the Jeremiah Fund money your church has given to my program! Our “Retreat Yourself” weekend is a much-needed break for moms, grandmothers, and aunts who are raising or helping to raise a child with a developmental disability. It was at our first weekend in 2009 that we met Penny VanScoy, who came with her daughter Jessica. Ever since that weekend, Penny has been on our retreat planning committee making sure the weekend is a success! We are proud to put on this event for the ninth year in a row now. We have been a part of women forming support networks, learning how to balance life, learning new skills and information, and last year we found out we saved a life. Yes, we had one woman attend who had been contemplating suicide and because of the retreat, decided not to end her life.

Thank you again for your generous gift-it will be put to good use!

-Patti Mook, Family Support Specialist

Notice: The main office is closed and all public gatherings are suspended until further notice.More Details