Retreats for Parents
PeacePrints are for parents looking for hope and healing. Find support, education, encouragement, and a safe community in a weekend away from the stress and noise of daily life.
The retreats are for parents of LGBTQ children of any age. Whether your child came out yesterday or ten years ago, you are welcome to join us!
A safe place for parents to express their feelings with fellow believers in Christ.
The "Second Closet"
It's been said that when a child comes out of the closet, their parents go in. This "second closet" keeps parents isolated, feeling that they can't share this significant news with anyone. For Christian parents especially, the revelation that their child is LGBTQ+ unleashes a flood of questions - how did this happen? Is it my fault? What will my church think? What does the Bible really say about this? Can my child still have a relationship with God? Can I?
So many parents feel that they cannot safely give voice to these questions in their church, even with their small groups or Bible classes that have been like family for years. Parents can experience significant anxiety over these and many other questions, struggling alone with fear and doubts about their faith. They grieve over what this might mean for their child's future, fearing a life of loneliness, discrimination and separation from God.
At PeacePrints, parents get a chance to breathe, to openly ask their questions, and express their doubts with a safe community of other moms and dads who have walked this path.
CenterPeace offers two kinds of PeacePrint retreats. The first one, "Finding Hope," is for parents new to the journey. The second one "Empowering Parents," is for moms and dads who want to explore next steps beyond processing a child's coming out.
"Finding Hope" is the retreat for parents who are processing a child's coming out. Feelings associated with the discovery of a child’s sexuality can be debilitating for some parents. Having those feelings validated and providing a safe place to express them is key to moving past the pain. A significant part of the retreat is sharing our stories and finding community with other moms and dads who are similarly situated. Through offering each other understanding and support, we can move past the isolation. Questions that we address include:
What do we know and not know about sexuality?
What should I say and not say to maintain a loving relationship with my child?
How can I help support my child?
How do I love my child unconditionally when our beliefs about sexuality differ?
How do I talk to my own parents and my church friends about this?
"Empowering Parents" is the retreat for moms and dads ready for the next step. Over time, parents who have processed initial feelings of their child coming out may want to do more to support their child. These parents have found enough healing and hope that they are ready to focus on the needs of LGBTQ people, as well as ministry needs in the local church. The weekend retreat offers parents a chance to build friendship and solidarity as they contemplate how to create more space at the table in the church for LGBTQ people, their parents, and friends. Questions we address include:
What are the needs of the LGBTQ community?
How do I talk with my pastor about raising awareness of LGBTQ people and family members who attend my church?
Am I called to get involved in ministry with LGBTQ folk or parents of LGBTQ children?
How do we make a positive difference in the church and the local community?
"Our first parent retreat was the beginning of reconciliation with our child and healing of our hearts. Being able to share with other parents further down the road gave us a sense of hope and peace."
"When our child came out we had no resources, no tools, and no reference of where to begin. We didn’t even have the vocabulary to know how to express the questions rolling around in our hearts and heads. The PeacePrints retreat helped us break a pathway to healing and learn to do life in a new way with our child."
Testimonials from PeacePrints Parents
"I was amazed and heartbroken that of the couples attending, over half had never shared this secret with anyone at church or in their family. Many times parents hold this as a secret deep in their heart, feeling this is not their story to share. Retreats like these give parents who were terrified to walk across the threshold a truly safe place to let that secret go."