What Should I Expect?

Welcome to Agape. If you have never been to an Agape retreat before, you will probably encounter a recovery experience unlike anything you have encountered before. Our foundation is Alcoholics Anonymous, but members of all fellowships have found Agape to be a healing, beneficial experience. We hope you do too.

What is it all about?

It's all about a safe place to work on recovery. Recovery from the deepest wounds, the most severe trauma, and the very worst of our secret shame. We come here to work on and work out the issues that we are not comfortable sharing around the tables. We come here because we are allowed the time it takes to explore our issues without worrying about the clock. For some, we even come to discover what those issues are.

The meeting schedule and structure is designed to help you get comfortable with this place and the people around you. You can come and go in meetings as you choose, but we urge you to participate as much as possible.

You will see a lot of hugs and back rubs and touching. This is not sexual in nature, nor should it be. It is simple human contact. The amount of contact you have with other people is ENTIRELY your choice. Please think about your own boundaries and do not hesitate to make your wishes clear. If you do not want to be hugged, let the person know. No one here will be offended. The key is to take care of yourself and your needs.

Friday night's Ask-It-Basket meeting involves anonymous questions from participants. This allows for unbiased answers tailored to the question, not the person asking the question. Questions will be read by the meeting leaders and answered, then opened to answers from any in the room who wish to address it. The questions can and do cover an immense range of topics from simple addiction and program questions to various life situations. All topics are welcomed. The key here is that if it is important in your life, it is important, plain and simple.

Saturday's Step meetings focus on the 12 steps. We focus on the basics of our program, but without worrying much about the clock on the wall. We share what we need to share.

The Men's, Women's and CODA meetings are high point of the retreat for some people. There are some recovery issues that we need to share with our own gender alone. And there are relationship issues that can sometimes be dealt with only in a specific CODA format.

The Speaker meeting will be familiar in style, but you may hear a bit "more" of the story than you would in a regular meeting.

The Birthday meeting is a celebration of program anniversaries that have taken place in the previous 3 months. In some cases, the birthday boys and girls will be subject to a friendly roast by those who know them well.

Later that night we have the Nitty Gritty meeting. This speaker format meeting can be a little rough emotionally. By this time, participants are a little tired and their walls have dropped a bit. The speakers may end up sharing a gut wrenching episode that strikes a raw nerve with you. That is why you are here. We need to identify and work on those points of pain in our lives. When the speakers are done, the floor is opened to any who wish to share.

Sunday brings us to the God meeting and the closing. Two speakers will share their thoughts or stories about higher power, then open the floor to any and all. You will hear the entire range from those who are grateful to those who are angry. You will almost certainly hear a story like your own.

Through all of this, we encourage you to listen, to share, to connect with those around you. We encourage you to stay here for the entire weekend and experience as much as you can. Give it an honest chance and an honest evaluation. Agape is not for everyone, but it has been a life saving place for hundreds of recovering people.