In August of 2018, the Dungeon Master Pastor, Rev. Rory Philstrom, led other clergy and people of faith on a first-of-its-kind, 4-day, 3-night Dungeons & Dragons retreat. With a mixture of gaming, learning, and Sabbath rest, this retreat explored the connections between life, ministry, and the world’s greatest roleplaying game.
If you want to hear how it went – click here to read what the participants had to say.
The first retreat went so well that we’re doing it again! If you want to join us on our next Pastors & Dragons retreat click here.
Pastors & Dragons: A D&D Retreat
Shire in the Woods, McGrath, Minnesota
This retreat was full!
Each day afforded hours of Dungeons & Dragons play, with daily game sessions run by Rory, the Dungeon Master Pastor.
We engaged in a variety of play styles and explore all four tiers of play. People brought beloved PCs to the game or created new favorites. In addition, we explored the character creation process as modes of self-reflection and storytelling.
We also had opportunities for people to try their hands at the DM seat for the very first time, as we mined the art of Dungeon Mastering for lessons in how to lead a community, engage others, and foster a high invitation/high challenge environment.
Each day also featured time for plumbing the depths of the tabletop roleplaying genre for lessons in life, faith, and ministry.
Engagement topics included:
- Creating Complex Imaginations and the Art of Empathetic Practice
- Facing Personal Fears on the Fantasy Tabletop
- Self-Reflection through the Player Character
- The Purpose and Use of Apocalypse
- Managing Group Dynamics
- Fostering Collaborative Improvisation and Collective Exploration
TAKE A LONG REST.
At Shire in the Woods, the natural surroundings provided a rejuvenating backdrop to finally get the rest that is so hard to find in our day-to-day lives. Located 18 miles east of northern Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, the retreat center is tucked away at the heart of the Solana State Forest and has the Soo Line South Trail running right alongside it.
Some relaxed with a good book indoors while others took a stroll in the surrounding woods. There was more gaming, a labyrinth, a nearby swimming hole, a rose garden, a labyrinth, a beaver pond, a frog and turtle pond, tree swings and hammocks.
There were many amazing options for some real life exploration and rest, and enough time in the schedule to take full advantage of it all.