Living River: A Retreat on the Cahaba
"In this significant and beautiful place, the Presbytery will build Living River, a retreat where young people will continue to discover the awakening power of an outdoor camping experience with a Christ-centered message. Where adults, families, and congregations can also step away from the demands of their everyday lives and make space to listen to God’s voice." Living River
Living River is located approximately 36 miles southwest of Birmingham, in the heart of the Presbytery of Sheppards & Lapsley.
Click here for details of Faith Flows Festival at Living River
"Living River: A Retreat on the Cahaba" is the camp and conference center vision that the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley has been working toward since 1999. Living River boasts 4 miles of Cahaba River frontage on 440 acres of currently undeveloped natural beauty located just 10 miles northwest of Montevallo. In the Presbytery's mission statement for Living River, this sacred space is intended as a place in which individuals and groups can "examine their relationship with God, with self, and with the world."
The completed facilities will include an adult hotel-style conference center and lodge with dining areas and meeting spaces; six separate adult lodges and three, more remote, sabbatical cabins. At the other end of the property but adjoined by roads and trails is the Youth Camp with its own dining hall, recreation building, swimming pool, climbing wall, ropes course, zip-line, cabins, infirmary, gazebo, Chapel, bell tower, labyrinth and meeting hall.
The property will include a Welcome Center, canoe launch and take out, athletic field, and outdoor Chapel as well as a fishing lake, picnic areas, meadows, wild-life viewing stations, and an amphitheatre/pavilion. Year-round programming provides not only for summer camping experiences but also winter retreats and weekends for youth and adults from both within and outside the Presbytery. The functional goal of Living River is to offer programs that "nourish spiritual, physical, psychological, and social development of people of all ages."
In order to progress toward the completion of Phase I of Living River in time to open the Summer Camp Season in 2010, the Presbytery has elected a Board which includes two leaders from Independent Presbyterian Church: Lee Walthall and Teresa Pulliam. They join with others at IPC who have been and are continuing to work toward the success of the Living River effort.
Members of the congregation are encouraged to go to the Presbytery website www.pslpcusa.org/LivingRiver to watch a short video that shows aerial views of the property and includes recorded messages from leaders in the Presbytery including Miller Gorrie and Caroline Underwood from IPC. Caroline's witness is particularly powerful as a youth who served for many years as a camp counselor. Expect to hear more about the mission of Living River in the coming months and about how individuals in IPC can support this important legacy.
Click here for a map to Living River from the east.
Click here for a map to Living River from the west.