Off-Script Kids

A reflective, theological, and practical retreat for Christian parents whose children are wandering from Christian faith or practice or both.

May 3-5, 2024, Winter Park, FL

When parenting becomes improv . . .

Many Christian parents grieve that their adult children have chosen a life trajectory that differs from what they envisioned. These parents had a mental “script” for their kids and their kids have gone “off-script” leaving the parents feeling inadequate and confused. In the church, they feel shame. It’s a hard place to be.

. . . parents need perspective . . .

Parents need time and space to process a reality they never imagined inhabiting. Such time and space are hard to come by, and the subject of children who wander from the faith is rarely addressed, the pain of it rarely acknowledged. Parents struggle with thoughts of what they have done wrong or how God has let them down. They can feel very, very alone.

. . . and they need respite and community.

Such parents need time away to process their unexpected reality, and they need to know they are not alone. A retreat setting, at the beautiful San Pedro Retreat Center, provides an ideal setting for both.

“The weekend was a filling, nutritious, and festive feast in every way!”

“I so appreciate how you built upon the Word and gave us the opportunities to engage with it.”

“I appreciate your tone, your honesty, and your thoughtfulness.”

“It was a breath of fresh air to gain perspective and encouragement from Scripture.”

“It was encouraging to have others present who are experiencing some of the same struggles as we are.”

“This gives me such hope! It was so helpful to sit with people who struggle as we do. We aren’t alone! Normal, healthy, Christian people have kids who aren’t.”

We Are Tuesday: Five Stars!”

“I highly recommend this weekend!”

Weekend Schedule

Note: This will be modified slightly before May.

Friday Evening

6:00-6:15 / Welcome and Orientation

6:15-7:00 / Session 1 / Greenwald

A Prayer for Sleepless Parents
Assessing Our Reality

7:15-8:00 / Session 2a / Greenwald

God’s Covenant Promises
Resetting Our Hope
(What God has NOT promised)

8:15-9:00 / Session 2b / Greenwald

God’s Covenant Promises
Resetting Our Hope
(What God HAS promised)

Saturday Morning

8:00-8:30 / Breakfast

8:45-9:40 / Session 3 / Greenwald

Expectations, Mistakes, and Guilt
Reframing Our Culpability

9:55-10:50 / Session 4 / Decker

Disarming Our Shame

11:05-12:00 / Session 5 / Greenwald

The Improvisational Parent
Rethinking Our Responsibility

12:00-12:45 / Lunch

Saturday Afternoon & Evening

1:00-1:55 / Session 6 / Decker

Loving from a Place of Wisdom

2:00-6:30 / Free

For reflection and processing and resting.
Dinner on your own.

6:30-7:25 / Session 7 / TRI

Therapy for Struggling Parents

7:45-8:45 / Concert / We Are Tuesday

Sunday Morning

8:00-9:00 / Worship / We Are Tuesday

8:00-9:00 / Session 8 / Greenwald

An Invitation to Dance
Accepting that You Are Beloved

9:15-10:00 / Breakfast / Debriefing

11:00 / Checkout

Pricing & Registration

There are surprising benefits that come from community and space. Our interest in this retreat is to give participants both. The space comes from spreading the content over a period of time in order to let it marinate, in a place of rest and beauty. Community comes from sitting across the table from others facing similar issues and realizing that one is not alone. Hence, the retrat format for this presentation of Off-Script Kids.

We want to assure participants that this will be a safe space. You will gather with others who share a situation similar to your own. Your privacy will be respected and your circumstances understood.

We are trying to keep the payment options simple, receiving payment with check or via Venmo. Details will be sent to those who register.

Full refunds are available through the Friday three weeks prior to the event. After that, we cannot process refunds.

O A Q

(Occasionally Asked Questions)

What IS an "off-script" kid?

“Off-script” kids can be many things, but at heart they are the beloved children of Christian parents. These children have made choices or gone in directions that were not anticipated by their parents. Perhaps they have made lifestyle choices which their parents did not encourage, or perhaps they have chosen to reject their faith or express it in a way vastly different from the faith of their parents. In some cases, they are estranged from their parents, and in other cases the relationship is intact. In all cases the parents are struggling with how to process an unanticipated situation.

The “Off-Script Kids” retreat is meant to provide a space and a context to help such parents process this new reality. We are not addressing how to change our kids. We address rather how we as parents need to change to better love our children.

What benefit might this retreat bring to me/us?

One participant in a previous OSK retreat recently wrote:

“We have had so many opportunities to share with parents our incredible experience at your retreat. We cannot thank you enough for the time, effort and teaching you have given to this topic. We know the need is great and the resources are few.”

This person was like many – not certain at the outset what value would come from the retreat, but thankful at the end. We hear that often.

Would your experience be the same? It might. Especially if any of the following are true for you:

    • you frequently when thinking of your kids ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?”
    • you struggle to be around others whose kids are doing well.
    • you find you hedge your answers when others ask how your kids are doing.
    • your family gatherings are either superficial or oppositional.
    • you are weary and tense worrying about your kids and long for respite.
    • you feel anger at God, your child, or yourself, or all of the above, when you think about your children.

We address all of this, and more, from a solid and honest assessment of scripture. We think that everyone would benefit from reflecting on what God has promised and not promised and by learning to distinguish what God expects or expected from us as parents from the false expectations others have heaped upon us.

When children pursue life or faith decisions different from what their parents hoped for and from what their parents’ Christian culture accepts, the parents often retreat into a shell of shame. We help parents break out of that shell so that they might breathe again.

If you are at all thinking you might benefit, we would encourage you to come. At the very least, you will walk away with a few new friends gathered from two relaxing nights away, and maybe with a new thought or two.

Is the retreat worth what it costs?

Judging value is always a matter of perspective. Sticker shock can be a thing, until one looks deeper.

For the price of a couple of sessions with a good therapist (a follow path we highly recommend!) or a day or two at a theme park (which might have value for you) participants in OSK receive two nights in a hotel quality retreat center, all meals but one, access to the retreat facility and, we hope, irreplaceable community and valuable content.

We trust that once you’ve attended OSK,  you will find the value exceeds the cost. To make that so is our goal.

The Presenters

To have off-script kids is to raise theological, practical, and emotional questions for Christian parents. To address these concerns, we have gathered presenters from backgrounds in the church and in mental health fields.

Randall Greenwald

Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Oviedo, Florida / Author, Greatheart’s Table

Natalie Decker, M.S., LMHC

Clinical Director, Rise Up Mental Health & Wellness Services LLC, Longwood, Florida

We Are Tuesday

A singer / songwriter duo from Nashville, Tennessee. (They are getting this gig only partly because they are Randy’s son and DIL! Their gifts are deep and their hearts marvelously intersect the themes of the retreat.)

Questions?

We would love to have you join us for this meaningful event. Should you have questions, fire away! We are happy that you are interested.

Contact Us