Like so many, we in the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship are deeply saddened to hear of the new phase that Stony Point Center will be entering into where they will dramatically downsize and lay off all of the staff.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Presbyterian Mission Agency, which manages Stony Point Center, decided in October 2020 that it was no longer financially viable to keep Stony Point operating as a 90-person retreat center.
In November 2020, almost all of the remaining staff will be laid off, and the other two staff will be laid off at the end of 2020. In 2021, Stony Point Center will have two buildings open for small guest groups. Please read Stony Point’s statement about the closing here.
Since 2008, Stony Point Center has been a dear “home” for the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in many ways: we have held many Activist Council gatherings, Accompaniment Program Trainings, and other events there. We had office space there until we went virtual in 2016, and even then, Stony Point remained our mailing address. We will continue to support Stony Point Center by holding small events there when we are able, and our mailing address is not changing for the foreseeable future.
We are saddened and disappointed by this decision, however financially necessary it may be. Stony Point Centerーwith the farm, the Community of Living Traditions, the many other justice-committed guest groups who we encountered there, and so much moreーhas been an important part of PPF’s life and an important part of the life of many social movement groups over the last years.
We give thanks for the leadership of Rick and Kitty Ufford-Chase and their vision for SPC that helped shape it into “much more than a conference center,” but a place where diverse groups and people could gather to create, envision, and work together for a more just world.
We are confident that this is not the end of Stony Point and that the Spirit will continue to be at work in this place. Right now we are lamenting the ending of this chapter and we are also deeply grateful for the experiences and growth that occurred at Stony Point Center. We’re particularly grateful for the relationships that formed there that were possible precisely because of the unique nature and radical hospitality of SPC.