Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, the stone of help for he said, up to this point the Lord has helped us. 1 SAMUEL 7:12
The name Standing Stones is symbolic, it's essence and meaning is biblical. In the old testament many of the great prophets, Moses, Samuel, Joshua, and others placed Stones used to establish memorials unto God where He had proven Himself faithful. In other passages, stones were used to describe strength and resilience in a person's character. Large stones were also described as representing the power and ability to destroy and overcome obstacles in our path, preventing our moving from where we are, to where we desire to be emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Standing Stones Conference & Retreat Center was primarily established to meet the needs of the lost, the brokenhearted laypersons and pastors through Shepherd's Canyon Retreat Ministry. When these retreats are not in session, the conference center is used for general purposes. THERE IS a place here to leave a stone at the foot of the cross.
In 1985 Lutheran lay-leader, Dave Anderson and his wife Barbara, together with a group of LCMS clergy, counseling professionals, and lay leaders, founded what became an RSO. Cathedral Rock Centre, Inc., for eighteen months, provided 2-week counseling retreats to pastors and spouses. Once again in 2006, the need for an updated version of this ministry was recognized.
In the fall of 2007, plans were made and after much prayer and consultation with an ad hoc group, a new ministry of counseling retreats for pastors, teachers, missionaries, military chaplains and others in full-time ministry, was begun. A nation-wide search began for Lutheran therapists/counselors with experience in counseling professional church workers. During this time the group began searching for a retreat location. By the first quarter of 2008, therapists from several states gathered in Phoenix to begin the development of the counseling ministry which is today Shepherd's Canyon Retreat Ministry, Inc. From 2009 - 2012 the counseling retreat ministry received IRS recognition as a 501 c 3 organization. In March of that same year, the first of several retreats, in the absence of a "home" of its own, operated from rented facility space in Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
In February, 2012 by vote, the Board of Directors purchased land found by a friend and ministry donor from Colorado. Combined with the remaining funds from two other ministry donors, Standing Stones Conference & Retreat Center was named and became the long needed and prayed for home of Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat Ministry. In the Old Testament rock monuments were erected to commemorate great works of God.
BEGINNING / CURRENT
The founders Dave and Barb Anderson, along with board members, having viewed the property, decided to make an offer. Though a lesser offer, it was accepted - a "rock" was laid and the purchase was finalized on April 16, 2012.
THE FELLOWSHIP HOUSE
A new building named "The Fellowship House", (dedicated in 2016) has eight bedroom suites, a grand piano, lounge area, widescreen television, private patios, and snack area with games and library. Standing Stones Conference & Retreat Center has a beautiful prayer garden equipped with an outdoor chapel, waterfall, paths for strolling, and seating areas for prayer and meditation. There is an outdoor pool with a cabana and lounge chairs for soaking up sunshine. In the evenings, a lighted spa is a wonderful experience, as up above the stars appear so close and bright in God's beautiful heavens. Around the perimeter there is a walking trail.
OUR FIRST VOLUNTEERS
With the help and volunteer support of some long time friends, the Standing Stones Conference & Retreat Center facility was renovated into a retreat style suitable for housing, dining and counseling.
STANDING STONES CONFERENCE & RETREAT CENTER / IN USE
In October, 2012, Shepherd's Canyon Retreat Ministry held its first "at home" retreat. Client couples were housed in the existing duplexes; and all others, counselors, chaplains, volunteers - were housed in borrowed or donated travel trailers and motor homes.