The Starrette Farm Retreat dedicated its new Stations of the Cross trail on Sunday.

Dedicated in memory of Tom Starrette and in honor of his brother Ray, the trail chronicles the steps of Jesus’ crucifixion and is meant to bring followers closer to Christ. Multiple stops along the trail provide an opportunity for rest, prayer and meditation.

“Anybody can walk anywhere, but to pray makes it personal,” resident chaplain Nancy Bellamy said.

During a ceremony on Sunday, Pastor Jody Seymour blessed the trail and reminded the guests that they are pilgrims on a journey to the Lord.

“This trail is a sacred place,” he said. “It’s dedicated to the pilgrims who walk Christ’s way to the cross.”

The trail is the latest addition to the nondenominational retreat, which was built in 2005.

The adult retreat is designed to be a “set-a-part place for spiritual growth and renewal.” It offers short retreats for Christians who wish to deepen their relationship with Christ.

“It’s for people who are usually hungry for something more,” Ann Starrette said.

Starrette explained that where church offers education and fellowship, the retreat is deeper.

“It’s for those who want a serious relationship with God,” she said. “They’ll have a community to nurture them.”

Dawne Kakitsis started coming to the retreat when she turned 40 and truly believes it has healing power.

She is leaving for the Holy Land on Tuesday. She said she’s going because the retreat brought her closer to Christ.

“The retreat gives you a space and a place and a time,” Kakitsis said. “It helps you create a healthy interior and cultivate your life— to really reflect and find a deeper meaning in the world.”

Kakitsis believes the retreat and the trail will change people for the better.

“You are possessed by the in-dwelling Spirit,” she said. “There’s definitely a before and after— you have to learn how to be in the world after being here.”

Upcoming Retreats

Do you ever wonder what the Stations of the Cross are? Do you have an interest in learning more about Jesus’ last day on his way to the Cross? If so, please join us for this retreat designed to share the journey and the Passion of Christ in these final hours. We do this to learn from him so that we might in our own life’s journey better imitate his.

We will explore the history, the scriptures, and experience the newly-created Stations of the Cross prayer walk — nestled in a peaceful setting leading through the woods near the labyrinth at Starrette Farm Retreat Center near Statesville.

Two opportunities are provided; each date is limited to 20 participants:
♦ Sunday, March 8, 2 to 5 p.m., $20 — Refreshments and materials provided
♦ Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., $25 — Lunch and materials provided


Visit for more information about the retreat