The History of Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats

Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph. D., is the author and founder of Rachel’s Vineyard.
In 1995, she expanded her original Bible based curriculum into a format for abortion recovery retreats. Soon individuals seeking healing began to travel from other states to experience this very effective healing process. The retreats began to spread across the country because of their dramatic effectiveness. Currently, Rachel’s Vineyard is held in 49 states and over 78 countries, with many new sites in development.

The name “Rachel” refers to an old testament figure who was written about in the book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 31:15-16
Thus says the Lord:

This is what the Lord says:

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
This is what the Lord says:

“Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,”
declares the Lord.

Rachel’s Vineyard uses the vineyard to symbolize a place where grapes are grown, pruned, and nurtured so they can bear a more bountiful harvest. Perhaps the most significant association with the vine comes from the powerful and moving words of Jesus found in Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”