Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Advent Retreat: Space Still Available!


There still are spaces available for the Advent Retreat.  Please see information below on how to register:

Advent Retreat

Listening to Your Life

December 4-6

Leader:  The Rev. Dr. Sam Faeth

Holy Cross Abbey 

 The gifted and prolific author and preacher, Frederick Buechner, once described his vocation as a balance between listening and telling the truth. He writes,"If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."

 The theme of this year's Advent Retreat will be “Listening to Your Life.” Using selected passages from Buechner's anthology of the same title, we will explore the spiritual practices of paying attention - finding God in the midst of our own day to day experiences. In the season of waiting and hoping, we will explore a variety of ways to look for, identify, and share the grace that shapes our days.

 The Rev. Dr. Sam Faeth, Rector Emerita at Immanuel, will be the retreat leader. She wanted retreat participants to know that Buechner's book - an anthology of 366 excerpts from his writings -  is NOT necessary for the retreat, but is available in bookstores and online for any who may wish to use it for daily reflection.

 The retreat will be held at Holy Cross Abbey in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains by the Shenandoah River on a 1200 acre farm near Berryville, Virginia. The Cistercian monks of Holy Cross Abbey have been praying on the Berryville property since 1950; retreat participants will benefit from this location steeped in prayer as they explore the retreat theme.  Cistercians observe silence at all times to aid reflection, prayer, and listening to God. During the Advent Retreat, silence will be observed except in the program sessions. For more information about Holy Cross Abbey, consult the website http://www.virginiatrappists.org/

The retreat will begin on Friday afternoon, December 4, shortly before the evening meal and will end after the noon meal on Sunday, December 6.  Participants needing a ride to the Abbey may contact the retreat carpooling coordinator, Carla Murray, at tigmurray08@gmail.com or 703-751-9241.

The $350.00 registration fee includes all materials, comfortable accommodations, individual rooms each with a bathroom, and all meals. Two scholarships given in memory of Charles Willis are available; please contact the Rector for scholarship assistance.

Registration is limited to 14 persons; please reserve your space using this form (click here to download). If you have questions about retreat logistics, please contact Mary Ann Rehnke, mrehnke@verizon.net or 703-836-7142.

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