An Advent Retreat with Thomas Merton
In the season of Advent, we await the coming of the Christ child, who is Immanuel, God with us. This waiting time of Advent is a time of longing, a time to connect more deeply with our desire for God and God’s desire for us. Thomas Merton, a Cistercian monk and one of the great mystics and contemplatives of the 20th century, is a fruitful companion for those who feel this longing. Merton’s writings about such topics as finding the true self, developing contemplative prayer practices in an active world, and discerning the presence of God in everyday life continue to inspire and guide those seeking to know and love God more fully.
This retreat will be held at Holy Cross Abbey, a Cistercian monastery in Berryville, Virginia, a fitting place to spend some time with Merton’s wisdom. The retreat will include times for rest, contemplation, silence, and fellowship. If you are desiring a closer relationship with God this Advent season, please join us!
The retreat will be led by the Rev. Dr. Ruthanna Hooke, Priest Associate of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill and Professor of Preaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. She is the author of Transforming Preaching, and she is currently working on Real Presence: Preaching as Embodied Event. We are pleased that a priest who is so familiar with Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill and her parishioners will be guiding us through the retreat.
Our retreat will begin Friday afternoon, December 8, shortly before the evening meal and will end after the noon meal on Sunday, December 10. The retreat will be at Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, Virginia, which is an hour and fifteen-minute drive from our church on a one thousand acre farm by the Shenandoah River at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For more information on the monastery, see their website https://www.virginiatrappists.org/about/.
The $350.00 registration fee includes all materials, comfortable accommodations, individual rooms each with a bathroom, and all meals. Following Holy Cross Abbey policy, we may not be able to accommodate retreat reservations received after November 10.
Two scholarships given in memory of Charles Willis are available; please contact the rector for scholarship assistance. If you receive a scholarship, please complete a registration form and indicate that you have a scholarship.
Registration is limited to 15 persons; please reserve your space using the form in the bulletin or on the ICOH website, https://www.immanuel-on-the-hill.org/. If you have questions about retreat logistics, please contact Mary Ann Rehnke, mfrb2695@gmail. com or 703-989-2159. Participants needing a ride to the Abbey or those wishing to volunteer to provide a ride may contact the retreat carpooling coordinator, Katherine Maas, firstname.lastname@example.org or (571) 216-5690.