Core Community Values and Practices

Preamble

As Jesus was revitalized for being about his Father’s business by periodic withdrawal to retreat and prayer, so The Hermitage seeks in its mission:
·     To be a prayer community, available as a place of spiritual formation where scripture, silence, nature, group experiences, and personal companioning are cultivated elements of retreat.
·     To provide a guesthouse away from daily tasks where pastors and other pilgrims can deepen their call and relationship with God, be refreshed in their whole person and be revitalized by the presence and promise of Christ.
(from The Hermitage Rule)

To this end, we have identified ten CORE COMMUNITY VALUES AND PRACTICES that govern our work.

The Hermitage:

  1. Seeks to be a place and a way of prayer; the location and the practice of silence and solitude form our identity
  2. Orients toward experiential awareness of God’s presence within and around each retreatant
  3. Extends hospitality, receiving all who come as if they were Jesus Christ, by providing a quiet, calm and nurturing environment; silence, space for rest and simple, nutritious meals are the hallmarks of our service
  4. Is a community; just as we do not provide for ourselves in the physical realm but rely on others to share the burden of making shelter, clothing, and growing food, so we do not come to understand or experience God alone. We need each other to challenge, encourage, and enlarge our understanding of the ineffable Mystery
  5. Finds the basis of understanding this Mystery in the Word of God; provides further encouragement for learning by maintaining a significant library to enhance this understanding
  6. Works for reconciliation between God and persons and reconciliation between persons by assuming that inner transformation will result in the pursuit of holiness, involvement in social justice and efforts of peacemaking
  7. Receives what is offered in exchange for services provided; believing that God provides what we need, we accept what is provided as sufficient to meet that need. We define our needs by noticing the abundance of provision.
  8. Takes seriously God’s invitation to steward the earth.
  9. Supports the work of God in the world by encouraging the Body of Christ. Pastors and church members are rested or renewed for more effective service in their local congregations
  10. Provides the service of Spiritual Direction to guests.