Followers of The Hermitage Way form a dispersed community of persons who commit to ten life practices which are derived from the Core Community Values and Practices that govern the work of The Hermitage and currently function as the spiritual foundation of our community.
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The Hermitage Way
Those who choose to keep the Way commit to the following ten practices.
- Engage in a daily prayer practice. This practice will include silence, meditation on scripture, intercession and affirmation. Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer liturgies from The Hermitage or other sources may be used.
- Keep a personal Rule of Life, adopted with the help of the spiritual guide (see #10), oriented toward awareness of God in all daily activities and within all persons.
- Pursue simple living: a lifestyle that includes an effort to live with only what is needed and sharing what one has with others as an act of generosity or hospitality. Consider supporting the residential community of The Hermitage with financial gifts.
- Connect with The Hermitage, by regular visits to retreat in silence and solitude (at least annually), to support the residential community, to serve, and through daily prayer for the community.
- Study or explore fields of interest in which a contemplative perspective is applied (i.e., Scripture, spiritual writings, physics, psychology, anthropology, religions, nature, agriculture, bread baking, pottery, poetry, etc.)
- Work for reconciliation between persons and with God. The “journey inward” and the “journey outward” are bound together. Inner transformation will result in pursuit of holiness, involvement in social justice and efforts of peacemaking.
- Receive God’s invitation to steward the earth. Pursue sustainable living, giving support to the earth and its creatures even as you take from it.
- Develop creative gifts, pursue leisure wholeheartedly and practice having fun with others.
- Support the Body of Christ. We need each other to challenge, encourage and enlarge our understanding. We encourage Followers of the Way to participate actively in a local worshiping community.
- Meet with a Spiritual Director or Spiritual Friend at least twice annually to assess fidelity to the personal Rule of Life and to discern areas of growth.
The practices are based on:
Core Community Values and Practices – The Hermitage Community, Inc.
- Seeks to be a place and a way of prayer; the location and the practice of silence and solitude form our identity
- Orients toward experiential awareness of God’s presence within and around each retreatant
- 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
- 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
- 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 by study
- 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
- 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.
- Takes seriously God’s invitation to steward the earth.
- 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.
- Provides the service of Spiritual Direction to guests. (The practice of sitting with another who listens with one for the work of the Holy Spirit in one’s life.)