Core Community Values and Practices


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 people and reconciliation between people, especially those who are marginalized. We recognize and trust 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.

Morning prayer liturgy

Leader                 O God, come to my assistance,

All                   Make haste to help me.

Leader             O God, open my lips,

All                   And my mouth shall declare your praise.

                        Glory to God, Source of all being,

                        Incarnate Word, and Holy Spirit,

                        As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

                        Alleluia. (Omit during Lent.)



Reader             This is God’s Word.
All                   And it can be trusted.

PSALM PRAYER (as directed)


Reader            The Good News from God.
All                   Praise to you, Holy One, Jesus Christ.


Zechariah Chant

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH (Luke 1:68-79, alt.) 

Blest are you Holy One, the God of Israel,

You have come to your people and set them free.

You have raised up for us a mighty Savior,

Born of the house of your servant David.

Through your holy prophets, you promised

of old to save us from our enemies,

From the hands of all who hate us, 

To show mercy to our forebearers, 

And to remember your holy covenant.

This was the oath you swore to our         

ancestors, Abraham and Sarah:

To set us free from the hands of our enemies, 

Free to worship you without fear, 

Holy and righteous before you all the days of our life.

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

For you will go before the Annointed One to prepare the way,

To give God’s people knowledge of salvation 

By the forgiveness of sins.

In the tender compassion of our God 

The dawn from on high shall break upon us, 

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

And to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to God, Source of all being, Incarnate Word, and Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning,

Is now, and will be forever. Amen.


All                   Our Father in Heaven

May your Name be hallowed;

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us the wrong we have done,

As we have forgiven those who have wronged us,

And do not put us to the test,

but save us from the evil one.



Leader                 We hold each other and those coming today in God’s presence. 

                   As we each give our name, we will repeat your name and say;

All                   You are the bearer of God’s infinite life.

Leader             May God bless us and keep us,

May God’s face shine upon us and be gracious to us, 

May our God, look upon us with favor and give us peace, 

All                   Amen.