Saturday, August 17, 2013

Opportunities for Spiritual Retreats

Honestly, I'm a terrible one for getting rest.  I'm so busy because I have so much to do and it HAS to be done, and I can't wait and I can't stop because there's always something else to do.  I bet you understand that.

But if you think about it, the one who had the most to do was Jesus.  He knew he had about three years to do all his work.  He was in a hurry, and he knew it.  But he still took time to rest, and after a year he took his disciples away from the ministry so they could rest as well.  What a cool boss.  But even more than that, it shows how important Jesus considered rest.  The guy with the most important mission in the world-- EVER-- took times of retreat, times where he could get alone with God and not do ministry.

Well, if it was so important to Jesus, it must be just as important to us.

I've tried to take time to rest.  Honestly, most structured retreats don't do much for me because they have me spending so much time with other people, and as an introvert the last thing I need is to be with people.  God, yes, more chatter, no.  So where can we go to get a retreat?  If you are in the Portland, OR area, here are a couple options:

1. Sanctuary Prayer House
In the urban area of Portland/Gresham, there is a local place to have a short prayer retreat from one to three days.  It is a quiet house, with a full kitchen, a bedroom, and a dedicated prayer room.  There is a small spiritual library for use in the house.  It is pretty bare, frankly.  It is meant for prayer and it is used exclusively for that.  If you would like to have a short prayer retreat, you can reserve this house for up to three nights.

It is located on the Sanctuary property, run by the Pacific Northwest Mennonites, at 195th and NE Glisan.  If you'd like to reserve a time, call Steve at 503-888-4453.

2. The Grotto
If you are looking for a place to pray and be at peace for just a morning or an afternoon, without a reservation, the best local place to do this I know is the top of the Grotto.  You have to pay a few dollars to get a coin for the elevator, listen to the recording on the way up, but once you step out, the gardens and art and centers are restful, guiding one to the peace of God.  There are 62 acres of both indoor and outdoor places to pray or to just be silent.  Although it is internationally known, the upper level is never crowded and always ready to spend time with God.

It is located at 8840 NE Skidmore St  Portland, OR 97220.  The upper level is open from 10am to 5pm daily.

2. Lafayette Trappist Monastery
Lafayette is a small town outside of Newburg, but it contains one of the spiritual secrets of Oregon: a guest house for spiritual retreats.  The monastery, like most Trappist abbies, have worship five times a day, chanting the Psalms and honoring the Lord.  They also have guest rooms, which can be reserved for spiritual retreats from one to five days.  With the room comes meals and use of the compound.  There is a spiritual library, silent rooms, a gorgeous pond, spiritual art and hiking trails.  (Bring the map the provide for the trails, though-- you don't want to get lost like I did.)

There is a fifty dollar deposit to reserve a room, and the balance of your stay is a recommended donation of fifty dollars more for each subsequent night.  There is no wi-fi, and no real cell phone coverage.  Just ample opportunities for worship and silence before God.

Call for a reservation: 503-852-0107.  The address is: 9200 NE Abbey Rd  Carlton, OR 97111