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What is a Retreat
Perhaps you have found yourself thinking,
“If I could only have a moment!  If I could just step back from the clutter and racket,
I could see what matters, who I really am, how to live.”

Stepping back appears to be a basic human need: setting aside for a while all that usually claims our attention, in order to attend to deeper things. When we accept the invitation to rest and receive, we are given sustenance for daily life, often with clearer perspective, more focused intent, and deeper love.

Retreat time is time to rest, without schedule or clock. On retreat, you can rest when you're tired, eat when you're hungry, read, take a long walk or star gaze when you're inclined to. It's when we are rested and paying attention that God can get a word in edgewise; remind us of our belovedness, offer an insight or idea, bring healing and restoration, create a way in our wilderness.

Historically, people have honored the need to step back by making pilgrimages, heading into the wilderness to experience nature's healing, or searching out the ministry of hospitality offered by religious communities in hermitages, monastaries, and convents. Bethabara offers this same ancient ministry of hospitality, but in a contemporary setting, providing a place set apart for all who long for 'a moment.' Bethabara is an unpretentious retreat cottage and country home - made lovely by the gifts of nature, made sacred by the work and prayer of many people. At Bethabara, you can have protected time and place to attend to what is most essential - communion with God.



Why make time for retreat?

People make time for retreat for many reasons; to reflect on their lives and direction, to sort out decisions or changes that need to be made, to celebrate or grieve life passages. On retreat, time is set aside time for things they love to do - painting or making music, hiking or writing, anything that helps them attend to their relationship with God. Many people schedule retreats periodically, knowing that sabbath time sustains them in their commitments to families, professions, or work for the common good. 

Whatever the impetus for retreat, nearly all discover a gift. In the quiet and simplicity, the soul’s fist, normally clenched with the effort to keep a grip on life, can uncurl.  Into that hand, God pours sustaining love. On retreat, even those who are nervous about time alone without a planned activity find that simple acts, when they are attended to, disclose God nearby: listening to the birds, tending the fire, savoring wonderful food, following the moon across the night sky.