The Dayspring Silent Retreat Center is a sanctuary for silence in the midst of the wonder of oaks and poplars, hawks and bluebirds, dragonflies and foxes, milkweed and fern. It offers a beautiful place for resting in God and living from a quiet center. It also invites us to greater faithfulness in our covenant with Earth and its creatures, to receive and treasure the presence of the Holy in the intricate designs and delights of creation.
Jesus said to his followers that when they prayed, they should seek solitude and silence and pray to God in secret. When we can touch our true yearnings, we discover that our deepest longing is to trust God and to dwell in God’s presence. This is why Dayspring’s silent retreat ministry exists. We recognize this persistent need and longing to be with God in the silence, and we offer that possibility to others.
In a time when silence is itself endangered, the need for a place of quiet and solitude has never been greater. That which is essential for our life as Christians – our attentiveness to God’s presence, love, and mercy – is often blocked. Silence has a powerful prophetic role in challenging our frantic pace. The powers and principalities in our culture seem to stifle even the desire for silence – through promoting constant activity; through pouring out a flood of words and images; through tempting us to endless consumption and diversions; through deepening our fears of inner poverty and meaninglessness; through stoking the dread of violence and terror; through creating an environment so polluted by noise that silence is effectively banished. Dayspring Silent Retreat offers a way to living more deeply into our relationship with God in these times when it is increasingly hard to do so.
Silence is the language of God according to 14th century Christian theologian Meister Eckhart. In the place which is beyond words, beyond images, beyond feelings, that which is deepest and truest in us can be acknowledged, nurtured, healed and challenged by the Holy One who speaks in the language of silence.
Providing sacred space for retreat at Dayspring was one of the earliest ministries in the life of The Church of the Saviour. In 1961 a retreat mission group was formed out of a growing awareness of the necessity for deepening the life of prayer. Increasing emphasis began to be placed on the importance of silence as understanding of the richness of retreat grew. The mission was re-formed in 1976 as a mission of Dayspring Church. In this new form as the Dayspring Silent Retreat mission group, silence was acknowledged as the necessary condition for developing deeper awareness of the reality and presence of God. Gordon Cosby, founder of The Church of the Saviour, has said that “The one journey that ultimately matters is the journey into the place of stillness deep within one’s self. To reach that place is to be home; to fail to reach it is to be forever restless.”
Today we celebrate the Spirit’s movement through the decades of silent retreat ministry in the beauty of this place, and we invite others to participate with us.
The format of the weekend retreats is simple; the leader offers brief meditations with morning and evening prayers. The opening and closing meals are time for conversation. Friday night to mid-morning Sunday is for silence and solitude. Retreatants have their own rooms. Individuals also may come for silent self-guided retreats, for the day or overnight.
For more information, visit Dayspring Silent Retreat Center.