December 2020 Newsletter
#Advent2020 #RetreatLife and Our Confirmed Charism
In this year of Covid19, a divisive election, and many other stresses, it seems that the whole world needs a good Advent. One priest has said that only three things are required for Advent: Rest, Prayer, and Silence. The church, her saints, and the Lord, Himself, show us that we humans need time for rest, prayer, and silence. God even gives us a whole day once a week to intentionally seek these--in fact, He commands it. We see this plea for rest from all sources, even those outside of the church. Some are calling it part of responsible self-care.
Advent is a great time to follow this advice. It is a season to slow down--not add to our normal activities-and simply rest.
At Heart Ridge, we've labeled this good of taking time to rest as #RetreatLife. It is our hope that when people come to visit or stay at Heart Ridge, they will experience #RetreatLife. Rest takes on many forms. It could literally be a nap, but it could also be sitting on a bench reading. What about fishing? or kayaking? Sure. But also knitting, painting, writing, studying, meditating, praying, conversing, or playing cards with your kids. We want Heart Ridge to be a place where people can come and experience rest in ways such as these. And when your time at Heart Ridge is over, we want the good of #RetreatLife to stay with you. We hope you'll discover ways to put more rest into your days and your weekly Sabbath back home.
We have a lengthy mission statement that mentions bringing beauty, truth, and love to people, and these certainly can be a part of resting, but at the heart of all of these (Is that a pun?) is our desire for hearts to rest in Christ. "Come unto me all who are weary and heavy-laden," Jesus beckons, "and I will give you to rest." The Holy Spirit seems to be nudging us toward the conviction that providing rest truly is our mission at Heart Ridge.
Staying true to this mission will direct our future plans for the retreat center. For example, we probably won't be putting in a waterpark in the back field, instead we may get sheep and donkeys. Look for more benches and trails coming soon; also in the future an extensive library and art gallery. Our hope is that Heart Ridge is place where you can come to find your rest for your soul and body.
We still desire a powerful summer program for families, and we think we can do it without having to offer four wheeling or parasailing on our property. We think that with what we have available and with what's nearby, we can make it an awesome, fun time for all, and send parents home well-rested and at peace.
So yes, live #RetreatLife #Advent2020 and may you and your family have a Blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas!
A Reminder of Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration
Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of our retreat center patrons, so we wanted to have a celebration in her honor on her feast day. With recent Covid19 cases rising, we understand that folks might want to celebrate from their own homes. For anyone who wants to come to the retreat center on her feast day, we will be having all the festivities outside, asking everyone to stay 6 feet away from all non-family members, and most importantly, asking everyone to wear masks while at Heart Ridge that day. It will be a little chilly, so the masks might be welcomed! We will have a bonfire, some live music, a short presentation by Spencer Williams, and Tacos and Cookies and Coffee for $1 each. To cut down on trash, we ask everyone to BYOWB. (Bring Your Own Water Bottle.) We will have water filling stations. If you could RSVP on the Facebook Event page, that would be helpful. https://www.facebook.com/events/200639971644243/
Gifts and More Gifts: The Bishop Delivers
We've been busy collecting beds and furniture from Facebook Marketplace so that we can furnish our new building when it is ready in a few months (see the last article). Instead of buying new, cheaply made furniture, we decided to purchase quality, sturdy used furniture in warm wood tones. We love what we've been able to find so far. Some are little mismatched and even scratched, but we are loving the eclectic look! Plus, we feel like we are being better stewards of our property--these beds will be put to good use instead of going into a landfill. We've been blessed to receive a recent large donation of furniture from our new friends, Lisa and Tom. (Thank you!) If you are getting rid of a bed, dresser, or nightstand, please send us an email. We will even come and get it.
But beds aren't all we need! Having our first retreat in October, helped us realize just how many items are needed to be able to say Mass in our chapel. We'd been looking on eBay, but the prices for these items were too high. A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to sit down and talk with Bishop Guglielmone about the retreat center. We shared our vision and asked for his support. He couldn't have been more receptive and supportive. We mentioned our need for Mass and church items. Two days later, we got a phone call from Fr. Bruce Barnet who was newly assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Gaffney and was cleaning out the extra items that the parish had collected over the years. He invited us to come and take what we could use. Needless to say, we felt truly blessed by Father and the parishes generosity to be able to have these beautiful and much needed items.
The Bishop is also planning to come in person to visit the retreat center sometime in the near future.
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