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November 5, 2020
I hope this letter finds you well. This has been a year of unimaginable challenges and loss. Like everyone, we have been profoundly affected by the pandemic. Since Dayspring was established by the Church of the Saviour in 1953, it has been a place for retreat – for prayer, reflection, spiritual community and sacred silence. In its 67 years, this is the first year that the retreat ministry has been interrupted. Retreat at Dayspring is supported by a small staff, a dedicated Retreat Mission Group, a community of leaders and retreat assistants, a praying community of unknown size, and, most essentially, all who come on retreat. I think I speak for all of us in saying how sad it has been not to be able to open our doors to groups since early March – a time when in some ways we need retreat more than ever.
In the biblical stories – and stories of all wisdom traditions – seekers withdraw into the wilderness again and again for prayer in solitude. I think of Dayspring as a wilderness in this hallowed sense. “Dayspring is a place,” Elizabeth O’Connor said, “where each person’s aloneness with God is respected and protected,” in the container of spiritual community. On retreat, our spiritual life is nurtured in the Great Silence. Our relationship with God is deepened in the mysterious depths beyond words. We rest in divine love and are nourished and strengthened to love – to love ourselves, one another, and the world. We long to welcome you back and resume the silent retreat ministry.
These are uncertain times, though. We don’t know when it will be safe to host groups again for day and weekend retreats. For this reason, we are not yet scheduling retreats for 2021. We will let you know as soon as we begin to do so. Thus far we have been sustained by your generous support, as well as some government assistance. But we still need your support to keep us going until we can reopen safely. So much has flowed by grace through retreat over the years – healing, deepening faith, new call – far too much for words. We welcome your gifts to sustain us until we can open our doors again and welcome you back.
Nat Reid, Director