What To Expect
Each retreat is designed to unfold and deepen over the days from Sunday afternoon arrival to Friday noon closing. Our Sunday evening gathering simply introduces the staff and presenter and offers participants a chance to connect with one another. The evening closes with a guided meditation to enter the silence that we hold each evening from closing through breakfast.
Participants may choose to open their days with a time of movement and meditative prayer led by staff, followed by breakfast. We gather for the morning’s plenary session, breaking our silence with singing and chanting, led by our musician Luba Kravchenko. Our presenter speaks on an aspect of our theme for up to an hour and a half, and after a break, we integrate what we have heard through a variety of activities led by staff, such as discussion, interaction, individual or communal art, or time in nature,
Every afternoon offers several hours of free time after lunch, and participants typically choose among rest, conversation, silence, reading, walking the labyrinth, hiking, or playing with the materials in our art room, which is open 24/7.
We gather for worship daily, and each service includes singing, preaching by one of our extended staff, communal prayer, and Eucharist. The Wednesday worship always includes a time where participants may ask for healing prayer. The retreat closes with a final worship service Friday morning where the presenter preaches.
We also place participants in small groups that meet daily with a staff leader, and that time is shaped around the practice of lectio divina, spiritual reading. These groups are especially valuable in supporting each person’s journey through retreat, giving a forum for being heard in nonjudgmental silence. That so many participants choose to return to future retreats speaks to the place that the Companions community holds in their faith development.
Curious about what happens at a Companions retreat? Blogger Adam Walker Cleaveland attended our August 2016 retreat at Lake Tahoe and posted these insightful and entertaining daily reflections.
We also seek to incorporate movement, music and art into your Companions experience through optional activities such as body prayer, t’ai chi, workshops and focus groups.