The St. Francis of the Woods community has been keeping an eye on numbers and after the recent spike in Oklahoma and a new daily record nation wide, we have made the decision to close services once again. We will remain open to individual and family retreats for less than 10 people who have been practicing social distancing together. The trail will remain open but we will be locking up the common buildings, so no public facilities will be available. We will continue, as a residential community, to hold prayer and mediation times and invite you to join us live on on Zoom and Instagram. The link to join us is available here. These services and our virtual community are a beautiful way to stay grounded and find some peace during this global health crisis. If you feel too cooped up, please come walk our trail. Spend some time in nature. Spend some time in silence. If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to call us. Another way to join us in virtual community is by participating in our upcoming Zoom book discussion on Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad. If you'd like more information please email us.
This was a difficult decision as we rely heavily on retreat income and donations to sustain operations. We are sad to limit our ministry at this time, but this is a public health emergency and we must all do our part to protect our neighbors and the most vulnerable in our society. If you have been blessed with the resources and would like to support us financially during this crisis, please consider donating.We are a not-for-profit organization and your donation is tax-deductible.
I want to personally ask all of our followers and extended community to please, wear a mask anytime you go out in public, and wash your hands often. This is a matter of loving our neighbor. In the midst of a pandemic it is more important than ever that we be a light to the world. We must show that we care more for the safety of others than our own slight discomfort at wearing a mask. At St. Francis of the Woods, we accept the scientific process and the science regarding COVID-19. This pandemic is not a joke. It is real and it is deadly. More people die every two days in America from COVID-19 than died in 9/11. We have lost over 126,000 people in the US to this pandemic. Worldwide deaths are expected to exceed 500,000 today. As an American, I’m incredibly disheartened by the politicization of this global health crisis by those in places of leadership and authority. I’m even more disheartened by the attempt by those at the very top to use this health crisis as a means to stir up hate against Asian Americans. As a Christian, I believe that we are called to love every single human being as a child of God created in the image and likeness of God. We are called to care for strangers the same as we would our closest family. We are in this together and we will get through this together. Love your neighbor as yourself, and please, wear a mask. If St. Francis of the Woods has been a special place for you, if you consider yourself a part of this community and yet are distant from us, know that we love you and hope to see you in person again soon.
In the Love that unites us all,
Director, Bishop of the Prairie
St. Francis of the Woods