St. Francis of the Woods is a spiritual retreat center and contemplative community with roots in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. We are guided by the traditions of the early Church, and we look to scripture, tradition, and the writings of saints and sages for inspiration. This is a place where people of all beliefs and backgrounds can find spiritual renewal and enrichment. Whether though shared liturgy, meditation, the holy mysteries, art, creativity, or the wonder of the natural world, this is a place of community and connection.
Our small residential community is made up of sincere spiritual seekers dedicated to cultivating peace and united in the healing work of love. We desire to unveil the mystical in the everyday and develop a daily practice that brings us into deep communion with our neighbors, the earth, and our Creator. We are not here to convert anyone. Rather, we hope to offer love and support to one another on our spiritual journeys.
St. Francis of the Woods was inspired by the Russian Orthodox tradition of the Poustinia, a place where travelers and pilgrims are welcomed and given shelter for prayer and inner reflection. It was the desire of our founders, Bishop John and Kay Adair, to offer a safe haven, a sacred space for respite and renewal, to anyone on a spiritual journey.
We offer a number of ways to renew your spirit and offer support for your spiritual journey. Most Sundays we gather in the St. Francis Chapel for Liturgy and Meditation. The liturgy follows an ancient pattern and offers prayers from the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Franciscan, Celtic, Anglican, and Native American traditions. Each week we practice a Lecito Divina meditation on the readings. We follow the Eastern Orthodox Liturgical Calendar for Epistle and Gospel readings with additional readings and poems from mystics of the ancient wisdom traditions. On Fridays, a service of Unction, or anointing with oil for healing, is offered in the Oakerhater Chapel. On the first Sunday of each month we meet in the St. Francis Chapel for the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chyrsostom, an ancient eucharistic service compiled around 400 CE.
On Mondays we are invited to spend time in silence. That may mean taking a break from your cell phone or social media or actual silence as a spiritual practice. Wednesday through Friday we come together for morning prayer and meditation. We fast as a community on Fridays. Our schedule is evolving and can change with the seasons, so follow us on social media or check our events calendar for any special services or changes in our weekly pattern.
10:30 - Liturgy of Preparation
10:45 - Divine Liturgy
12:30 - potluck
10:45 - Liturgy & Meditation
12:00 - potluck