Diocesan Advent Retreat is December 7-9

Please join us for the Advent Silent Retreat, December 7 – 9, 2012, at the Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Road in Burlington. The retreat leader will be Michael Hechmer, the chaplain will be the Rev. Sherry Osborn, and the title of the retreat is, “Spiraling Toward Wholeness: A Roadmap for the Spiritual Journey.”

During this retreat we will not just look at strengthening our Advent practices, but take a broad look at the entire year ahead. While the metaphor of life as a spiritual journey is common place, too often we allow ourselves to fall into a reactive mode without clear vision of where we are trying to go. The beginning of a new year is a good time to remember where we are going and what the road ahead may look like.

The church or liturgical calendar is driven by an underlying vision of our spiritual journey. The great mystical teachers of our tradition, like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, as well as all the great spiritual traditions, all point toward the same spiritual patterns and work that must be revisited and re-experienced throughout our spiritual journey. This weekend we will look at how we can prepare the ground for spiritual transformation and how we can affirm it when it happens.

After earlier careers in teaching English and Math at the high school and college levels, Michael worked in finance and business management for IBM. He began his spiritual ministry by leading intensive, experiential three day workshops on non-violence training at Washington Correctional Facility in New York. This led him back to school where he earned an MA and a CAS in Pastoral Ministry and Theology. He did clinical training in chaplaincy at Fletcher Allen Hospital and then worked there as an interfaith chaplain for thirteen years. Before retiring from Fletcher Allen he completed a study program of The Art of Spiritual Guidance with the Silver Dove Institute and now offers interfaith spiritual companionship and guidance. He teaches meditation at Northwest Correctional Facility in St. Albans. He lives in Westford, VT with his wife of 45 years. They have two children and one and a half grand children.

Michael’s religious journey started in the Catholic Church but moved outward to explore a wide variety of spiritual traditions before committing himself to living inside the Abrahamic and Christian tradition. He has done extensive personal work in forgiveness and grief, and has a long standing meditation practice. He has had the same spiritual director and the same ministerial supervisory group for the past twelve years and has been a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Essex Junction since 2000.

To reserve a room send a $50.00 non-refundable check made out to BBCC to John King, 433 Bean Road, Colchester, VT 05446. The cost of the retreat if registered before November 20 is $165 for a shared room; $190 for a private room (if available), and $115 for days only. After November 20 the cost will be $175 for a shared room, $200 for a private room (if available), and $125 for days only. If you have questions or special physical and/or dietary needs, please contact John at the above address or by phone at 802-862-6834.

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