Hermitages

This section of our website is a blog that recorded the development of the hermitage shelters.

There are now five individual shelters completed, thanks to the generous financial donations and volunteer labour. They have been welcoming retreatants since January 2015

Following the Development of the Hermitages:

The Hermitage will have individual sleeping shelters, or hermitages, that offer a greater opportunity for solitude than a lodge.

Each sleeping shelter site will be nestled in nature. Careful placement and natural forest barriers allow each hermitage to be in close proximity to others while maintaining a feeling of privacy and solitude. In keeping with our principle of radical simplicity and soul hospitality, the shelters are intended to be both simple and welcoming.

Hermitage Design

Each shelter is designed to be 107 sq ft with a covered porch. Each will have a single bed, a writing table, comfortable chair, and tiny wood stove for heating. None will have indoor plumbing or electricity and retreatants will use the Main House for these amenities.

The links below are attached to drawings showing different aspects of the intended sleeping shelters:

Sleeping Shelter_Outdoor View

Sleeping Shelter_Indoor Bird’s Eye View

Sleeping Shelter_Inside Front and Back Views

Sleeping Shelter_Inside Side Views

The Hermitage plans originally intended to have nine sleeping shelters but after using the site with the first three, we have decided to build only two more at this time.  We are currently seeking funds to build these hermitages. The first three were built during the summer of 2014 thanks to Thomas Dickau and his teams of volunteers. The next two are being built in the summer of 2015.

August 9th, 10th: Building the Foundations

Each sleeping shelter rests upon a wooden platform anchored to cement foundation blocks. The first team prepared each shelter site, set the cement blocks in position and built the wooden platforms

A Liturgy for the Building of the Foundations

One: As we come together to prepare the shelters for those who come here looking for rest, respite, and connection with the Holy, we pray for them, that they may feel the embrace of your love as they are embraced by these shelters and this place, a living sanctuary.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

One: As we clear the spaces for these shelters, we pray for those who come here to find spaciousness within themselves. We pray that they may clear the clutter within so that the soil of their hearts is ready to make room for you.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

One: As we orient the shelters, we pray for those who come here to find the direction they need to orient their lives back to the Centre which sometimes gets lost or confused in the busyness and distractions of the many demands in our daily lives.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

One: As we lay the concrete cornerstones, build the foundation, and lay the floor, we pray for all who come here, that they may find you deep within, the true cornerstone and foundation, to support their journey into healing and spiritual renewal.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

Thanks to the group from Kinbrace that built the foundations in one weekend!

August 16th, 17th: Putting up the Walls and Roof

Each shelter was built with SIPs (structural insulated panels). These are fully formed wall pieces that are filled with foam insulation. It is a bit like building with lego…very heavy lego.

A Liturgy for the Raising of the Walls and Roof

Begin with Community Reading: Psalm 27

One: As we come together to raise walls assembled by others upon foundations that were prepared by builders who went before us, we pray for those who will come after us, to build and to rest. May they know that they are not alone. May they experience the shelter of being held by a larger community of those who have gone before and those who will come after.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

One: As we raise these shelters we pray for those who will take shelter in them. May they know the comfort, security, and healing that comes from knowing oneself sheltered in your love. May this sheltering space point to the sheltering space within and the sheltering arms of God that surround them.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

One: As we install the windows we pray for those who will be blessed by them. As they sit in rays of sun or moon streaming through them we pray that they may know the rays of your love shining on them. As they listen to the rain, we pray that they may they experience the rain of your love falling over them. Or as they see through the clear glass to the beauty of your creation, or with eyes turned inward, we pray that this may be a thin space between the temporary and the eternal.

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O Lord.

Thanks to the men’s home group from Grandview Calvary Baptist Church gathered together this weekend to carry all the SIPs to the sites and begin raising the walls and roof.

August 18th, 19th: Finishing the Walls and Roof

A few teachers and a friend visiting from Vancouver Island came by after the shelter raising weekend to put the roof on the second shelter and raise the walls and roof of the third. Thanks guys! I didn’t get pictures of all those who came by through the week to help finish up, but here’s a couple pictures of the raising of that last shelter.

August 23rd, 24th: Sidings, Windows, and the Roofing 

Begin with Community Reading: Isaiah 25

One: O  LORD, as we come together to build these shelters, fulfilling plans for this place formed long ago, we pray for those who will come here longing for the fulfillment of the plans for them that you have formed long ago. We pray that they may know the joy of joining with you to live into the faithful and sure plans you have for them. We join with those who have gone behind and those who go before us, praising your name for the wonderful things you have done and the wonderful things you will do. And as we prepare for this day of work, we take time to enter, as they will, into the prayerful silence that is here. (take a minute of silence)

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O LORD.

One: As we wrap each shelter with cedar siding, we pray for those you come here, that they would be wrapped in your protective love. May these shelters which we are building be a place of refuge for the needy, the poor, and all those in distress. (take a minute of silence)

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O LORD.

One: As we cover the shelter with roofing to shield these shelters from the elements, we pray for those who will come here longing to be shielded from the elements that beat against them in their daily lives. We pray that as they find refuge under this roof they may they find refuge under the shelter of your wings. (Ps. 61:4) (take a minute of silence)

All: May the work of our hands and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to you, O LORD.

One: May your hand rest on this place, O LORD.

All: Amen

The walls and roofs were up and ready when the next team arrived to put on the siding, the roofing, and install the windows.

Labour Day Weekend: Painting Interior Walls 

Members of the visioning committee were lead by Matt and Steve to paint the interior walls of the shelters with a special homemade material brainstormed by Matt and Thomas that gives a “monastic cell” look and texture to the shelters.

September 13th, 14th: Wood-Paneled Ceiling and Completing the Roofing

 

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