The last three months have been indescribably odd and void of so many things that have typically given us life. It’s so quiet around here. No guests showing up on our doorstep. No retreatants gathered around our table, engaging in rich and satisfying conversation. No cohorts of students from our spiritual direction training filling the great room with laughter and engaging banter. As I said, it’s so quiet around here.
Truthfully, we are grieving. While nothing currently threatens our livelihood or well-being, we feel deprived of the life that once filled these rooms and hallways of the Abbey with such meaning and joy. We’ve noticed what a loss it is to not be able to offer hospitality to the spiritual seeker. We’ve noticed the energy drain from not having face-to-face, life-giving conversations with our directees and others with whom we typically engage. We’ve noticed the subdued, confined, monotony of our days.
While I’m tempted right now to say, “Hey, don’t worry about us—we really are okay!” I’m choosing to stop myself—even though we really are okay. Why? Because I want to resist the temptation to be intolerant to feeling loss and grief. Our unfortunate human propensity is to move quickly to put a bow on life, add some sappy spiritual quip, and carry on! David and I believe that feeling the grief of our world and the fragility of our existence is a good thing, a humbling thing. And who of us doesn’t need humbling?
We want you to know how much we miss you. For those who are regulars at Fall Creek Abbey, for those who’ve come once and hope to come again, for those who’ve come from far away and others who come from down the street, we want you to know that we ache for the day that you can return and find us at the door, able to hug you (if you want to be hugged!), welcoming you to this still point in our city.
So we’re embracing this time with hope that deep and good shifts are happening inside us as we consent to be shaped by God through the strain of this pandemic. And if you’re wondering when we will re-open—the answer is today! On a limited basis! We are open to hosting guests for half-day or full day retreats, on a limited basis. However, we will not host outside groups or teams through the end of August. At that point, we will re-evaluate. If you’d like to schedule a retreat, fill out this contact form and we’ll get back with you ASAP.
May I tell you a story?
Since it’s our eighth anniversary, will you indulge me a bit? May I tell you a story? Our story. A story I still love telling. It’s about how this all came to be.
Eight years ago on June 1, 2012, we embarked on an adventure with no certainty of where it would take us! We moved from our family home of 17 years located in Fishers, Indiana to a 110-year-old, three-story home near downtown Indianapolis. We took out the biggest mortgage we’ve ever had, moved into the largest home we’ve ever lived in, all to start something new!
Our vision was to create a welcoming, dedicated space for individuals to come away for personal retreats and for small teams to gather and accomplish good work together. From the get-go, we began offering a training program for individuals interested in becoming spiritual directors. And simultaneously, we started meeting with a growing number of individuals for spiritual direction.
Over our eight years, we’ve hosted approximately 9,000 guests, completed 14 year-long spiritual direction training cohorts, accompanied more than 60 individuals in spiritual direction each month, facilitated dozens of retreats, while still managing to take lots of bike rides, celebrate our 40th anniversary in Ireland, host numerous family celebrations throughout the years, and write a book together! Whew!
David puts it best when he says that it seems as though we’re experiencing the full flowering of our lives! Indeed, it seems that way. Thank you all for being part of it. Part of this adventure and part of the Fall Creek Abbey fan club. Thank you from the deepest places in our hearts!
With love and affection, Beth and David Booram P.S. If you’d like to take a look at our new, fun project, here’s a link to the Examen Q’s—a set of 35 cards with provocative questions that you can use personally, in spiritual direction, mentoring, or discipling, or around the dinner table. Examen Q’s are just $18 plus shipping!