Underlying Principles in Rivendell’s Usage
The Board of Directors of the Rivendell Society has endorsed the principles and policies which inform the manner of Rivendell’s retreat life.
The Rivendell Community, appointed by the society’s Board of Directors to steward its life, is a Christian community, rooted in the gospel values of prayer, silence, simplicity and hospitality.
In their role as hosts they endeavour to provide a sacred place for individuals and groups who seek spiritual renewal, and who wish to deepen their spiritual lives.
The principles and policies that reflect this intention are as follows:
• A peaceful ambiance is encouraged at all times, and there are quiet hours throughout the building from 10 pm to 7 am. No programming is permitted in this time period.
• Social life is restricted to the main floor, the upstairs kitchen and dining room and the small sitting room on the third floor.
• Rivendell’s rhythm of worship incorporates two sacred times a day, one at 8am in the morning and the other at 5pm (the sacred hour).
• The 8am centering prayer time of 20 minutes is an optional time for those who would like to join with community members in the sanctuary or the prayer room.
• At 5pm, an atmosphere of quiet is expect both throughout the building and over the hilltop for this sacred hour. We ask that groups provide opportunity for any individuals from their groups to attend the community planned sacred time at 5pm each day should they so desire. Rivendell Community members are happy to work with group leadership in helping to create these sacred events. No other programmed events are to occur at this time.
• Rivendell gives priority in all its space bookings to a balance between group and personal residential retreatants, with a maximum of 15 of the 19 sleeping places offered to group retreatants. The intended activities of groups need to be respectful of individuals on retreat, and vice versa.
• The recommended minimum retreat stay at Rivendell is two nights. Exceptions to this are made from time to time. Retreats of three or more night duration are ideal.
• We encourage groups to have some significant time of quiet reflection incorporated into the programme for their members so they can take advantage of the quiet atmosphere of Rivendell. Times for teaching, training, visioning and meeting are permitted, but groups are encouraged to minimize these in favour of opportunities for quiet.
• Spiritual direction may be a part of any retreat group’s activities. The Rivendell Community offers "spiritual accompanying" to personal retreatants who need a listening ear or seek assistance with their retreat experience and can sometime provide the same service to members of a group retreat if they so wish.
• In welcoming retreatants to Rivendell as hosts from many Christian traditions, we are open to people of all spiritual paths, but we ask that everyone who comes respects the rhythms of Rivendell in which Jesus is honoured and God’s presence is assumed.
• Cleaning before leaving is an essential & sacred part of respecting the space. We ask groups to allow enough time and intent for this part of their program.
• We continue to give preferential option to disadvantaged and not-for-profit groups. In this vein our principle of accessibility invites each retreatant, whether on group or personal retreat, to pay as generously as they can within their means for their stay. We are able to offer Revenue Canada charitable receipts for amounts contributed over $75 per person per day. For groups we encourage a principle of fairness with overall accommodation payment at least matching food costs.
• We ask that retreatants limit the use of all phones and computers on line while with us.
• In order to live by the ideal space arrangements we have, we prefer all participants and leaders to be in residence.
• Rivendell retreat encourages single occupancy as the ideal retreat experience.
• Retreats at Rivendell may normally begin by 3pm on the first day and finish by noonday on the final morning.
• All groups desiring to have group retreats are expected to send the community a letter of intent indicating both their understanding & acceptance of these principles, along with the intended purposes of their retreat. Also, well before their arrival, the group should send a copy of the group’s retreat programme along with the names of their participants.
• With few exceptions, groups may only book one retreat at a time.
• Alcoholic beverages should only be used sparingly and in the context of evening meals, with prior arrangements made with the Rivendell Community.