Silent Retreat Days

When: Second Saturday of each month (with occasional date changes) 9 am until 3 pm

Who: All are welcome

Where: Gunpowder Friends Meeting House

Contact: Anita Langford at 410-560-3595 to learn more or confirm attendance

Gunpowder Friends Meeting Photo

Silent Retreat Days at Gunpowder Friends Meeting House provide an opportunity to gather in community – in silence – to refresh and renew our spiritual lives and to ground ourselves in peace and stillness away from the rush of daily life.

The Silent Retreat day is largely unstructured. The Meeting House is open at 9 am. We settle in to silence at 9:15 am, then rise to our separate contemplative or active ways, indoors or outdoors, as we are inwardly led. Some take walks in the surrounding countryside, spend time in prayer or meditation, or engage in journaling, drawing, reading, knitting, or checking out the library.

At noon a gentle bell calls us to lunch in the west room. This provides an opportunity for shared silence and, occasionally, a shared reading. We invite first time visitors to be our guests for lunch. We share responsibilities for preparation of lunch and make arrangements prior to the retreat day.

After lunch we return to personal silence. At 2:30 pm we gather again in the west room in silence where there may be a spoken reflection on the day, or not, as we feel led. The retreat ends at 3 pm and we transition out of the silence to a brief time of conversation as we close the Meeting House.

All are welcome. Please call Anita Langford at 410-560-3595 if you would like to attend.

"Shhhhh... Don't tell a soul... Silent Retreat is one of the best kept secrets at Gunpowder Meeting! 
"Actually, we who are regulars at Silent Retreat (aka Quiet Days) often wish that more Friends could join us and enjoy the nourishment of this kind of day.  After the opening worship, you can occupy yourself as you choose -- reading, meditating, writing, sketching, knitting, walking, cycling, napping.  Whatever the activity, it is enriched by the awareness that silence brings.  One month I worried that I was "cheating" by bringing some essays to grade. I was surprised to discover that I was not filling the time with a mundane chore; instead I found an extraordinary focus on the task and a deep connection with my students.  
"Rainer Maria Rilke said, 'I am too much alone in the world, and not enough alone, to make every moment holy.'  The silent community of the retreat participants bridges this paradox for me:  The 'fruits of solitude' ripen in a gathering with other souls.  
"And then there is the lunch! You know the saying that everything tastes better outside? Well, I've found that everything tastes better in silence.  Without the distraction of conversation, one can be fully present with the meal, and all the more grateful for the gifts of nourishment and human company."
~ Gunpowder Friend