Retreats & Pilgrimages


A retreat is a “period of time, in a “place apart” from daily life and work, which normally includes silence, reflection, and may include some form of still, meditative prayer which may be combined with brief periods of activity and study. Retreats often focus on particular themes of the church year. Retreats may be communal, though they can also be individual and undirected or unstructured. The concept of retreat has its roots in the scriptural injunction to withdraw to a quiet, lonely place as Christ did periodically. The practice of making retreats is also based in the monastic tradition of structured time for silence and contemplation to balance the spiritual life between the contemplative way of life and the active way of life.” (Source:

The Women of Ascension group offers a weekend retreat for women at a local retreat house, typically in Lent. The Men of Ascension offer a daytime retreat, typically at the church and in the fall. “Quiet Days” may be offered in Advent and Lent, usually at the church.


A pilgrimage is a journey taken with a religious or devotional intention. An ancient tradition, pilgrimages are typically made to shrines, holy places, or locations of religious significance. They may be made as prayers of thanksgiving, penitence, intercession, or petition. Pilgrimage centers continue to provide an opportunity for retreat, renewal, and a journey of the heart. (Source:

Under the leadership of rector Rev. Joan and deacon Rev. Terri, members of Ascension have made pilgrimages to Ireland, Israel, the US Southwest, the Isle of Iona, and the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne. These trips are a time not only for reflection, but for connecting more deeply with fellow congregants.