#35 Richmond Hill

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A while back, I spent several hours silently praying and meditating for prayer #35 in the sanctuary at Richmond Hill, a restored monastery in the historic Church Hill area in downtown Richmond.

Upon entering I was given a tour of the massive church and it’s beautiful gardens overlooking the city.  As we walked down the halls I noticed many of the rooms were marked “silent.”  When I inquired, I was told that the church holds many individual and guided spiritual retreats for anyone interested. 

I had spoken with what the church refers to as a “Spiritual Guide” for an in-depth session where we discussed my spiritual walk, the 52 Prayers project, and what I felt God was calling me to.  The kind stranger who was responsible for talking with me about my relationship with God, was a nice older woman with a Catholic background, however, Spiritual Guides come from all different types of faiths as the church is a strong supporter of inter-denominationalism.  As we spoke about 52 Prayers, I opened up to her about my interest in the Seventh day Adventist church.  She joked that she had some Adventists neighbors next door to her that were the kindest people she ever met, even though they spent their lives trying to convert her.  We laughed together about our different belief systems and continued to talk about God’s call for my life.  What I found interesting is that we talked a whole lot about her call.  And well, her life.  We conversed about Catholicism a whole lot too.  Actually, the more we spoke, the more I thought about sending her a bill for our Spiritual Guiding session.  But I believe that's what God intends.  For us to share our stories with one another to edify His church and increase our own faith through other people's experiences.

After the 2 hour meeting was over, I went into the sanctuary which I had all to myself, got on my knees in front of the altar and prayed.  I prayed for what seemed like 10 minutes but ended up being almost 3 hours.  The beauty and sanctity of the place made it hard for me to leave.  The gentleness of the staff, the view of the city, the silence that echoed throughout the God’s historic home, it was really an amazing experience.  I can’t say that it changed my life or anything, but I’d definitely go again.  I might even do a silent retreat one of these days.

A couple of interesting things to note about Richmond Hill:

Richmond Hill prays for the city around the clock with their Richmond Metro Prayer Initiative.  Their covenant:  “We will be praying for the more than one million people who live in this historic capital city of Central Virginia, in all of its jurisdictions -- Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Richmond, and the surrounding counties and towns.”

Richmond Hill offers Spiritual Guidance.  Spiritual guidance, as understood at Richmond Hill, is the process of listening prayerfully with another person to the leading of the Holy Spirit of God.

RH offers a Spiritual Guidance and Counseling School for those interested in Christian Counseling or becoming a guide.

Silent and spoken spiritual retreats are available through Richmond Hill on a personal or church level.

They provide the Armstrong Leadership Team which is a group of 36 Armstrong High School students from grades 10-12 selected yearly to achieve leadership excellence in their academic and professional endeavors.

The SOZO School of Christian Healing Prayer is offered for those who seek healing and wholeness in mind, body, spirit, and relationships. It has been re-designed in focus, format, and content in 2009. Participants will study Holy Scripture, the history of this ministry, its place in Church tradition, and contemporary practices of Christian healing prayer.

RH supports The Micah Initiative.  It is a partnership program between churches, synagogues, mosques and other communities of faith in metropolitan Richmond and the Richmond Public Schools for the purpose of supporting the education and the nurture of the children of Richmond.

To be a part of this community and help bring God to the Richmond VA area through prayer and healing, visit Richmond Hill on the web at www.richmondhillva.org

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4 Comments

  • Dave VT

    Dave VT October 19, 2010

    I remember you sent me this link when you first signed up to go. It looks like a nice place.

    3 hours, that is a long time.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to spend an hour a day in Eucharistic adoration of the blessed scrament and he said it changed his life - you even have him beat!  I hope you found some of the answers you are searching for.

  • Jessica

    Jessica October 21, 2010

    Now if I could only do that daily!  Me and Archbishop Fulton Sheen would be right on point:)

  • John Siddall

    John Siddall October 22, 2010

    I like this very much, Jessica. I am going to send it to Ben Campbell

  • Jessica

    Jessica October 26, 2010

    Hi John!

    Glad you like it.  What a beautiful place with an awesome mission.

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