There are many properties nationwide that invite faith-based groups to meet and conduct their business or travel on a personal spiritual journey. Some of these properties are resorts that simply offer relaxation and fun for religious groups of all types.
Asheville, North Carolina
The Cove is a beautiful mountain getaway that welcomes individuals and groups to study Scripture with talented Christian ministers, teachers, leaders and speakers.
“We have 1,200 heavily wooded acres with hiking trails, a state-of-the-art training center, two inns and a very lovely chapel for people to spend time in,” said Brent Rhinehart, spokesman for The Cove. “It is very secluded but easy to get to, right off Interstate 40 in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
The Cove was founded in 1987 by evangelist Billy Graham and his wife Ruth. “It’s designed as a retreat from the demands of the modern world, to hear a word from God or study God’s word and be trained in evangelism,” said Rhinehart.
The Cove offers seminars, programs, concerts and personal spiritual retreats. It’s where churches and parachurch organizations bring their own groups. They have seminars with leading Bible teachers that may run several days on a certain topic or one book of the Bible. The Cove also provides the base for a church group to come and create its own programming, if it aligns with the center’s Christian mission.
“This place is unique because it is a true vision of the Grahams and is a place visitors can count on for sound biblical teachings,” said Rhinehart. “There’s much trust and credibility here.”
The Cove has two inns on the property with guest rooms and dining. Groups are encouraged to explore the Complete Meeting Package, a pay-per-person pricing structure that includes lodging, meals, snacks, meeting space and wireless Internet access.
Monastery of the Holy Spirit
A monastery is a special place. It is where Catholic monks devote their lives to God as they pray and work alongside their brothers in a silent communal bond. It is also a place where outsiders come to retreat, rest and reflect as they seek a deeper sense of faith. Such a setting can be found in rural Georgia at the 40-member Monastery of the Holy Spirit.
“Our retreat house, like in any monastery, is a guest house,” said Brother Callistus, O.C.S.O., a spokesman for the monastery. The cost is $80 per night, which includes room and meals. “We offer retreats on the weekends where you arrive on a Friday and leave on a Sunday, and others that are midweek where you arrive on Monday and leave on Thursday.”
The monastery offers guided retreats, which means they are thematic. They may focus solely on one subject, such as prayer, contemplation or the spiritual life. Others are private retreats where groups or individuals are on their own agendas.
People of all faiths have come to this monastery for many years because it is where the spiritually starved can escape the pressures of life and revitalize and rejuvenate their souls.
Brother Callistus sees a trend developing in the popularity of retreats. “Many people are flocking to monasteries today because of that need to find some kind of path,” he said.
The monastery has a large conference room. Some groups come for one-day visits. They may arrive with their own presenter in tow or, if asked, the monastery can provide one. Meals can also be served to the participants.