Rock Point Intentional Community
About Rock Point Intentional Community
Founded in 2014, The Rock Point Intentional Community (RPIC) is a spiritual community serving the vision for Rock Point: To be a welcoming sanctuary of spirituality, creativity, community, education, training and environmental stewardship.
As a spiritual community we embrace what is called “new monasticism.”
We expand traditional monastic wisdom into forms that can be lived out in contemporary lives. As such, we are dispersed, living in our own homes and communities; we do not live at Rock Point, but we are based there.
We are open to all, welcoming and including varying expressions of contemplative life and faith beliefs, and we are also part of the Episcopal Church in Vermont’s ministry of Rock Point.
We follow a rule of life that is simple: to pray daily - for ourselves, each other, and for Rock Point and its vision. We study aspects of, and try on actions to fulfil, that vision.
We offer a shared way to work, give, volunteer, and come together in purposeful unity with others to honor ourselves, each other, and creation. Currently we offer a monthly Eucharist in St. Michael’s Chapel at Rock Point, using an informal, contemporary, creation-themed or Celtic worship. We sponsor an Introductory Wisdom School and Wisdom Practice Circles. We also offer other retreats. We sponsor The Partners’ Pantry, a group that helps produce and preserve food grown at Rock Point and donated to the Chittenden Emergency Food shelf. RPIC directly offers some activities and serves as a funnel for helping others’ ideas turn into action.
For more information, contact:
The Rev. Jackie Arbuckle
The Rev. Craig Smith
ON THIS PAGE:
Latest RPIC News & Announcements
Monthly Eucharist at Rock Point
The Eucharist is celebrated monthly at Rock Point courtesy of the Rock Point Intentional Community. All are welcome. Services are typically held on the 2nd Friday* of each month at 12 noon (except in summer, see BOLD). Please contact us at 802-658-6233 for the latest schedule and location.
Wisdom Practice Circles
Wisdom schools have existed for many thousands of years but tend to constellate and play a critical role in human spiritual transformation during times of great cultural and spiritual upheaval and transition. We are now in one of those periods. The Rock Point Wisdom Practice Circles exists to foster a transformation of consciousness and of society by supporting those involved in this critical, fundamental undertaking. We seek to create a network for all who wish to be more deliberative about their own spiritual transformation and we seek to be a resource to them as they engage others in this work.
The Wisdom Practice Circles have semi-monthly meetings in the Butterfield Building of the Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Road, from 7 to 9 PM First Thursdays and from 5 to 7 PM Fourth Mondays. Here is a look at our meeting agenda:
Welcome and Introductions
Explorations of Wisdom Practices
as envisioned by Cynthia Bouregeault in Wisdom Way of Knowing
Centering Contemplative Prayer
What Is Wisdom?
(Notice that we didn’t include the word “exactly” from the original question.) As stated by Cynthia Bourgeault, “First, let's talk about what Wisdom is not. It is not a curriculum, a philosophy, a metaphysical system, or a set of esoteric ideas. An underground stream running through all the great spiritual traditions, it is not exclusively identified with any of them, and it can wear the garb of all of them. Wisdom fundamentally describes a higher level of human consciousness characterized by a supple and alert awareness, compassionate intelligence, substantial reduction in the internal dialog, and the capacity to engage reality directly, without the superimposition of mental constructs and categories. It is the original Integral Knowing. Wisdom is not about knowing more, but about knowing deeper, with more of you participating. It is fundamentally accessed through spiritual practice.”
From the Rock Point Wisdom Steering Team, Wisdom, as we use it, is an approach to life, a way of looking at the world. In all religious or spiritual traditions, it is the mystic inner core (without the trappings associated with institutionalized religion). Wisdom traditions have something to say about four important matters:
The nature of ultimate reality
The possibilities of human knowing of this ultimate reality
The nature of personhood
The goal of human existence
The Wisdom Tradition provides a conceptual framework for the development of the inner self, living a spiritual life, and the realization of enlightenment or of union with God.
What Is a Wisdom School? And Why?
Wisdom schools introduce us to a shared body of practices and inspired teachings Tapping into both ancient and emerging knowledge, Wisdom Schools teach contemplative prayer, chant, conscious work, lectio divina (sacred reading) and embodied prayer and provide a community of practice to support the spiritual growth of participants.
Wisdom Schools are intended to support an expanded level of consciousness and being, characterized by both presence and compassion. The Wisdom School experience speaks to our yearning for ways to access that deeper source of knowing.
The Rock Point Wisdom School (RPWS) exists to foster a transformation of consciousness and of society by supporting those involved in this critical, fundamental undertaking. We seek to create a network for all who wish to be more deliberative about their own spiritual transformation and we seek to be a resource to them as they engage others in this work.
We draw on the two great spiritual traditions which have fed Rock Point from its beginning. We look to the Benedictine spiritual tradition, which centers us in a rhythm of work and prayer and a spirit of hospitality to all. We look to Celtic spiritual tradition for inspiration to reintegrate the realms of spirit and creation within our unique and collective souls.
Cynthia Bourgeault says, “Wisdom Schools are a format for integral learning that’s based in some of the deepest roots for transformation and change in the Christian tradition. Wisdom schools are about awakening the yearning for a different kind of presence in the world and then developing the skills and the knowledge base to apply that, to transform your own life and the life of people around you.”
Why? The outer news these days is overwhelming and the pace of our culture so frenetic that it is difficult to remain present to our spiritual hearts and create in ourselves a container for Wisdom. Wisdom Schools provide ways to cultivate a deeper connection to the Holy and a community of support and encouragement as we do so. Wisdom schools have existed for many thousands of years but historically have grown in times of large social transitions such as one we are presently experiencing, seeking the one thing necessary: to be rooted in love in the midst of great anxiety and fear.
What Is a Wisdom Circle?
OK, we were getting confused ourselves – and so we have come up with this explanation that we are “trying on for now...” We have Wisdom Groups, and Wisdom Circles, and Wisdom Schools.
Beyond individual practice, Wisdom Groups are small numbers of individuals who are regularly meeting for Wisdom practices (maybe contemplative prayer or meditation, chanting, lectio divina, or all of these plus some others). They might meet weekly at someone’s home, or some other local spot, or more/less often, and might have anywhere from two to six or so participants. We are just beginning to hear of some of these and would welcome knowing about others and whether new people can join them.
Wisdom Circles are slightly larger groups (perhaps a dozen to thirty people) who are meeting monthly at Rock Point. Besides being practice groups themselves they can also serve as a resource or “check-in” for the smaller groups and/or individuals who want to occasionally or regularly join them.
Individual practice, groups, circles, etc., grow out of and lead to The Wisdom Schools.
In a busy world which is rarely hushed, a fever of life which is seldom slowed, Lenten and Advent Silent Retreats at Rock Point provide three days of silence and serenity to those who attend. Silence blankets communal worship, meals, and each of the four addresses by the leader of the weekend.
Check back here for upcoming silent retreats or contact us for additional information.