A Journey to the Sacred Isle of Iona
Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2019
Join Sally Freed and Laurie Smith for a pilgrimage to the beautiful island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland.
Though tiny in size (just 3 miles long and 1.5 mile wide), Iona is one of the most iconic and sacred places in all of Scotland, offering a gentle and welcoming community spirit where the beauty and diversity of the land and seascapes – even the quality of the light – have been sources of inspiration for generations of travelers, artists and spiritual seekers. The elemental nature of wind, water, earth, and sky are evident here.
Join us from Sept. 28 – Oct. 4, 2019 for a 7-day/6-night retreat based at Bishop’s House, a charming historic accommodation (and current Scottish Episcopal Chapel) on the edge of the sea and near the Iona Abbey.
Iona may be best known as the arrival place of Columba, an Irish monk who took refuge on Iona in 563 A.D. His founding of a thriving monastery on this small island heralded the spread of Christianity across Scotland and much of northern Europe. The famous illuminated Book of Kells (now in Trinity College in Dublin) is said to have been crafted on Iona, as were beautiful Celtic high crosses from the 8th and 9th centuries. Iona is also the final resting place for some of the most famous kings of Europe, including Macbeth.
The magnificently restored Iona Abbey sits on the original site of the monastery, destroyed long ago after several foreign invasions. Now it is the spiritual home of the Iona Community, an intentional and international spiritual community that focuses on issues of peace and justice. The Abbey offers daily services of prayer, open and welcoming to all pilgrims.
Do you long to spend time exploring, reflecting, creating, and restoring your soul? We’ll explore the history and legends of this sacred isle along with other sources of Celtic artistry and spiritual wisdom. We’ll share meals and laughter, hike the island with local guides, raise our voices (and glasses) in song, and maybe even kick up our heels! Creative and contemplative activities, including SoulCollage®, will be included to facilitate integration of our souls’ discoveries. Our time on Iona will provide ample space to breathe on our own, as well as make meaningful connections with others.