A retreat from hard work
Ashram is a Sanskrit word meaning “retreat from hard work.” Dr. E. Stanley Jones, a missionary to India, founded the first Christian Ashram in 1930 after seeing firsthand the value of spending time away from one’s work and participating in spiritual rest and renewal. Stanley took the form of the ancient Ashram and gave it Christian content, putting Christ at the core of the Ashram. The Christian Ashram follows a format that allows individuals to step out of the “day to day” and into purposeful spiritual practice. The day begins with devotions in the morning and ends with grand silence at night, a time of rest and reflection. In between there are times for prayer, bible study, games, hiking, evangelistic teaching, and meals shared with friends and family.
All are welcome
A Christian Ashram is an adventure in corporate, disciplined Christian living. Sometimes this concept is referred to as living “the Kingdom of God in miniature.” Everyone is welcome at the Ashram regardless of age, race, gender, marital status, or creed. Part of the beauty of the Ashram is that it is attended by a diverse group of people who have all come together for a common goal, to experience Christ. We come as we are. We allow God to work in us to become what he has had in mind for us to be.
What to expect
Whether you attend a 2-day or a week-long Ashram, there are many commonalities to the program, based on a discipline that has nurtured people for over eighty years! Here are some of the traditions of the Christian Ashram that make it unique.
Open Heart is at the beginning of the Ashram and is a time when we open our hearts to one another, expressing why we’ve come and what we really need. This lays the groundwork for the closeness and bonding of our time together and makes us open to the Holy Spirit working in and among us.
Prayer Vigil is held from the opening of the Ashram to the close. The 24-hour vigil is shared by the group and at least one person is always praying for the concerns that we bring.
Morning Watch is a time spent meditating over scripture and sharing the insights God has given us.
Bible Hour is a time for in-depth Bible study. Children and youth often have their own Bible based program during this time.
Evangelist Hour is when we hear teaching that is meant to stir the soul and rekindle the fire of our faith.
Prayer Group gives us a chance to come together in small groups to encourage each other in faith, and pray for each other in love.
Healing and Wholeness service gives the opportunity for leaders to pray over individuals for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
Overflowing Heart is a chance to share what God has done in our lives during the Christian Ashram.
Children and Youth Programs are offered at both California Christian Ashrams and include programs designed to fit the needs of all families.
Fun and Fellowship are abundant at the Ashram. In between the activities above you will find many activities that vary depending on the Ashram you attend: volleyball, hiking, swimming, board games, choir, and more.