Nestled into the curves of the Vermillion River, Bellwether Farm is a camp, retreat, and education center dedicated to exposing the wider community to the creation that sustains all of life. As a working farm, its life focuses on four primary activities.
Facilities & Grounds
Bellwether Farm is a unique and affordable option for your next gathering. The center offers brand new facilities featuring a green technology, renewable energy, and water reclamation systems.
“You, God, have brought us to this thin place Where earth and heaven embrace...”
This is one of the prayers from the Iona Abbey Worship Book that was used at the opening worship of the Celtic Retreat held the first week of August at Bellwether Farm. During the gathering, the Rev. Sally Goodall guided us through a retreat of prayer and reflection using the practices and prayers of the Celtic Tradition and the Celtic use of nature and creation to bring the spiritual into concrete reality of their days. The participants brought their experience and understanding, plus their own favorite brand of Celtic people, from Ireland, Scotland or Wales, each different shades of the same belief in the palpable presence of God in the Creation.
Reflecting on the Celtic Saints, from Patrick to Alban to Aidan, looking for spiritual challengers and guides, time was taken for reflection on both their lives and our own. We came together to share and learn while going out into the nature of the farm to listen again for God’s voice. In the afternoon, we looked at the way everyday tasks are taken into prayer and then there was time for writing prayers for our own everyday lives.
No study of Celtic religion would be complete without a little music and so in the evening we were joined by the wonderful Joanne Van Wormer and her granddaughter Hannah, led by the indefatigable Rev. Dr. Brian Wilbert. With Brian giving us the history behind each hymn and playing the violin, we sang beautiful old tunes with words written by modern Celtic musicians. It was a joyous evening.
Each retreat must end and one must journey home. Peregrination is the journey taken, perhaps literally, but certainly spiritually that leads one from where you are to where you belong, or home. In preparation for leaving, we wandered around Bellwether, each finding our own path, our own journey, reflecting on what we needed to do in our journey with God.
The Path of Right
My walk this day with God,
my walk this day with Christ,
My walk this day with Spirit,
The threefold all kindly: Ho! ho! ho! the threefold all kindly. Carmina Gadelica
Iona Abbey Worship Book, Wild Goose Publications, the individual contributors. Glasgow, 2016. Carmina Gadelica Hymns and Incantations, collect Alexander Carmichael. Floris Books, Edinburgh, 1992.
Bellwether Farm is a model of green technology featuring passive buildings, renewable energy, and more. It is a vehicle through which we can teach the wider community about fidelity to the environment, nutrition, physical and spiritual wellness, local food sourcing, food justice, and sustainable living.
Volunteer around Bellwether Farm. Opportunities are posted as they become available.