2019 Events Calendar

(Scroll down for details -- as they become available) 

First Sunday of the Month - Earth Sunday for Children and Youth

January 6 and February 3 - Church of the Wild at Dayspring

March 15 Contemplative Earth Prayer Seminar for Shalem

March 19 Spring Equinox Ceremony

March 28 - May 28 Thursday Evening Class -- Sacred Circles: Nourishing the Space Between Us

April 20 - Walking Meditation and Prayer for the Earth

May 5 Spring Wildflower Walk

June 21 Summer Solstice Ceremony

September 13-15 Finding the Gold in the Darkness -- Retreat at Rolling Ridge

September 22 Autumn Equinox Ceremony

October 5 Solar House Tour

December 21 Winter Solstice Ceremony

Earth Sunday For Children and Youth


On the first Sunday of every month we have Earth Sunday For Children and Youth at Dayspring Church.  Following a Teaching/Story in worship, we explore the meadows, woodlands, creek valleys and ponds of Dayspring, letting God's word speak to us through all of creation. We try to let ourselves experience whatever the outdoor conditions of the day offer us, with appropriate clothing and footwear, but when needed we may take shelter in the solar greenhouse or a comfortable room upstairs in the Farmhouse.  Some photographs of our activities are in the image gallery.

If you plan to join us some first Sunday, please call ahead of time to check about any special preparations to make for the activity planned (301-916-4827).  For information about Dayspring Church worship please call 301-515-4399.

January 6 & February 3

Church of the Wild at Dayspring 3 PM

Theme: Spirituality Laid Bare

Join us as we gather around the fire this January for Church of the Wild at Dayspring honoring the theme of Spirituality Laid Bare

As our familiar landscapes become quiet, bare, and wintry, we have the opportunity to find spaciousness - spiritually and physically. There is an openness in winter that allows us to connect to the silence and solitude. As Annie Dillard describes: When the leaves fall, the spriptease is over; things stand mute and revealed. Everywhere skies extend, vistas deepen, walls become windows, doors open .. all that summer hides, winter reveals.

Join us as we gather around the fire to reflect on what is being revealed in nature and in our spiritual lives. How do you see spirituality different in winter?

Special: For those who would like to drum, join us a few minutes before 3 PM for a drum circle around the fire. Please bring your own drum or pick up a percussion instrument in the circle.

Please register (at no cost) at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/church-of-the-wild-spirituality-laid-bare-part-2-tickets-54608615840



March 15, 2019

Contemplative Earth Prayer

Workshop for Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation Program

Contemplative Earth prayer is about seeing God in all things and seeing all things in God, deepening our awareness of God in nature.

As we wander in the natural world we enter into a prayer that is already happening. The natural world is not just a backdrop for prayer, but the prayer itself. In this way of prayer we restore our ancient citizenship in the sacred world around us, a world that greets us, welcomes us home.

In this workshop we experience this prayer as we walk on the land, as we engage our bodies with the body of the Earth, as we bring images to a four seasons wheel and reflect on how the natural world mirrors our inner world. We share stories of our experiences of the wildness and mystery of God as we have encountered it in deep forests, vast deserts, mountains, and in backyards, parks, and gardens where we live.

For participants in the year-long Shalem Institute program Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats.

March 19 at 7PM

Spring Equinox Ceremony

In this Spring Equinox Ceremony we honor and give thanks for the  gift of water at Dayspring... especially the water that the land gives in wells and springs. We will gather at the Farmhouse and walk in silence to the small creek that is fed by a natural spring. Many years ago a stonemason from Iona in Scotland built a small springhouse by that spring and also built a stone bridge over the creek. We will gather there and read together the Thanksgiving Address -- the "Words Before All Else," from the Native People known as the Iroquois, giving special greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

We will meet outside the Farmhouse at 7 PM for this ceremony of silent wander and prayer, expressing our thanks to the water. Please let us know (jimhallmd@yahoo.com) if you plan to come. (note: The actual moment of equinox occurs here on March 20 at 5:58 PM.)

Thursday Evenings, March 28 - May 23, 2019

Sacred Circles: Nourishing the Space Between Us

Whatever is going on in God is a flow that's like a dance. God is not just the dancer. God is the dance itself. -- Fr. Richard Rohr

The reign of God is in your midst/is among you. -- Luke 17:21

The difficulty we come up against in our work together, in our attempts to build community, is that we do not know how to think like a village. -- Francis Weller, in Living a Soulful Life and Why it Matters

What does it look like to, "Think like a village?" In eight Gatherings on Thursday evenings this Spring we will nourish the space between us through poetry, stories, songs, dances, ritual and ceremony and time in nature. Themes we will reflect on will include: coming from gratitude, beguiled by beauty, sacred imagination, loss and sorrow -- finding  the gold in the darkness, intrinsic hope, becoming a true elder, and facing new experiences and the unknown.

Gatherings will be from 7:30 to 9:00 PM , and after the first one on March 28, will be preceded by dinner at 6:30. There will be no class during Holy Week (April 18). These Gatherings will be led by Cheryl Hellner and Jim Hall from the Earth Ministry mission group. They have been teaching and leading retreats together at Dayspring since 1983.

To register please read and fill out the registration form at 

Saturday Evening, April 20, 2019, 8:30 PM at Dayspring 

Walking Meditation and Prayer for the Earth

For many years we have hosted an Earth Vigil outdoors on the land at Dayspring. This year, in place of that vigil, we extend an invitation to you to come and walk the land in quiet meditation on your own. At 8:30, weather permitting, we will gather and light a small fire on the hillside above Alice’s pond. If you have a poem, a prayer, or a song for the healing of the Earth we ask that you bring it to share with us at that time. All ages welcome.

Please park at the Farmhouse. There will be a map available there to guide you to the outdoor fire.

For questions or more information, please call Jim or Cheryl at 301 916-4827.

May 5, 2019

Spring Wildflower Walk

Join us for a spring wildflower walk at Dayspring Creek after worship on Sunday May 5. We will leave at noon from the Farmhouse and return by 1:30 pm. Bring a snack to eat ahead of time if you wish. The walk is a little over a mile round-trip. The trail is steep  in some places, rough and rocky in other places. Among the flowers we expect to see are wild columbine and rue anemone.

June 21 -- 7 PM at Dayspring

Summer Solstice Ceremony

On the evening of the Summer solstice, at a time when there is so much heart-breaking news about our Sacred Earth Community, we come together to remember and give thanks: for the gifts of the sun's light, for the beauty and abundance of summer gardens and fields, for the blessing of life itself.

It matters -- perhaps more than we will ever know -- that we do this. That we remember to give thanks and bless the Earth in this way.

So we invite you to  join us. We begin at 7 PM at the Dayspring Farmhouse and walk in silence and simple presence to a place near the stone labyrinth overlooking the fields. There we will do a simple dance, listen to a poem or two, and read together the Thanksgiving Address as given us by the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations). The ceremony will finish by 7:45. All are welcome, including children.

September 13-15 -- Retreat at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat

Finding the Gold in the Darkness:

The Way of Soul in Troubled Times

When the common institutions collapse and the usual cultural containers break, our role is to recover the true spirit for living and help reveal the underlying wholeness of life   --- Michael  Meade             

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. --- Clarissa Piknola Estes

We live in a time of intense turmoil -- social, political, and planetary. But the deeper disturbance is at the level of soul. We have lost the capacity to face the darkness without falling into despair or denial. But the ancient wisdom of all our spiritual traditions says that if we can turn toward the darkness, we will be amazed and transformed by what we find there. We will find gold.

On this retreat we step into this mystery of finding the gold in the darkness. We wander in solitude in the mystical enchanted world of nature, seeking to be met by raven and hawk, ancient rock and rushing brook. We attend to our nighttime dreams and the dreaming of Earth herself and we immerse ourselves in stories, poetry and art, and gather for ceremony, for sacred dance and song, and for circles of shared wisdom.


This program is for people of all faiths and all those seeking to know the beauty and wisdom of the sacred Earth.

Retreat Leaders: Jim  Hall, and Cheryl Hellner, longtime  members of Rolling Ridge Study Retreat, have apprenticed nature-based soulwork through numerous programs for many years. 

This retreat will be held at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat House, a six bedroom cabin in a wilderness setting near Harpers Ferry, WV. The retreat begins at 5 pm on Friday (people are encouraged to arrive between 3 and 4:30 to settle in gently) and concludes with lunch on Sunday.  Fee for the retreat will be determined soon and includes lodging, six meals, and program. Two people registering together and choosing to share a room may pay a reduced fee, and camping further reduces the fee. Scholarships are available. For more information email lindsay.rollingridge@gmail.com. To register go to


September 22 time TBD

Autumn Equinox Ceremony


October 6

Solar House Tour
Simple Gifts Cottages and Greenhouse at Dayspring
Saturday, October 6 from 11am - 5 pm

Grace, beauty, and ecological integrity.  These are the principles embodied in the Earth Ministry Simple Gifts project at Dayspring.  This project has arisen out of a passion to explore ways of living more simply, justly, and in harmony with the Earth. 

The Simple Gifts project includes two staff cottages and a solar, straw-bale greenhouse.  Each cottage is 1250 square feet, and is designed to provide a well-crafted and energy-efficient home for a couple or a small family. The cottages have accomplished this in different ways; between them they include the following features: passive solar heating and cooling, well-insulated walls and roof (structural insulated panels/ blown cellulose), top energy efficient windows and appliances, insulating window shades, living roof, FSC-certified framing lumber, geothermal heating and cooling, grid-tied and grid-independent photovoltaic panels, solar hot water, masonry heater, oak and cherry trim from trees on the land, earth plaster and milk paint wall finishes, stained concrete slab floors, bamboo floors, fiber-cement composite siding and trim, roof water collection and landscaping with native plants. Integration of these features and "simple living" practices have resulted in these cottages being nearly zero-energy homes and a delight to live in.

The solar, straw-bale, year-round greenhouse and permaculture gardens demonstrate one approach to meeting the need for healthy, nourishing, locally grown food.  The greenhouse incorporates stone, wood, and clay from the land.