What to expect at L’Abri
We do not expect or aim for you to have a “mountain top experience” at L’Abri and you shouldn’t either. Neither should you expect a secluded, retreat environment. There are many mundane chores to do, some perpetual disorganization, and not enough space for guests to have private rooms. You may find some of this difficult, but by the grace of God, many have found these factors to ground their study in relational realities—or to be the very factors that reveal to them the questions they really need to be addressing in the first place. Whether you are able to come to L’Abri for a few days, a couple weeks, or a whole term, there are gifts to receive from the shared rhythms and community life of L’Abri.
A Day At L’Abri
A Week At L’Abri
A Term At L’Abri
Food at L’Abri
From the very beginning, hospitality has been the cornerstone of the ministry of L’Abri. Meals are offered in Workers’ homes, and are prepared with care and creativity as an offering of God’s goodness to those gathered around the table. While at L’Abri, the most appropriate way to think of meals is that you are being welcomed as a guest into someone’s home for a family meal—you are not at a restaurant or dining hall. Given this environment, we are unable to cater to every individual food request.
However, we do recognize that there are people with severe food allergies, and we desire to offer hospitality within the limitations we have. We are able to offer meals, or a meal option, to people who are vegetarian or who have medically diagnosed food allergies/issues (e.g. Celiac disease or nut allergies). If this is a reality for you, please let us know at the time you make your reservation, so that we can plan appropriately for your stay. If you have food requirements other than those listed above, this need not prevent you staying at L’Abri. However, please contact us about this prior to making a reservation, so that we can make sure that a realistic plan can be made for your time here.
What to Bring
Casual, comfortable clothes and footwear are always appropriate here. Layers are the key to New England weather, in all seasons! In summer, bring a swimsuit and clothing for potentially hot, humid weather (there is no central cooling at L’Abri!). In winter, snow boots and a winter coat are essential and many people wear heavy sweaters or ‘puffy vests’ indoors all day. Although we do not require guests to remove their shoes in the houses, many prefer to have a pair of slippers or house shoes to wear indoors. PLEASE NOTE that in all seasons some of the daily work happens outdoors, so bring some old clothes and outdoor footwear you don’t mind roughing up. Laundry is done weekly, and we will provide towels and bedding throughout your stay.
- A notebook or journal, pens, and a Bible if you have one, although we have plenty here for students to use.
- An alarm clock and/or watch, as we will rely on you to keep to the daily schedule. Don’t plan to use your phone as your time-telling device throughout the day (see the tech policy below).
- A small backpack or tote bag for days off spent in Boston.
- Musical instruments are always welcome!
- There is a pond behind the big house and some beautiful walks in the area, so do feel free to bring your skates and cross-country skis in the winter months.
- In spring, summer and fall, bug spray as mosquitos and ticks are a big nuisance!
Due to the prevalence of media and technology in all parts of life, we at L’Abri have felt the need to rethink the presence of laptop computers and devices in the midst of our shared life together. While these technologies are very useful, they can also be conscious (or unconscious!) distractions from engagement in community life. Given this reality, we have developed a series of guidelines to help us all navigate the presence of technology in our midst. Our hope is that we can experience a different way of being together: one that encourages the goodness of being human, sharing our lives and ideas, growing, learning, being creative, and having fun together. These guidelines are meant to assist us in taking full advantage of the blessings of community life at L’Abri!
Odds & Ends
- Guests must be at least 18 years old.
- We have limited accommodations for married couples (with or without small children), but please make arrangements for this well in advance of a term.
- Guests may come for any length of time up to a full “term.” Our terms are usually between two and three months in length.
- There are periods between terms during which L’Abri is closed. See reservations for our open dates, cost, and additional information.
- You should not plan on having an outside job, touring the area (except on Thursdays, your day off), or leaving on weekends during your time with us.