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July 26-August 9, 2008
Potlatch, Idaho

HILL ABBEY 2008 will again attempt to build on and improve what we think was done well in the summer sessions of 2006 and 2007; our focus this year will be John Chrysostom. We will meet for two full weeks.

Hill Abbey is more like a temporary monastery than a college or summer camp. It's purpose is not "fun", although delight is one of the chief characteristics of Hill Abbey. The time is devoted to many hours of slow reading aloud together, times of private contemplation, gathering together over good food and around bonfires and under stars, and fellowship centered on one the of the great books or authors of the past. Hill Abbey is dedicated to the idea that wisdom and happiness require some times of withdrawal from the hectic pace of "normal" life for the sake of real reflection and meditation with a small group of like-minded people.

For an idea of what Hill Abbey is meant to be, read the original letter that launched it, and some reactions by participants after the first one was over, here, and here.


July 26-August 9: arrive on July 26, opening session on Sunday afternoon, July 27; last session Friday evening August 8, depart on August 9.
The Hill, near Potlatch, Idaho.
Participants must arrive on Saturday, July 26th. If flying, airport choices are Spokane (WA) International (airport code GEG), or Lewiston (ID) (airport code LWS). Please make arrangements to arrive at the airport about mid-day (between noon and 4 PM is best) so that we can pick you up and have you back at the Hill in time for dinner.
Make arrangements to depart on Saturday, August 9; please try not to schedule a very early departure time. Late morning or early afternoon is best. Both airports (Spokane and Lewiston) are around an hour and a half away, so travel time from Potlatch must be taken into account as well as the hour or more you should be at the airport before your flight departs (security waits at both airports are not long).
The Hill Abbey 2008 fee is $800. This includes transportation (to and from the airport, church, and any other short trips we make), food, housing, books (Chrysostom texts and personal journal), your official Hill Abbey t-shirt, and other supplies (pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.).
All Hill Abby participants are housed right here on the Hill, and we make every effort to provide comfort and a peaceful environment. Please be sure to alert us as to any food allergies or other medical issues you might have.

What to Bring:

1 Sleeping bag and pillow (provided)
2. Personal toiletries: towel, washcloth (provided), toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo, allergy medication, etc. Bedding, pillows, towels, and washclothes will all be provided.
3. Clothing:
North Idaho in high summer is hot during the day (90s) and cool at night (50s) with low humidity. Bring light casual clothing (shorts, tees, sandals, etc.) for warm weather, but include a sweatshirt and long pants or casual skirt for cool evenings. Bring some nicer clothes too for church services Sunday mornings: casual is perfectly fine, but at least long pants (jeans or khakis) and polo or button shirt for men, skirt or dress for women.
4. Bible and any free time reading. There is no need to bring notebooks, pens, or pencils as these will be provided for you.
5. Camera
6. No personal stereos, iPods, or headhones. (You may bring a laptop if you wish, and we have wireless service, but it's not necessary as there will be computers available to check and send brief emails if necessary, and the spirit of Hill Abbey is to avoid such distractions as much as possible.)
7. Cell phones are fine to bring, but you will be urged to keep them turned off during reading and quiet hours and make and receive any necessary phone calls during free time after lunch or dinner.


Here is the daily schedule and list of daily readings (exceptions on weekends and trip days).

Who is John Chrysostom?
St. John Chrysostom is our author this summer. Chrysostom (the "Golden Mouthed") was the greatest preacher of the ancient world and patriarch of Constantinople. He faithfully stood against the corruption and apathy of the wealthy Christians of his city, including the offended monarchs of the Roman Empire -- so much so that he ended his life in miserable exile but left us a wealth of sermons that are unequaled in the history of Christianity. Chrysostom was the least given to wild flights of allegorizing of all the early church fathers and for this reason, among others, was especially appreciated by Calvin and the other magisterial Reformers a thousand years after Chrysostom's own day.

Here are some links to good online reading about John Chrysostom