What is Rachel's Vineyard?
Rachel's Vineyard retreats for healing after abortion, and other unresolved pregnancy loss grief, are offered throughout the year in locations across Canada and the United States. In the Diocese of Kamloops, we offer two retreats a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Unlike many other Rachel's Vineyard sites, our retreats take place from Wednesday to Friday, rather than over a weekend.
The program is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion. Because of the emotional numbness and secrecy that often surrounds an abortion experience, conflicting emotions both during and after the event may remain unresolved. These buried feelings can surface later and may be symptoms of post abortion trauma.
Married couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children, as well as persons who have been involved in the abortion industry have come to Rachel's Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing. The retreat is a lot of work but yields a fruitful harvest for all who are willing to labour there.
Some people choose to attend alone, and others desire to bring a support person(s) with them. Either way is okay and either way we will take care of you while you are there. We firmly believe that each person who comes to us is a precious and beloved child of God, and as such is to be treated with love and compassion and dignity.
What does the name Rachel's Vineyard mean?
The name "Rachel" refers to an old testament figure who was written about in the book of Jeremiah. The exact biblical quote is this:
Thus says the Lord:
In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping!
Rachel mourns her children,
she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more.
Thus says the Lord:
Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes.
The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord.
There is hope for your future!
There are many images and symbolisms attached to a vineyard. It is a place where grapes are grown, pruned, lifted up and cleansed so they can bear a more bountiful harvest. A vineyard is a place of labor for the making of sweet wine. Perhaps the most significant association with vine comes from the powerful and moving words of Jesus found in Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John:
Remain united in me,
and I will remain united to you.
A branch cannot bear fruit by itself;
it can do so only if it remains in the vine.
In the same way, you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches
Whoever remains in me, and I in him,
will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.
Please visit www.rachelsvineyard.org for more information.