For several years, we have had the dream of building a non-denominational chapel on our property. In 2002, we found the spot, just beyond the yard behind the farm house.
An old tree stump marked where the center of the building would be, the location of the central fire. We began to mow a 20 ft. diameter circle around the stump and some groups held prayer services in this circle.
Also in 2002, two women artists, Katarina Weslien and Alexandra Merrill, committed to donating their sculptural installation, A Circle of Nine, to sit in this sacred space when it is completed. A Circle of Nine is an abstract, artistic representation of eight aspects of the feminine. It was featured at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Maine in 1993.
In November of 2003, a generous donor gave us $5000 for this project and at our Hope Springs Council Retreat the summer of 2004, we decided to call the structure a Spirit House to honor all traditions and invite participation by people of all faiths.
We broke ground November 8, 2004. Spirit House, our house of peace, was completed by the August full moon. We have had multiple dedication rituals, starting in April with the women from Tumeshajua, a gathering of women of African Ancestry and continuing with the women from around the world who gathered in June to celebrate Collaborations of Women. In August, women and their daughters and nieces celebrated their rite of passage from Girls to Women in the Spirit House.
The final cost of the Spirit House and refurbishing the Ladies (our fond name for the Circle of Nine) was $50,000. With your generosity, we have raised the money.
Thank you for all the ways you support Hope Springs. We look forward to sharing the Spirit House and the Circle of Nine with you.