April 6, 2021
Blake Rittgers is a current Vanguard Gap Year student at HoneyRock. Here, he shares more about the daily, weekly, and monthly spiritual rhythms that texture the school year at HoneyRock.
Spiritual Rhythms for Vanguards at HoneyRock
A foundational component of the Vanguard and Fellows experience is spiritual rhythms: daily, weekly, and monthly times set apart to create space for our spiritual formation. Whether teaching or being taught, listening or speaking, praying corporately or individually, HoneyRock’s spiritual rhythms create community-wide engagement in the development of true disciples in the body of Christ.
7:00 am Morning Watch
Although not required, all Vanguards are encouraged to spend some time with the Lord before breakfast at 7:30 am. Every morning, Vanguards find a nice spot around camp to do a devotional, read their Bible, go through the Morning Prayer Daily Office, and/or pray.
8:00 am Community Devotionals
After breakfast on weekdays, the whole HoneyRock community gathers either outside near the climbing wall or near the Upper Chrouser fireplace for Community Devotionals, nicknamed “Staff Devos” or just “Devos”. One person in the HoneyRock community, whether that be a professional staff member, grad student, Fellow, or Vanguard, leads a fifteen-minute devotional on a topic usually of their choice. This is a time for all to be grounded and reminded of the Christ-centered vision that is essential to life at HoneyRock.
12:00 pm Midday Prayer
This rhythm is one practiced by Vanguards and Fellows and happens every weekday at noon, right before lunch. Gathered either in the chapel or outside of it, Midday Prayer begins with the singing of the Doxology. Subsequently, The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle is used to lead the rest of Midday Prayer. This invites Vanguards and Fellows alike to the rich tradition of Bible-inspired Christian liturgy.
6:00 pm Evening Prayer
Tuesday through Friday Vanguards and Fellows gather in Chrouser Dining Hall for about ten minutes to participate in Evening Prayer. After prayer requests and prompts are shared, Vanguards and Fellows will split up into small groups to pray, will pray individually, or will recite a written prayer like a Psalm or a Collect.
7:00 pm, Sundays – Vespers
Vespers take place at 7 p.m. every Sunday in the HoneyRock Chapel. Named after evening prayer in the Divine Office, Vespers mostly consists of worship music. Musically inclined Grads, Fellows, and Vanguards lead the community in twenty to thirty minutes of worship with prayer at the beginning and end. Occasionally, Vespers will take an alternate form and consist of something outside of worship music like a foot washing service or small group prayer.
8:00 pm, Sundays – Small Groups
Directly following Vespers, Fellows lead Vanguards in small groups. Divided by gender, Fellows shape small groups into the needs of their group. A typical small group structure could be everyone sharing their highs, lows, and God-sightings (best part of the week, the worst part of the week, and how God was seen in the week), a lesson (usually discussion-based), and closing prayer requests and prayer. No matter what form small groups takes, they are designed for Vanguards and Fellows to foster spiritual relationships with each other.
Monthly – Extended Solos
A less frequent, but still formational rhythm is solos. This rhythm is designed to encourage reflection and devotion in solitude. Specific to Vanguards, Solos happen at the beginning of each month and can take multiple forms: half-day solo (8:30 a.m. to 12), full-day solo (8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.), and one 24-hour solo during the first-semester wilderness trip.
Taken together these practices might sound a little overwhelming, but when practiced within a community, spiritual rhythms quickly become essential parts of friendships built at HoneyRock. As one Fellow puts it: “Spiritual rhythms are an opportunity to experience God through His body of believers.” Of course, spiritual formation can take place outside of spiritual rhythms— you can experience God anywhere! But, what these set rhythms do is expose those participating in them to multiple ways of consistently being reminded of the Trinity-centered life that is fundamental for true spiritual growth. - Blake Rittgers, Vanguard ‘21
“HoneyRock does a really good job of keeping us busy and even when we’re swamped, we have consistent rhythms to draw us back to our relationship with Christ." – Anna Breederland Vanguard ‘21
“Midday prayer is a rhythm that I appreciate. Having focused and intentional time in the middle of the day serves as a good reminder to shift my mindset back to Christ.” – Sterling Gleeson Vanguard ‘21
“Spiritual rhythms bring us all together. We’re the same—we’re all coming before Christ, we’re all Christian, we all love the Lord, and we’re doing something to glorify God.” – Jayden Rascher Vanguard ‘21
“Spiritual rhythms are an opportunity to experience God through His body of believers.” – Weston Poling Fellow ‘21