Meet Our Religious Communities: The Community of the Holy Spirit

Meet the Community of the Holy Spirit, a religious community for women in The Episcopal Church:

How have CHS Sisters experienced their call to monastic life?

The call to monastic life has been different for each Sister. Some have known from childhood that God was calling them to a specific way of devotion, others realized much later that life as they knew it was not enough. Sometimes it is one of God’s amazing surprises. Often there is, upon arriving at the Community, a deep sense of being home.

What do sisters do all day?

Daily life revolves around our community prayer. We practice a four-fold Daily Office: Lauds, Mid-Day, Vespers, and Compline. On the farm, the times for these Offices change with the seasons to follow the sun, and to accommodate planting and harvesting. Outside ministries, personal prayer and meditation, rest and recreation all fall into step with our individual projects to complete the day, at the end of which we enter the Great Silence.

What are your ministries?

We have two locations: New York City and Brewster, N.Y. In both locations, we are working to understand more fully and address the situation that now endangers our planet, both present and future. We are exploring ways that our ministries can serve God’s sacred creation. Each location has a different focus sprung from common roots. In the city, we offer spiritual direction, retreat leadership, and diocesan leadership. On the farm (Bluestone Farm & Living Arts Center), we practice biodynamics, permaculture, seed-saving, and food preservation. We contribute eggs and produce to local food pantries. Our educational focus there is learning to live sustainably, participating in the unfolding and interconnected journey of Earth and humanity.

Do you take vows?

We take vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Poverty, in that our personal and monetary resources are communal, belonging to the Community; Chastity as celibacy; and Obedience to God and to the Community leadership council.

How can I get involved with the Community of the Holy Spirit?

Check out our website at chssisters.org.

Become an Associate. Associates are people (both lay and clergy) who wish to be connected to the life and work of the Sisters, whether through prayer or active involvement, and desire an affiliation that offers promise of mutual intercessory prayer. They have a sense of the baptismal call to community, hoping to live it more fully. Write associates@chssisters.org for more information.

Become a Farm Companion/Volunteer. There are several programs available. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were forced to suspend our volunteer programs, but these are reopening as conditions allow. Write sharon@chssisters.org for more information. 

From 2021 The Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA.