Welcome to Rochester L’Abri
The Rochester branch began in the late seventies when the Schaeffers first came to the Mayo Clinic for medical care. After Francis Schaeffer's death in 1984, Mrs. Schaeffer continued to reside in Rochester for many years. In 2000 she returned to Switzerland, where she now lives with family. Her burden to carry on L'Abri's ideas through occasional conferences became a major ongoing feature of the Rochester branch, and has developed into a large annual L’Abri Conference. The regular residential student work has also grown over the years, as has our connections with the wider community. This all makes for a thriving, multidimensional work of L’Abri which continues today under the leadership of Jock and Alison McGregor.
With the assistance of Tabby Yang and a number of helpers, the Rochester L’Abri welcomes up to 10 students each term and is thus a very personal community setting. The terms are spaced throughout the year, with the longer terms being in the summer. You are welcome to stay for the whole term but many folk come for shorter lengths of time and that is perfectly fine as long as it fits within the posted term dates. Students stay with our worker families in one of two L’Abri houses - the original central house, or a smaller home reached by a meandering path through the woods. You will likely be sharing a room with other students, but you will find your accommodation both warm and comfortable.
Though located in the city, the Rochester branch is a 10-acre oasis of quiet beauty, with sheltering woods and a scenic overlook, set high above the noise of the city streets below. Deer roam the grounds, and birdsong is abundant. From the living room of the big house, one’s eye follows the expanse of green lawn in the summer or pristine snow in the winter, on to the marble, brick and stone buildings of the Mayo Clinic in the far distance.
Friday evening lectures and Tuesday film discussions occur in series throughout the year, attracting local Rochester residents as well as those from surrounding communities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. Being located in the heart of ‘Med City’, this branch profits by having local medical professionals as lecturers on topics relating to medical ethics and health, but guest lecturers cover a wide variety of topics – as do the conversations that continually buzz around the L’Abri community and make it such a stimulating environment.
The central premise of all L'Abri teaching is simply that Biblical Christianity is true, and that it offers sufficient evidence to know it as the Truth. It can be proclaimed and known without committing intellectual suicide or having to say 'just believe'. Because Christ is Lord of all life, Christianity speaks to all areas, not only to what might be called the 'religious' sphere. True spirituality is seen in lives, which, through Christ's redemption, are free to be fully human. Therefore, Christians can and should realize the implications and relevance of a Biblical worldview in the arts, sciences, politics, etc. If Christianity is true it will stand up to examination and provide satisfactory answers, and on this basis, whatever your own personal convictions, your questions will be taken seriously and addressed honestly.
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