Rochester L'Abri

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L'Abri Retreats - St. Louis: 


The L'Abri Retreats enable those in the St. Louis area to enjoy a taste of L'Abri. For the past 14 years, we have hosted these retreats at the beautiful "La Chaumiere" Farm of the Kramer family, about 1 ½ hours southwest of St. Louis. At present, we host these retreats three times a year in Winter (January), Spring (April), and Fall (October). We are in the process of completing a purpose-built retreat center (called the Ebenezer Lodge) where the retreats are held. The retreat center can host up to 8 students at a time, and is situated on 50 acres of unspoiled woodlands and streams. Dogwood and red bud trees bloom in abundance in the spring, and bald eagles and many other bird species, and other wildlife can be spotted on the property.

Whether you are a Christian or not, you will be welcome, and your questions and concerns will be taken seriously. You will have an opportunity to reflect on the bigger questions and issues of Life in an open atmosphere of discussion and learning and with the assistance of personal tutorials. L'Abri has been many things to many people over the years, and one of its strengths has been its flexible, individual-oriented focus over and against more straight forward programs.

As at any L'Abri, the daily routine is geared towards a balanced community life of study, work and rest, conversation and prayer. Meals are eaten together, and meal times provide occasion for group discussion. Study and personal tutorials are supplemented by occasional lectures. Everyone will share in taking care of the necessary practical chores, which include cooking, cleaning, and outdoor work. In the afternoons or evenings, we may spend some time on rambling walks through the woods or the pastures of nearby Chaumiere Farm, going stargazing, making s'mores around a bonfire, or taking a jaunt to the Meramec River.

To see photographs of recent Retreats as well as building progress on the Retreat Centre, do visit our designated Facebook page at 'Ebenezer Reteat Center'. You will need to 'Like' the page to access the albums.

2019 Dates:

Winter Retreat: January 4-20
Spring Retreat: April 22 - May 12
Fall Retreat: September 30 - October 13

Practical Information:


Jock and Alison McGregor

Jock and Alison McGregor, assisted by Mercy Winnes, will stay throughout the Retreat in the main apartment as 'house-parents,' coordinating the practical activities and contributing to the teaching and tutoring. Jock and Alison have spent 10 years at the English L'Abri and have been a part of the Rochester L'Abri for over a decade. Jock has an MDiv from Regent College in Vancouver.

Our partnership with the Francis Schaeffer Institute of Covenant Theological Seminary means that the Director, Mark Ryan and other Seminary professors often join us to supplement the lectures and discussions

The Retreats are hosted at the Ebenezer Lodge, a magnificent building set on a wooded hill overlooking the valley below. This Retreat Centre, designed specifically for L'Abri, still has parts under construction, but the North Wing is now fully functional and equipped with comfortable furnishings. It features dormitory-style housing available for students, with 3-4 students per room, and a twin bed for each student. Each room has access to its own bathroom.

Packing List
Attendees are encouraged to bring sturdy shoes for walking, long pants and socks (to protect against bugs when on walks through the woods), and a jacket in case of cool weather. You will want to bring suitable outdoor wear and some old work clothes. Along with personal effects and toiletries, please bring a Bible, study materials and flashlight. Musical instruments and art materials will be welcome. You may also want to bring a journal for note-taking.

Cost and Logistics
The cost for the retreat is $20/day or $120 for one week. We accept cash or check only.
There is cell service out at the farm, but there is no e-mail or internet. All linens and bedding are provided and your basic needs will be fully met during the Retreat but there are a range of stores in nearby Steelville for additional needs.
Please let us know ahead of time if you have any medical or dietary needs that we should know about.

Contact Information
Once on the Retreat, our contact telephone number will be (507) 250-6258, with e-mail at

Travel Directions
From St. Louis, the Ebenezer Retreat Center lies some 90 miles to the Southwest. Unfortunately there is no public transport available. When driving, leave St. Louis going West on I-44. Exit at Cuba, taking Hwy 19 South to Steelville. Just before entering Steelville, turn right onto Route 8 (not terribly well marked!) and go West. After about 4.5 miles, just after the top of a rise, take the road to the right marked Thurman Lake Road. There is a large yellow sign on the right advertising "Adventure Canoe Rentals." Drive for several winding miles until you begin to go downhill. On your left you will see a steel farm gate that opens to a rough unfinished track that goes down a steep ravine. Half a mile further on Thurman Lake Road and you will hit the Meramec River and know you have gone too far. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, you can take the track down and up the other side of the ravine and then along the ridge to the building. The building is not visible from the main road. If your car is not 4-wheel drive, then park inside the gate at the top of the ravine and call Jock, and he will gladly come and fetch you. The telephone number for Ebenezer Lodge is (507) 250-6258. You should allow 1hr40 for the trip.

For GPS location, the street address is 212 Thurman Lake Road, Steelville, MO 65565

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