ARC Retreat Community

Stanchfield, Minnesota, United States

  • Last updated: January 24, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: February 15, 2016

Mission Statement

VISION – ARC envisions a transformed world in which all people embrace and cultivate the spiritual nature of life … living in healthy, loving relationships with themselves, each other, and the earth.

MISSION STATEMENT – A community holding sacred space, inviting people to experience the spiritual nature of life through action, reflection, and celebration.

Community Description

ARC (action, reflection, celebration) is an inter-spiritual retreat center operated by a resident intentional community serving individuals and groups seeking time apart, rest and spiritual renewal. ARC is nestled on 90 acres of pristine wetlands and majestic white pine forest an hour north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. 

ARC’s intentional community members offer radical hospitality and hold the sacred space for guests to reflect, renew and heal. Nourish your mind, body and soul with community connections, homemade vegetarian meals and deep conversations with guests. We work hard and join together for the common purpose of serving guests and growing spiritually on our individual paths. 

ARC has a 40 year old log lodge where community members and guests stay in separate wings of the building. We also have a hermitage and a log cottage for guests. Community members are welcome to use the spaces when they are unoccupied. 

The four to nine persons living in intentional community commit to a practice of daily silent meditation, community relationships, personal growth work and managing all elements of the retreat center, as the primary way of living; all community members are volunteers, receive room and board, and a monthly stipend. Our food is cooked from scratch and primarily vegetarian.


  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, retreats, individual and group
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 87 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 8
  • Housing Provided: Work-exchange, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: registered non-profit with a board of directors
  • Additional Comments:

    Some of the community apartments have their own bathroom, others include a sink in the room with a shared bathroom down the hall.


  • Adult Members: 6
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 31-40%
  • Percent Men: 21-30%
  • Percent Transgender: 21-30%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Contact us through email [email protected] or telephone (763-689-3540). We also offer volunteer opportunities of a day through a month (lodging and food provided), email [email protected] for more info.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    See the website for different types of community member roles including long-term and short term community members (generalists). Visit for more information. The process for joining community includes an application, resume, phone conversation, and week long on-site visit. Contact us at [email protected]

  • Additional Comments:

    Community membership process is ongoing; see website for openings.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Community decisions are based on modified decision making while organizational decisions are hierarchical. Leadership is a co-directorship with those individuals brought in by the Board of Directors for 3 to 5 year terms.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Living at ARC is a lifestyle that requires full time hours and we’ve found that its difficult for community members to maintain outside employment. Community members are on 5 days a week contributing to running the retreat center, and have two personal days per week which may be taken on or off-site. In addition, community members have two 10 day breaks per year and up to 5 weeks of time off (all stipended).

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: heat with wood
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    ARC is primarily a vegetarian space, however community members are encouraged to eat in the way that best supports their individual needs and bodies.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Christian, Yogic traditions, general spirituality
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)


contemplative spirituality, hospitality, sustainability, retreat center, rural, woods, forest,