Saturday, November 29, 2014

Whirlwinds and Waiting: Advent Peace in Turbulent Times (an online retreat)

Whirlwinds and Waiting:
Advent Peace in Turbulent Times
an online retreat  

November 30, 2014 to January 2, 2015

Registration is open now STILL OPEN! Read on.

 
IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON DIFFICULT for you because of grief, injustice, depression, or addiction?

Are you somewhere between anticipation of and utter lack of readiness for  Christmas?

Would you like to live the season of Advent more mindfully?

Are you joyful about the presence of Jesus but despondent about the state of the world?

Do you feel a call to deepen and enliven your faith life?


Would you like some company and some support in living these questions? 


What and how

Whirlwinds and Waiting: Advent Peace in Turbulent Times is an online spiritual retreat in the Christian tradition, accompanying your daily life during the season of Advent and in the first week of the twelve days of Christmas, till January 2. (Those who wish may prolong the retreat through the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, at no extra cost.)

Advent, season of hope and prophecy, of expectant waiting, or visions both joyful and disturbing, is a difficult season for many. So is Christmas. The holiday season from U.S. Thanksgiving to New Year is particularly hard for those who suffer from depression, who are addicted and/or in recovery, who are grieving the loss of a loved one (a recent loss or an older one made more vivid by the season), who suffer from and bear witness to the injustices in our world, who experience family difficulties, who live with economic stress, and who are in the midst of endings and transitions. In the Northern Hemisphere, this can be compounded by short days and long nights; in all parts of the globe, we live the season of Advent within our bodies and on a fragile planet.


Whirlwinds and Waiting, designed especially for those who find this season difficult or challenging, offers a gentle, supportive online space. The retreat invites you into a structure (see details below) and into  simple spiritual practices --among others, lament, listening, remembering, and imagining.

Conversation will be part of the retreat, though participants who wish to remain quiet and private may do so. Together we will seek, hear,  and discern the presence of God in suffering, struggle, the unexpected, and acts of hope in our world.

An online retreat enables you to participate at home or any other place where you have a computer or tablet with internet access. You can read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule.

Note: This retreat is not intended to substitute for psychotherapy or other professional clinical treatment, nor does it replace 12-step groups or other recovery programs. Its purpose is to offer spiritual and communal support and guidance. Take good care of yourself in this challenging season!

Details

The retreat will move through Advent and into the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus (Christmas) with the help of the Sunday biblical readings from the Revised Common Lectionary and some of the major practices and commemorations of the season, including the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Spiritual practices for both prayer and daily living will anchor us as well as launch us, with God's help, into a future we can only begin to imagine. During our time together we will have a chance to practice (as we are able):

lament
listening
gazing
remembering  
imagining
discerning
practicing justice
committing acts of hope

and, of course,

communal prayer

Whirlwinds and Waiting will offer resources and practices organized according to a steady rhythm:

* Saturday evening (or in the first week of the retreat, Sunday): 
a pause to ponder each new week of Advent with the scripture readings in the Sunday lectionary.
* Mindfulness Monday:
guidance in a simple spiritual practice to focus the beginning of each work week.
* Midweek check-in (Wednesday):
a time to pause in the midst of our busy lives, name the whirlwinds in and around us, and touch base again with the message(s) of the Advent season. It can be a time to lament, listen, gaze, remember, dream, and discern.
* Friday Forum: Glimpses of Hope:
examples of hope incarnate, of God-among-us: people, stories, events...
* Extra gifts
here and there: a piece of music, a bit of wisdom, an image to contemplate, a saint's feast to celebrate. We will commemorate special days within the season: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sankta Lucia, the O Antiphons.
When

The retreat begins Sunday, November 30 (the First Sunday of Advent) and runs through the day after New Year's Day, Friday, January 2. 
You can stay just through Advent, or through as long as you like after Christmas Eve. The week from Christmas Eve on is a post-Advent bonus.

Though the retreat begins Sunday, November 30, you are welcome to join any time from now until Sunday, December 7.

(If you feel you really need this retreat and it's after December 7, write me.)

Registration and Payment 

Registration is open now and will remain open till Sunday, December 7 Please register as early as you are able in order to benefit fully from the retreat.

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net if you plan to pay by check, and I will acknowledge your registration and send you the mailing address. I will also notify you when I receive your check.

OR

If you are paying by credit or debit card or PayPal, simply register and pay using the PayPal button below. (You can use this button and its secure connection to pay with a card even if you don't have a PayPal account.) 

The PayPal payment will record your name and e-mail address and serve as your registration. You will receive an acknowledgment from me within 24 hours.

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

If you are in a situation of financial stress, please write me and we can arrange for a discount, payment plan, or scholarship. (If you wish to help make more scholarships possible, just check the "benefactor" rate below.)


Retreat fees (choose one)



An online retreat? 
How does that work?   

By making the retreat resources (meditations, images, guidelines for spiritual practice, prayers, music videos) available online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.  

What's a closed blog?  

It's a blog like this, but open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (in this case Jane, the retreat facilitator) allows in.

In other words, it is not accessible to anybody wandering around the internet. Random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments. Once you register for the course, I will send instructions on the one-time retreat blog sign-in mechanism. After that, the retreat blog will always recognize you.


Do I have to talk to other people on the retreat? I'm a very private person.
 and/or
Can I get some support here? I need to talk.

Jane's online retreats offer you a choice: it is up to you to find your preferred balance between the solitary and the communal, between privacy and solidarity. This retreat, more than others, is intended to be communal, since it is especially directed toward people who experience struggle or sorrow in this season and who need companions in the struggle -- and companions in hope. Conversation is part of this communal reality, but so is mindful silence.

You can and may remain private and just read the blog and use the practices and meditations on your own. Nobody will force you to speak. Use the retreat according to your personality and your circumstances. The retreat is like a room in which you are welcome to sit in the company of others and to be either visible or invisible.



Conversation on the retreat takes place via the comments on the blog posts of the retreat blog. Please be prepared to observe confidentiality and respect for other participants' diverse experiences and outlooks.

Begin where you are -- not where you "ought to be." God will meet you there.

Designer and facilitator

Jane Redmont is the author of When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life. She is a spiritual director, retreat leader, pastoral worker, writer, and theologian who has worked in  campus, urban, and parish ministries. An Episcopal Christian, she was also formed in the Catholic tradition and has Jewish and Unitarian Universalist family roots, she has been involved in work for justice and ecumenical and interreligious relations all her life. She is a survivor of major depression and has three and a half decades of pastoral counseling experience. Read more about Jane here.
Questions? Concerns? Write me (Jane) here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Online retreat: 9 days with Dorothy Day, Nov. 8-16

Once again, we are offering this online retreat
in the season of Dorothy's birthday, which is November 8.

Dorothy Day: A Novena Retreat

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) is best known as the co-founder of the Catholic Worker, an anarchist, pacifist, lay Catholic Christian movement, and of the newspaper by the same name. Journalist, activist, mother, speaker, she was also a person of prayer whose Roman Catholic religious observance
cannot be separated from her work for social and economic justice and peace and from what Christian tradition calls “the works of mercy.”

Click here for an informative essay on Dorothy Day.
 

Dorothy Day
What, when, where, how

* An online nine-day spiritual retreat, Nov. 8-16, 2014, with the help of the writings of Dorothy Day (Nov. 8, 1897 - Nov. 29, 1980).

* Simple and accessible:
one quote per day
one spiritual exercise per day
one prayer per day
* At home, in your daily life: read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule.

* You'll need 20 minutes a day of focused time and a computer or tablet with internet access.

* $50 if you register and pay by Wednesday, November 5.

* $65 if you register between Thursday, November 6 and Saturday, November 8.

* If you are financially strained and would like to participate, please write me. Deep discounts are available.

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge. 

* Not a course, but you'll learn a little history and theology in the process.

"Novena retreat" ?

A novena is a sequence of nine successive days of prayer–usually prayers of either petition or thanksgiving. It is generally a public and popular spiritual practice and is found most often in the Roman Catholic religious tradition.

I am using the word “novena,” meaning nine days, as part of the description of this retreat to indicate that it is nine days long and involves daily meditation and prayer.

 
The novena retreat is ecumenical in spirit and open to all. It is a new twist on the traditional novena.

An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers daily resources (the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers mentioned above, with some images to nourish you visually) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.


* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but unlike the blog at that link, it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.


* Once you register for the retreat, I will send you instructions for the one-time sign-in mechanism for the retreat blog. After that, the retreat blog will always recognize you.

Registration and payment

To register:

* Write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net if you plan to pay by check, and I will send you the mailing address.

OR

* If you are paying by credit or debit card or PayPal, simply register and pay using the PayPal button below. (You can use this button and its secure connection to pay with a card even if you don't have a PayPal account.) The PayPal payment will serve as your registration. You will receive an acknowledgment from me within 24 hours.
As noted above, the retreat fee is $65 if you register from November 6 on, but only $50 if you register by Wednesday, November 5. Discounts or scholarships are available if you are unemployed or if you are a student, member of a volunteer corps, or retiree with limited resources. Write me about this.
Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.


Retreat fee (choose one)



Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.

or

If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.


About the retreat leader

Read about Jane Redmont here.
Questions? Concerns? Write me here

Dorothy and daughter Tamar Theresa

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thomas Merton online "Novena Retreat" begins Monday, September 8

Hoping  for some prayerful and reflective time as the new season begins?

Interested in (re-)discovering a wise guide?

Busy but willing to devote 20 minutes a day to spiritual renewal?

Join us!

Thomas Merton: An Online Novena Retreat
September 8-15, 2014


Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis) was a Trappist monk, poet, spiritual teacher, hermit, and social critic. Merton wrote about prayer and monasticism, but also about war and peace, solitude, nature, suffering and joy, and community. He is probably the best-known monk and most influential Catholic writer of the 20th century.

What, when, where

* An online nine-day spiritual retreat, September 8-15, 2014, with the help of the writings of Thomas Merton (1915-1968).

* Simple and accessible:
one quote per day
one spiritual exercise per day
one prayer per day
* At home, in your daily life: read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule.

* You'll need 20 minutes a day of focused time and a computer or tablet with internet access.
* $50 if you register (pay online or mail a check, see below) by Friday, August 29.

*
$65 if you register from August 30 to September 8.

Some discounts are available for those in financial hardship. Talk to me.

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge.

"Novena retreat" ?

A novena is a sequence of nine successive days of prayer–usually prayers of either petition or thanksgiving. It is generally a public and popular spiritual practice and is found most often in the Roman Catholic religious tradition.

I am using the word “novena,” meaning "nine days," as part of the description of this retreat to indicate that it is nine days long and involves daily meditation and prayer.
It is a new twist on the traditional novena.

Our novena retreat is ecumenical: Merton was a Roman Catholic and well rooted in his Catholicism and his (Trappist) monastic tradition, but he delved into Christian sources, biblical and historical, from before the great schisms of the 11th and 16th centuries. His writings are accessible to Christians of many backgrounds, East and West. They are also beloved by many from other religious traditions. Merton was a pioneer in interreligious conversation, especially Buddhist-Christian dialogue. This retreat is open to all and in that sense it is also interreligious, though it offers an explicitly Christian perspective in the writings of the 20th century's most famous Catholic monk.


This is a retreat, not a class. It is a learning experience, but not only that. There are readings, but they are very short and meant to be pondered and used as a springboard for prayer and action.

 An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers daily resources (the quotes, spiritual exercises,** and prayers mentioned above, with some images as well to nourish you visually) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.
** These are invitations to reflection, action, meditation, journal-keeping (verbal or visual), and/or prayer which participants can use and adapt to their daily life and to their own spiritual practice.
* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.

* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions for the one-time-only sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

Registration

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, stating your intention to take the retreat, and make your payment.
Cost and payment

* $50 if you register by Friday, August 29.
You may also take advantage of this discount (even if you register after July 25) if you are unemployed or if you are a student or retiree on limited resources. If cost is still a hardship with this discount, please write me.
* $65 if you register between August 30 and September 8, the day the retreat begins.
It's best to register before September 8, but you are still welcome if you sign up at the 11th hour!
Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration, by check or online electronic payment.

If you prefer to pay by check, I will send you the mailing address when you write me to register.

If you prefer to pay online by credit card or PayPal, please click below to pay via the Redmont Retreats secure PayPal account. (Note: you don't have to have your own PayPal account to use this online payment method.

[The PayPal button is now fixed -- sorry for the glitch!]

Retreat fee (choose one)




Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.

or

If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.

Do you have questions or concerns after reading the retreat descriptions, here and on the linked pages? E-mail me.

* * * * * * * 
Jane Redmont is the author of When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life. She is a spiritual director, retreat leader, pastoral worker, writer, and theologian who has worked in  campus, urban, and parish ministries. An Episcopal Christian, she was also formed in the Catholic tradition and has Jewish and Unitarian Universalist family roots. She has been involved in work for social justice and ecumenical and interreligious relations all her life and has taught college, seminary, and graduate courses in Christian history, theology, spirituality, religious pluralism, and women's, gender, and sexuality studies.

Jane has been reading Merton for forty years, taught his work, and used his writings as a help to prayer and meditation both for herself and for others. She has led online retreats on Merton during Lent for the last two years.

Thomas Merton and the Dalai Lama, 1968

Friday, July 18, 2014

(Re-) discovering Howard Thurman: an online August retreat

Reminder: full list of online retreats for summer 2014 here.

Longing for some prayerful and reflective time in your busy life?

Interested in (re-)discovering the work of a wise guide?

Join us:
Howard Thurman: An Online Novena Retreat
August 4-12, 2014


Howard Thurman (1899-1981), a philosopher, educator, theologian, and pastor, was an African American born in the segregated South during the Jim Crow era. Nourished by the rich traditions of the Black Church and ordained as a Baptist minister, he was deeply influenced by Quaker thought, especially the mysticism and nonviolence of Rufus Jones. He was also a pioneer in interreligious understanding. His writings --books, prayers, meditations, and sermons-- are rooted in Christianity yet accessible to and pertinent to whose wisdom path is "spiritual but not religious."

Howard Thurman exercised a deep influence on some of the  Civil Rights Movement's leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He traveled to India to meet Gandhi in the 1930s with the first group of African Americans to do so. Thurman served as the first Black Dean of Marsh Chapel, the university chapel at Boston University, and founded the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, a multicultural, multiracial, and interfaith congregation in San Francisco which is still in existence today.

What, when, where


* An online nine-day spiritual retreat, August 4-12, 2014, with the help of the writings of Howard Thurman (1899-1981).

* Simple and accessible:
one quote per day
one spiritual exercise per day
one prayer per day
* At home, in your daily life: read, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule.

* You'll need 20 minutes a day of focused time and a computer or tablet with internet access.

* $50 if you register (pay online or mail a check, see below) by Friday, July 25.

*
$60 if you register from July 26 to August 4.

Some discounts are available for those in financial hardship. Talk to me.

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge.


"Novena retreat" ?

A novena is a sequence of nine successive days of prayer–usually prayers of either petition or thanksgiving. It is generally a public and popular spiritual practice and is found most often in the Roman Catholic religious tradition.

I am using the word “novena,” meaning nine days, as part of the description of this retreat to indicate that it is nine days long and involves daily meditation and prayer.


The novena retreat is ecumenical, accessible to Christians of any background or affiliation, and open to all. It is a new twist on the traditional novena.


An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers daily resources (the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers mentioned above, with some images as well to nourish you visually) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.

* What's a closed blog? It's a blog like this, but it is not public: it is open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me) has signed in. In other words, it is not open to anybody wandering around the internet. It is not "searchable": random web surfers will not be able to view either the blog or our conversations in the comments.

* Once you register for the retreat, I will send instructions for the one-time-only sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

* Here's an article about online retreats in which I am quoted.

Registration

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, stating your intention to take the retreat, and make your payment. 

Cost and payment

* $50 if you register by Friday, July 25.
You may also take advantage of this discount (even if you register after July 25) if you are unemployed or if you are a student or retiree on limited resources. If cost is still a hardship with this discount, please write me.
* $60 if you register between July 26 and August 4, the day the retreat begins. (It's best to register before August 4, but you are still welcome if you sign up at the 11th hour!)

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration, by check or online electronic payment.

If you prefer to pay by check, I will send you the mailing address when you write me to register.

If you prefer to pay online by credit card or PayPal, please click below to pay via the Redmont Retreats secure PayPal account. (Note: you don't have to have your own PayPal account to use this online payment method.)


Retreat fee (choose one)


Privacy and community

During the retreat, you can remain private and just read the blog and use the quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers on your own.

or

If you are more extroverted and communal or in need of companions on your retreat, you can  share your thoughts, experiences, and questions via the comments function on the blog and engage in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator.

July 18 only: discount on Dorothee Sölle online retreat!

Online retreat: nine days with Dorothee Sölle: see here for details. Join us!
Special discount on Friday, July 18 only if you register before midnight EST.
$45 instead of $60
Register and pay at this post

At a peace gathering


We’re not only ten thousand I said
there are more of us here
the dead of both wars
are with us

A journalist came and asked
how could I know that
haven’t you seen them
i ask the clueless guy
haven’t you heard your grandmother
groaning when they started it up again
do you live all alone
without any dead who drop in
for a drink with you
do you really think
you are only yourself

*--Dorothee Sölle
The Mystery of Death
2007 
(posthumous book - Sölle died in 2003 with the manuscript in draft)

The English version of the poem is by the book's translators, Nancy Lukens-Rumscheidt and Martin Lukens-Rumscheidt. The German original, "Auf einer Friedensversammlung," appeared in Dorothee Sölle, Loben ohne Lugen (Berlin, Wolfgang Fietkau, 2000).

Photo by the blogger New York Portraits, 2008.