Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Hurry Up and Slow Down" retreat begins April 14

Hurry Up and Slow Down:
Spiritual Practices for a New Season

An online retreat
from April 14 to May 26, 2013


Hurry Up and Slow Down is a spiritual retreat accompanying your daily life. It will offer guidance, but it is not an academic class with a lot of reading. It is simple, accessible, and gently focused on practice -- the "how" of living every day mindfully and reverently, in a way that suits our own circumstances and takes into account how busy we are.

If you think you don't have time for "Hurry Up and Slow Down," you are exactly the person who will benefit from it. You are, of course, also welcome if you think you do have time for it!


Each week will have a theme or anchor. The weekly themes will be rich and basic:

* mindfulness  *  breath *   place  *   time  *   community  *  earth *

These themes can be building blocks of spiritual practice whether we are religiously affiliated or not. The retreat is suitable both for people who are committed to a particular religious or spiritual path and for people who are not.

Every week, with the theme of the week, will include four components, offered each Sunday and accompanying you throughout the week:

1. Awareness of the week's anchoring theme:
Taking stock, naming, asking and answering questions, doing a little writing (or drawing if we are more visually inclined).

2. Inspiration:
A short reading, an image, an insight, a bit of wisdom about the theme for us to ponder during the week.

3. Practice:
An exercise related to the week's theme, a concrete how-to that we can incorporate into our daily life throughout the week.

4. Tradition(s):
Some insights into the week's theme from the experience and wisdom of religious traditions. We are not the first to grapple with the themes of our retreat and we are not alone.


The retreat begins Sunday, April 14, 2013 and runs till Sunday, May 26, 2013.

If you have 15 minutes a day to check in online (any time of the day or night from any time zone) you will benefit from the retreat. 


Registration opens on February 22 and will remain open till the first week of the retreat in mid-April.

To register, write Jane Redmont at

Cost and payment

Cost: $150  ($125 if you register by April 2)

Sliding scale available for the financially strained. You are on your honor to decide whether this applies to you. Talk to me:


Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration, by check or money order. Write me at for the mailing address when you write me to register.

How can you have an online retreat?


By offering the retreat resources (themes, quotes, images, videos, guidelines for spiritual exercises, and more) 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 the retreat facilitator) allows in. In other words, it is not open 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 sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.
Do I have to talk to other people on the retreat? I'm a very private person.
Can I get some support here? I'm not sure I can stick to this all by myself.

The retreat will offer you a choice in finding your preferred balance between the solitary and the communal, between privacy and solidarity.

1) You can be private and just read the blog and use the exercises, practices, and quotes on your own.  


2) 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.

Either way, in your participation on the blog, silent or speaking, you must respond respectfully to others and observe basic confidentiality about participants sharing of experiences and opinions: it's fine for you to say to people outside the retreat "someone in a group I'm in mentioned [issue, insight, dilemma]" but not the name or identifying characteristics of the person or the story.
This online retreat is meant to help you find time and opportunity to breathe and pause in your busy life, but not to make you feel guilty when you struggle to do so.  Begin where you are, not where you "ought to be."


Jane Redmont, author of When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life, Generous Lives: American Catholic Women Today, and more than 100 articles, is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and pastoral worker. Jane has given workshops on "Prayer in Our Busy Lives" and on  "Spiritual Practices for the Busy, the Harried, and the Overcommitted" as well as lectures, retreats, and workshops on praying with anger and depression; intercessory prayer; using body, breath, and voice in prayer and meditation; ecological spirituality; prayer and the work of justice; Jewish insights for Christians; Sabbath and time; Buddhist and Christian insights on anger; and Christian feminist spirituality, around the U.S. She has taught courses on the contemplative life and on prayer at the undergraduate and seminary/graduate levels. 

Jane was active in ecumenical healing services in communities affected by AIDS during the 1980s and 1990s, led weekly prayer services for peace in the early 2000s, and more recently facilitated weekly Centering Prayer and Taizé services. An American raised in France, Jane was educated at the Lycée de Sèvres, Oberlin College, Harvard Divinity School, and the Graduate Theological Union; she is an Episcopalian (Anglican) shaped by Catholic contemplative and social justice traditions, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist family roots, and the study of yoga and Buddhist (especially Zen) meditation.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Feminist spirituality and liturgy course: full information

Naming Mystery, Living Justice:
Spirituality and Liturgy in Feminist Perspective
Ten weeks, January 27* -April 7, 2013
Registration is open now!

Note below the discount for those who register by Sunday, January 20.
* "Soft launch" the week before the formal beginning of the course when the course blog will open to those who are registered and wish to get started a bit early with the initial reflection and a look at some resources.
Bracha Lavee, Dancing Miriam
 The course

A 10-week (Jan. 27-April 7) online course which you can take from any time zone as long as you have a reliable internet connection.

For the past four decades, feminist, womanist, and other women-defined theologies** have challenged Christian and Jewish thinking and practice in fundamental ways and worked toward reshaping them, both in academia and in communities of faith and practice. Religious feminism also exists in Pagan or Goddess-oriented communities, in Islam and Buddhism, and it is now a global movement, though not a uniform or unified one.
** We will look at terminology and have a chance to learn new words and examine old ones, especially since the course is preoccupied with how we name the sacred.
The boundaries between "theology" ("God-talk") and spirituality, between theology and ethics, and between ethics and spirituality are porous, and in especially so in feminist and other liberation theologies. One way of looking at this course is as a class in feminist theology or religious feminism viewed through the lens of spirituality and liturgy (or ritual). 

Neither of these --spirituality and liturgy-- is only an individual phenomenon; liturgy is primarily communal.

The course is called Naming Mystery, Living Justice because (among other reasons):

* spirituality involves not only our attempts to name and encounter the mystery at the heart of life but also our daily efforts to live justly and compassionately on this earth;

* liturgy (from two Greek words meaning "the people" and "work") is a privileged, separate, sacred time, yet profoundly related to "ordinary time" and to human suffering, struggle, joy, to power in and outside our religious communities, to our efforts to preserve or transform our institutions and Earth itself.

A few more details about the course
Not for academic credit.

Readings are at a university level, but no college or graduate degree is required in order to take the course, only interest and commitment.

Open to persons of all genders, though likely with a majority of women participants.

  Naming Mystery, Living Justice will address such themes and topics as:
-voice and silence
-naming and language
-spirituality and the body
-spirituality and ecology
-spirituality and justice
-spirituality and sexuality
The course will examine feminist liturgical critique and creativity in Christian, Jewish, and Pagan/Goddess communities, including:
-liturgical language and the language of prayer (with careful attention to the question of inclusive and expansive language and reflection on metaphor and symbol)
-new and renewed rituals and liturgies from the traditions mentioned above

-feminist, womanist, and other women-defined biblical interpretation
-power and the dynamics of communal religious life in the experience and leadership of worship
We will learn new words and concepts as we go along, helping each other to understand and use them.

In addition to learning this common material, which will make up most of the course, you will have a chance to work on a small project of your choice in order to tailor the course to your own interests. I will provide mentoring and resources for this. See details below.


1.  Commit to the full ten weeks.

2.  Read three essays a week (essay = an article or a chapter from a book)

3.  Check in at least once a week on the course blog with a short response to the readings for the week.  (Everyone in the course sees this.)

4.  Write one short reflection as you begin the course and one short reflection as you end the course. (Only Jane sees these.)
These reflection essays can be as short as one typed page, or longer if you prefer. I will provide guidelines for them. They offer a chance for you to reflect on what has brought you to this course and, at the end, on what you have learned.
5.  Choose and complete one small personal project.
You may skip this one, but it will make the course much more rewarding and will adapt it to your own interests, context, and circumstances, and I will provide mentoring and resources with a private consultation. (Choose the project by Feb. 17; consult with me --by phone, Skype, or e-mail, your choice-- by Feb. 24.)
Some examples of projects:

-Research inclusive and expansive language in your particular religious community (e.g. the ELCA, the Reform Jewish movement, Wicca).

-Do a little extra reading (two or three essays) in an area of the course you wish you had more time to explore.

-Visit a local community that worships in a way that incorporates feminist spirituality or feminist liturgical action and write up the visit (I will provide field trip guidelines to support you in this visit, and of course you may bring a companion even if that person is not taking the course). The community can be a regular congregation or a small base community or ad hoc group.

-Design and/or facilitate a ritual in your own context (you will have examples and models of ritual from our readings), e.g. a blessing for someone about to give birth or adopt, a house blessing, a healing ritual after a specific event or life transition.

What will we be reading?

Essays from ...
Carol Christ and Judith Plaskow's Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions; Teresa Berger, ed.'s Dissident Daughters: Feminist Liturgies in Global Context; Gail Ramshaw's Liturgical Language: Keeping It Metaphoric, Making It Inclusive; Rosemary Radford Ruether's Women-Church ...
 ...and writings by Musa Dube, Starhawk, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, the Con-spirando collective, Marcia Falk, and others.

How the online dimension works

The course will be on a closed blog -- which is a blog (same format as this) but open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (that's me, Jane, your friendly instructor) allows in. In other words, it is not open 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 sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

Because one cannot upload documents to a blog (though there will be web links, reading guidelines, and illustrations, and of course the comments function) I will e-mail you the readings in PDF form if they are not available through links online. I will do so in group e-mails with your e-mail address in bcc to protect your privacy.

Registration and cost

Register by

1. writing me at to tell me you wish to take the course.

2. putting your check in the mail. 

 (Once you have e-mailed me, I will send you the mailing address.)

Cost for the ten-week course: $300.

Cost is discounted to $250 for those who register by January 20.

Course tuition is non-refundable.


Write Jane Redmont at readwithredmont@earthlink.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Registration is open for Lent and Holy Week MERTON retreat

Lent and Holy Week, February 13 to March 31, 2013 

THOMAS MERTON, Companion on the Way

an online retreat

The retreat

An online  retreat examining contemplation and struggle in the life, writings, and prayer of Thomas Merton, with guidance and opportunity for prayer and practice. 

We will journey through the Christian season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday,* with writings by Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis), Trappist monk, poet, spiritual teacher, hermit, and social critic.
* There will be an option to continue and conclude April 1-4, for those who have church ministry responsibilities through Easter Sunday (and a need rest on  Easter Monday!) and who may prefer to engage in the final retreat meditations during Easter Week.
Each week will feature short passages from Merton's writings on themes of prayer, war and peace, solitude, nature, community, suffering, and new life. 

The readings (they will be brief: this is a retreat, not a course) will come twice a week, usually on Wednesday morning and Saturday evening.

Readings will be coordinated with Lenten observance. Along with the writings by Merton will be suggestions for reflection, meditation, journal-keeping (verbal or visual), and prayer which participants can use and adapt to their daily life and to their own spiritual practice.

Like all our online retreats, this one will include, but not require, opportunities for conversation with other participants.

Registration and cost  

Cost: $250.

$200 for those who register by February 1.

Reading this February 8 or 9? See here for Snowstorm Special!

Also, scholarship and sliding scale are available for those in financial difficulty. Please write me and we will find a way to make this retreat affordable for you!

Payment is non-refundable.

To register and for information on where to send your check, write Jane at

An online retreat? How does that work?   

By offering the retreat resources (meditations, images, guidelines for spiritual practice, insights on prayer) online on a blog. More specifically, a closed blog.  

What's a closed blog? It's a blog open only to those whom the blog owner-administrator (in this case the retreat facilitator) allows in. In other words, it is not open 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 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.

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. 

You can and may make conversation part of the retreat experience. (Conversation on the retreat takes place via the comments on the blog posts of the retreat blog.) You can and may, however, remain private and just read the blog and use the practices and meditations on your own. Nobody will force you to speak.

Please be prepared to observe confidentiality and respect for other participants' diverse experiences and outlooks.
Facilitator and host   

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 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.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year! Updates on courses & retreats by January 14

We've moved! Not in the online world, but in the on-the-earth world. Nearly 800 miles, to be exact. Check back here by January 14 for some schedule adjustments and announcements and reminders of forthcoming offerings: the course in feminist liturgy and spirituality, the Merton retreat for Lent and Holy Week, and more.

Happy New Year!