Monday, February 8, 2016

LENT! Four online retreats, two short and two long -- Thurman, Soelle, Merton, desert journey, daily bread

Lent in the Western churches begins early this year.


Ash Wednesday is February 10.


We've got four online retreats for you to choose from this Lent. Click on the name of each retreat below for further information and registration:

FEBRUARY 10- MARCH 27 (Lent and Holy Week):

Two options:
Desert Journey and Daily Bread: New Lenten Perspectives on Food and Fasting
Peace in the Struggle: Lent with Thomas Merton

In case you're still in shock at the early beginning of Lent, or if you prefer a short and more intense experience to an all-Lent-long one:

FEBRUARY 22-MARCH 1:
Howard Thurman: Nine Days in Lent
MARCH 7-15:
Dorothee Soelle: Nine Days in Lent






All of these online retreats call us to simplicity, mindfulness, and holiness. Like the season of Lenten itself, they invite us to repentance and conversion, but also to joy.

Peace be with you. Please join us on the journey of Lent.


* * * * * * *
Lent is the Church's annual long retreat.

We go on this retreat --not necessarily to a different place, but a zone of mindfulness and practice that simplifies our life and peels away its non-essentials-- in order to reconnect, deeply, with God, with Christ, with the Spirit at the heart of God's life, our life, and the life of the world.

So we clear space, or let God help us clear space, and time, to make room for the God of comfort and surprises and to make room for what is deepest and truest in our lives.

And because we not only live in our bodies but are our bodies, our practices are not only states of mind but bodily actions and attitudes.

"Spirituality" does not mean "outside the body" or "other than the body."

Quite the contrary.

"Holiness," though it may include sacrifice or restraint, is not a forgetting of the body but really "wholeness," a way of not living a life in pieces. "Integrity" may be another way of thinking of it. In Lent we seek to be whole again, or whole in a new way.

In the wilderness, in a life that is even just a little simpler, a little slower, and little more mindful, we can discover or rediscover the integrity to which the Holy One calls us.


(c) Jane Redmont

Desert Journey, Daily Bread: New Lenten Perspectives on Food and Fasting *an online retreat*

Desert Journey, Daily Bread: 
New Lenten Perspectives on Food and Fasting


an online retreat

Lent and Holy Week

February 10 to March 27, 2016



Jane Redmont

The retreat

Desert Journey and Daily Bread is an online retreat to deepen Lenten prayer and practice in the areas of food and fasting.


In the Desert Journey and Daily Bread retreat, we will journey through the Christian season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, with gentle guidance, wisdom from biblical, historical, and contemporary sources, and opportunities for prayer and practice.

Our purpose is not to make a fetish out of either food or fasting; they are part of a larger life of faith and practice, of the full life of the body, and of the Lenten journey. Fasting and food are a lens through which we can live the season of Lent, which itself is a path to attune us more closely to God, to God's world, to ourselves, and to our neighbors --and to prepare to celebrate the Resurrection.
The retreat is a call to simplicity, mindfulness, and holiness.

Like the season of Lent itself, it invites us to repentance and conversion, but also to joy.

Note: We are also offering three other Lenten retreats this year, one long, like this one, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday (click here for more information on that retreat, which features writings by Thomas Merton), and two short, for those who prefer to make a shorter (or later) commitment of daily practice nine days in a row. (Click here for a February 22-March 1 retreat with writings by Howard Thurman; click here for a March 9-15 retreat with writings by Dorothee Soelle.)
All of the retreats have a structure and a schedule, but they are flexible enough to integrate into your daily life: you are the one who decides when and where to read and pray with the materials in the retreat (day or night, at home or elsewhere) and how to apply the invitations to practice.  
Each week of Desert Journey, Daily Bread will have a theme related both to the topic of the retreat and to one or more of the biblical lectionary readings for Sunday.
This is an ecumenical retreat in the Western Christian tradition, though there will be some references to Orthodox Christian Lenten practices. Though your friendly retreat leader, and Episcopal/Anglican Christian, worships in a tradition using the Revised Common Lectionary, she will also take into account the Roman Catholic Sunday lectionary. We also have much to learn from sister religious traditions (Judaism, Islam) which have practices of fasting and an active spirituality of food in many cultural settings.
Each week of Desert Journey, Daily Bread retreat will feature:
* short readings for our reflection;
* spiritual exercises (which will involve the whole person, body, mind, heart, and spirit, as do all Lenten practices) especially those involving or related to eating, fasting, and food;
* prayers;
* images to contemplate; and
* reminders of the broader context of the Lenten journey in which we practice our praying, eating, fasting, simple living, almsgiving, and work toward the kin-dom of God. Participants can use all of these according to their own context and daily life.
There will be new material three times a week:

1. Saturday evening (in anticipation of Sunday):

Reflection on the theme for the week in conjunction with one or more of the Sunday lectionary readings.
2. Tuesday morning:
The spirituality of food in Lent: wisdom, queries, and spiritual practices related to food and water.
3. Thursday evening (in anticipation of Friday):
Friday is traditionally a penitential day and some Christian traditions focus their Lenten fasting in particular ways on Friday. Accordingly, our Thursday night reflection will prepare us for the greater simplicity of Fridays in Lent.
It will also offer us wisdom and support in whatever fasting practices we have chosen, whether they involve fasting from food or fasting in other ways (from television, from Twitter, from harmful speech, from impulse buying, from online arguments).
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.



Registration and cost

 

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 want to pay by credit or debit card or with a PayPal account, simply register and pay in a single transaction using the PayPal button below. (You can use that button and its secure connection to pay with a credit or debit 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)



Conversation, community, and privacy

Like all our online retreats, this one will include, but not require, opportunities for conversation with other participants. Make this retreat your own. It is a communal journey, as is the whole season of Lent, but a great part of it is also your own journey with God in your particular context. The retreat is an invitation to a guided experience with resources, support, and some accountability if you wish, but it is not a competition in holiness or practice. It can be helpful whether or not you are also involved in a parish or congregation in any part of the Christian family.



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 wish, 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.

* * * * *
The theme of the desert journey is prominent in Lent.

We go to the desert, or to some form of desert or wilderness, in this season --not necessarily to a different place, but in some way to a zone of mindfulness and practice that simplifies our life and peels away its non-essentials-- in order to reconnect, deeply, with God, with Christ, with the Spirit at the heart of God's life, our life, and the life of the world.

The desert journey is for the sake of life. Life abundant. Life in God. Life in relationship.

So we clear space, or let God help us clear space, and time, to make room for the God of comfort and surprises and to make room for what is deepest and truest in our lives.

And because we not only live in our bodies but
are our bodies, our practices are not only states of mind but bodily actions and attitudes.

"Spirituality" does not mean "outside the body" or "other than the body."

Quite the contrary.

"Holiness," though it may include sacrifice or restraint, is not a forgetting of the body but really "wholeness," a way of not living a life in pieces. "Integrity" may be another way of thinking of it. In Lent we seek to be whole again, or whole in a new way.

In the wilderness, in a life that is even just a little simpler, a little slower, and little more mindful, we can discover or rediscover the integrity to which the Holy One calls us.


(c) Jane Redmont

Peace in the Struggle: Lent with Thomas Merton *an online retreat*

Lent and Holy Week, February 10-March 27, 2016

PEACE IN THE STRUGGLE:
 Lent with Thomas Merton

an online retreat


Once again, we are offering an online Lenten retreat inspired by the life and writings of Thomas Merton, 20th century Trappist monk, writer, poet, spiritual teacher, artist, social critic, and pioneer in interreligious and intermonastic dialogue. In his Trappist community, he was known as Father Louis.

Our theme this year is "Peace in the Struggle." We will explore some of the meanings and dimensions of this theme, with attention both to our inner lives and to the lives and struggles in the world around us.

Though most of us are not monks, part of Merton's great appeal is that his writings speak to persons in many walks of life. Their honesty encourages our own. 


 
Each week of the retreat will feature short passages from Merton's writings. (Those of you who have taken an online Lenten retreat will encounter some familiar passages, but other excerpts from Merton's works will be new this year. As in the past, the writings will come in the several genres in which Merton wrote: poetry, prayer, journal, essay, memoir.



These readings (they will be brief: this is a retreat, not a course) will be posted three times a week, usually on Monday morning, Wednesday evening, and Saturday morning. The retreat will continue through Holy Week, until the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

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.

It is up to you to make the retreat your own. You can do so while remaining anonymous and simply following the retreat on the retreat blog (which is open only to retreatants and not searchable on the internet), or you can participate in conversation with other retreatants through the comments feature of each blog post.

Note: We are also offering three other Lenten retreats this year, one long, like this one, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday (click here for more information on that retreat, which is on the themes of food and fasting), and two short, for those who prefer to make a shorter (or later) commitment of daily practice nine days in a row. (Click here for a February 22-March 1 retreat with writings by Howard Thurman; click here for a March 9-15 retreat with writings by Dorothee Soelle.)
All of the retreats have a structure and a schedule, but they are flexible enough to integrate into your daily life: you are the one who decides when and where to read and pray with the materials in the retreat (day or night, at home or elsewhere) and how to apply the invitations to practice.  
An online retreat? How does that work?

* The retreat offers resources quotes, spiritual exercises, and prayers (with some images as well to nourish you visually, and a little music for your ears and your sou) 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.


Registration and payment

Although the retreat begins on Ash Wednesday, you may register until the second week of Lent. Ideally, it is best to begin very early in Lent, but most of us don't live ideal lives. If you want the support and opportunity this retreat provides, you are welcome.

To register, write me, Jane Redmont, at readwithredmont@earthlink.net if you plan to pay by check: 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 by 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 or scholarship.

If you wish to help make more scholarships possible, just check and pay the "benefactor" rate below.


Retreat fees (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 wish, 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.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Howard Thurman: Nine Days in Lent *online retreat *

Got a late start on Lent?
Interested in (re-)discovering the work of a wise guide?
Need spiritual support?
Want a short and more intense retreat rather than a longer retreat?
Longing for some prayerful and reflective time in your busy life?


Join us.



Monday, February 22 to Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Howard Thurman:
 

Nine Days in Lent

* An online nine-day retreat, with the help of the writings of Howard Thurman (1898-1981).

* Simple and accessible:
one short passage from Thurman's writings each day
one (related) spiritual exercise each day
one prayer each day
* 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 (any time, night or day) and a computer or tablet with internet access.

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge for your Lenten journey.

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 and pertinent to people 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.
Thurman's book Jesus and the Disinherited predated Black liberation theology by a generation.
Note: We are also offering three other Lenten retreats this year, two long, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. (Click here for more information on the featuring writings by Thomas Merton; Click here for the retreat on food and fasting, Desert Journey, Daily Bread), and one short, like this one. (Click here for a March 9-15 retreat with writings by Dorothee Soelle.)
All of the retreats have a structure and a schedule, but they are flexible enough to integrate into your daily life: you are the one who decides when and where to read and pray with the materials in the retreat (day or night, at home or elsewhere) and how to apply the invitations to practice.

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.

Registration and payment

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 want to pay by credit or debit card or with a PayPal account, simply register and pay in a single transaction using the PayPal button below. (You can use that button and its secure connection to pay with a credit or debit 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 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 wish, 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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dorothee Soelle: Nine Days in Lent * online retreat *

Need spiritual support during the fourth week of Lent?
It's not too late!
Join us for a time of reflection, practice, and prayer.

Monday, March 9 to Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dorothee Soelle:
Nine Days in Lent

* An online nine-day spiritual retreat, with the help of the writings of Dorothee Soelle (1928-2003).

* Simple and accessible:
one short passage from Soelle's writings each day
one (related) spiritual exercise each day
one prayer each day
* 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 (any time, night or day) and a computer or tablet with internet access.

* Spiritual refreshment, nurture, and challenge for your Lenten journey.


Dorothee Soelle (also spelled Sölle) (1928-2003) was a German theologian, poet, peace activist, Protestant and ecumenical Christian, spouse and mother, teacher, socialist, and from mid-life on, feminist. She was the author of The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance, Against the Wind: Memoir of a Radical Christian, Revolutionary Patience, Theology for Skeptics, and many other works. Soelle wrote in an accessible manner --mostly in prose, sometimes in poems-- and not in the form of long academic treatises. Her chosen topics, though, were often challenging: silence and language in the struggle to name God; suffering and the vulnerability of God; Jesus the risk-taker and the community of the friends of Jesus; history, evil, and Christian political engagement; the church as community of memory, resistance, and hope.
 


This retreat will be especially helpful if you  
--are struggling with the challenge of staying hopeful in hard times 
--want to explore connections between Christian spirituality and social justice
--are busy and yearn for some quiet and inspiration
--are honest about your struggles in faith
--want to rekindle your relationship with God
--got a late start on Lent
Note: We are also offering three other Lenten retreats this year, two long, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday. (Click here for more information on the featuring writings by Thomas Merton; Click here for the retreat on food and fasting, Desert Journey, Daily Bread), and one short, like this one. (Click here for a March 9-15 retreat with writings by Howard Thurman.)
All of the retreats have a structure and a schedule, but they are flexible enough to integrate into your daily life: you are the one who decides when and where to read and pray with the materials in the retreat (day or night, at home or elsewhere) and how to apply the invitations to practice.
 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.

Registration and payment

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 want to pay by credit or debit card or with a PayPal account, simply register and pay in a single transaction using the PayPal button below. (You can use that button and its secure connection to pay with a credit or debit 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 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 wish, 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.