Friday, June 13, 2014

9 days with William Stringfellow: online "novena retreat" begins July 7

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

Longing for some prayerful and reflective time in your busy life? 
Interested in a new perspective on the Bible in these United States?
Wondering about the relationship between Christian faith and social realities?
William Stringfellow: An Online Novena Retreat

William Stringfellow (1928-1985), was a lawyer by training and trade, not a professional theologian, though he wrote a dozen books and was one of most astute and insightful Christian thinkers of the 20th century. An Episcopal layman who understood himself very much as "Protestant" and engaged in open criticism of his own beloved church, he was grounded in the prayerful study of scripture. Stringfellow was also a radical social critic preoccupied with the powers of sin and death in the world and in the cosmos.

"My concern," Stringfellow wrote, "is to understand America biblically -- in contrast to the more common tendency, to understand the Bible 'Americanly.'" O
ne of the published  summaries of his work notes that his great theme "was the Constantinian compromise, the accommodation of Christianity to the values of the empire and the preservation of status quo."

Click here for an informative essay on William Stringfellow 
if you want to know more about his life, work, and significance.

Block Island, R.I., where Stringfellow shared a home with the poet Anthony Towne

What, when, where

* An online nine-day spiritual retreat, July 7-15, 2014, with the help of the writings of William Stringfellow (1928-1985).

* 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, June 27.

$60 if you register from June 27 to July 7.

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.

William Stringfellow was an Episcopalian, but 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 on the one-time sign-in mechanism. After that, the blog will always recognize you.

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


To register, write me, Jane Redmont. I will send you full registration instructions with payment address and online sign-up information. (Both of these are simple.)

Cost and payment

* $50 if you register by Friday, June 27.
You may also take advantage of this discount (even if you register after June 27) 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 June 27 and July 7, the day the retreat begins. (It's best to register before the 7th, 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 paying 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.)

Please choose the second option, using the little triangle arrow, since it is now after June 27.

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.


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.

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