Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Remembering Forward: The Time of Advent (2017)

Remembering Forward:
The Time of Advent

an online retreat 

December 3 - 24, 2017

See below the photo
for information and registration.

Remembering Forward is an online spiritual retreat in the Christian tradition. It will accompany your daily life during the season of Advent, which prepares the way for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

An online retreat enables you to participate at home or any other place where you have a computer or tablet with internet access. You check in at the time of day or night that works for you. You can read, listen, gaze, meditate, and pray in a way that suits your schedule.

Twenty minutes a day is a nice rhythm, but even ten minutes can be helpful if you check in with any regularity. You can check in on your online retreat less often, or more often, than once a day, and for as long or short a time as you wish. It's up to you. The resources for the retreat will be waiting for you every day on the retreat site. (More information on the technical aspect of the retreat below.)

Remembering forward?

What is this, a time warp?

In a way, yes.

Advent is a season that challenges and plays with our sense of time.

It is a season turned toward the future:
~ the near future, in our waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus;
~ the hovering, known-and-unknown future, frightening or reassuring,
~ the long-term future, with the reminder that the Advent season takes the long view.
~ Advent heightens our sense of yearning.
~ With Advent comes the renewal of imagination and vision.
The season of Advent is also a time of remembrance:
~ For some this season and its memories bring joy. For others, this is a sad and difficult time.
~ Sometimes the season holds both delight and sorrow, contentment and emptiness.
~ Advent is a season of holy memory, in which we journey with people and stories from the past that are part of our living tradition and give us strength.
~ Advent is a time for returning to treasured traditions. It can also be a time for re-examining their place in our lives -- or for embroidering on old traditions.
Advent is full of apparent contradictions. 
It is the Slowdown Season and the Better-Wake-Up Season.

Advent 2017

This year, because of the location of the four Sundays before Christmas on the December calendar, we have the shortest possible Advent. (Last year we had the longest possible Advent.) The 4th Sunday of Advent, which we celebrate the morning of Sunday, December 24, is also Christmas Eve!

So we have a little less time than usual this year to pay attention to the season of Advent: exactly three weeks.

Let's spend this attentive time in community, on this retreat, together. Let it be a spacious time in an often pressured and busy season.

An online retreat? How does that work?

The retreat offers daily resources 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, Jane, the retreat facilitator) has signed in.

In other words, the retreat blog 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. Conversations between and among retreatants remain private.

~ "Do I have to talk to other people on this retreat? I'm a very private person."
~ "Can I get some support here? I want some company."

Answer to both questions:

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.
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 or disclose who you are. Or you can and may take part in conversation with other retreatants and with the retreat facilitator. Conversation during the retreat takes place in writing, via the comments on the blog posts of the retreat blog. Please be prepared to observe confidentiality and kindness and to respect other participants' diverse experiences and outlooks.
Use the retreat according to your personality and your circumstances. The online retreat is like a room in which you are welcome to sit in the company of others and to be either visible or invisible.

What will I find on this retreat?

Every Sunday:

A meditation on one or more of the Scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary or the Catholic Lectionary, with reference to our retreat's theme.
Every Monday:
An invitation to a simple "seasonal slow-down" exercise in your daily life.
An invitation to reflect on and pray with some questions on "remembering forward" in Advent.
Every day:
Checking in daily will be like opening an Advent calendar. You will find each day a little gift: a piece of music or visual art, a commemoration of a saint's day, a bit of holy wisdom, or a remembrance or vision embodying Advent hope.
You can mix and match these daily and weekly observances.

Registration and payment

Registration is easy via secure PayPal link, which takes credit and debit cards too: you don't have to have your own PayPal account to use this online payment method.

(If you prefer paying by check, please e-mail me.)

The "Early Bird" rate applies if you register and pay any time before midnight on Thursday, November 30, whatever your time zone.

The regular rate applies from December 1 on.

If you are in a situation of financial stress, please write me and we can arrange for a discount, a payment plan, or scholarship. Or you can just check and pay the "hardship" rate below.

The "benefactor" rate below helps to offset costs and makes scholarship aid possible.

Payment is non-refundable and due upon registration.

Retreat fees (choose one)

Retreat designer and facilitator:
Jane Redmont is a retreat leader and spiritual director, theologian and pastoral worker, writer and writing coach. An Episcopal Christian, she was also formed in the Catholic tradition and has Jewish and Unitarian Universalist family roots. She has worked in campus, urban, and parish ministries, taught undergraduates, seminarians, and graduate students, and been involved in work for justice and in ecumenical and interreligious relations all her life. She serves as a Congregational Consultant for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and is the author of two books including When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life.
Questions? Concerns? Write me (Jane) here.

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