Saturday, May 31, 2008

Abbey Celebration June 26

On Thursday, June 26, 2008 from 6-9 pm we will gather in the Parish Hall at St. George’s to celebrate our fifth anniversary. The history of the Urban Abbey can be traced to discussions that began more than five years ago, including a parish retreat in November, 2002, followed by the formation of a task force and a second retreat the following spring. On June 26, 2003 twenty two individuals made a commitment to God and one another to take on a Rule of Life and, thus, the Urban Abbey was formed.

As is our tradition, our meeting will begin with food and fellowship. I suggest the following rough agenda:

6:00-6:30 Gather & Prepare Dinner
6:30-7:30 Dinner & Fellowship Time
7:30-7:45 Clean-up
7:45-8:30 Community Meeting or Program
8:30-9:00 Liturgy (Including Installation of Leadership Team & Joining of any New Members)

Notice that new members of the leadership team will be formally installed at this meeting. Please let me know as soon as possible, but by June 15 at the latest, if you feel called to service on the leadership team this year – we do need at least two more individuals to serve on this team, so please prayerfully consider this possibility for service to the Abbey community.

The third component of our Rule of Life is to “Serve others, share the tasks of the Urban Abbey Community and be mindful of God in my daily work.” Our upcoming meeting provides a perfect opportunity for each Abbey member to live out this aspect of our rule, so please volunteer for one of the following tasks. Let me know which of these you would like to help with and I will put people in touch with each other.

Volunteers needed for:
Development of program ideas
Food Coordinator
Food Preparation and Set-up
Design of Liturgy
Any other ideas you may have (maybe a birthday cake?!)

I look forward to hearing from you and celebrating with you in June!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Some of us have enjoyed on line courses in spirituality offered by “Spirituality & Practice.” They are offering the following, for your information.

Ron Crocker

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Lectio Divina—An Online Retreat and Practice Group

And now for something a little different: “Spirituality & Practice” is partnering with “Contemplative Outreach,” founded by Fr. Thomas Keating and best known for its pioneering teaching of centering prayer, to present an online workshop on Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), one of the great treasures of the Christian tradition of prayer.

Lectio Divina flows out of the Hebrew method of studying the Scriptures which is called haggadah, learning by the heart. Haggadah was an interactive interpretation of the Scriptures by means of the free use of the text to explore its inner meaning. This online retreat will present the Christian version of this spiritual practice working with passages from the Bible. However, the method of divine reading can be used with any sacred text, so people of all traditions are invited to join us.

The Lectio Divina online retreat and Practice Group will run from May 19 to June 16. Participants will receive a weekly e-mail with step-by-step instructions in the Lectio Divina method. Two other weekly emails will provide answers to your questions and links to audio programs with commentary on this classic practice.

Replicating what you might experience during a face-to-face retreat, you will have access to a private Practice Group at, where mentors from “Contemplative Outreach” will provide further guidance and support. Here is an opportunity to report on your experiences with this practice and learn from others working with it. The Practice Circle will be available for an additional month for further sharing as you incorporate Lectio Divina into your daily life.

The fee for participation in this very special online retreat and Practice Group is $39.95. To sign up, click here then go to the bottom of the page that will be opened and click on the “Subscribe to E-Course” button. We and our friends at “Contemplative Outreach” are very much looking forward to sharing this beautiful practice with you.

-- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat