Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We Brothers welcome you to a share one of our daily practices: listening to and reflecting on a chapter of our Rule of Life.

In addition the Brothers have a series of other resources that we hope might be helpful to you in exploring living with a Rule.

Living Intentionally: Creating a Rule of Life

We invite you to download our Living Intentionally Workbook for Creating a Personal Rule of Life. Walk with Br. David Vryhof step-by-step through the process of writing your own Rule.

A Framework for Freedom:

We invite you to discover the freedom that comes from living by a rule of life, by journeying through “A Framework for Freedom,” a 7-week self-guided video course to help you say “Yes” to your life.  Watch the series now.  Subscribe to a daily email.

In Lent 2012, we preached a series on the challenges and rewards of living by a rule of life. Drawing on chapters from SSJE’s Rule. Read and listen to the sermons.

A Living Tradition:

Each day of Lent 2011, we posted a short “living commentary” on our Rule, with a Brother or two offering his unique perspective on the document which shapes and forms our prayer and practice more than any other apart from Scripture and The Book of Common PrayerTo read that conversation, click here.

 

The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

We Brothers welcome you to a share one of our daily practices: listening to and reflecting on a chapter of our Rule of Life.

  • To listen to the SSJE Rule of Life, read aloud by a brother, click on the chapters to the left.
  • To read a Guide to Personal Reflection, click here
  • To Subscribe to the SSJE Rule of Life, click the subscribe buttons on the left.
  • We welcome comments on each chapter.
  • To purchase a copy of the book The Rule of Life, click here

Introduction

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The audio book, The Twelve Days of Christmas, is read by Br. Curtis Almquist and accompanied by carols sung by the Brothers.

The Twelve Days of Christmas follow from December 25 until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the traditional date when the Magi arrived to present gifts to infant Jesus. For many, the meaning of these days is lost. By Christmas night we are saturated with the holiday hype, overfed by music and food, and may already be disappointed that the presents received are not enough. This audio book is not a bah humbug about Christmas customs and presents.

This is simply an invitation to go deeper than the tinsel and wrappings, beyond the presents given and received, to the source of all the good gifts in life. Readers are invited to unwrap gifts that will last, praying the twelve days of Christmas.

Saturday Workshop: Disordered Attachments

On Saturday, 9 December from 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM, Brother David Vryhof SSJE will be leading a workshop Disordered Attachments and Inner Freedom. A “disordered attachment” is the slippery slope of clinging to something – our appearance, reputation, money, status, eloquence, relationship(s), etc. – to determine our happiness. Life is precious and fleeting. Br. David will draw on Christian and Buddhist spirituality and developmental psychology to reflect on the inner freedom we need to be fully alive. To register, visit http://www.ssje.org/workshops or contact Chris in the Guesthouse office: (617) 876-3037, extension 10, or by e-mail guesthouse@ssje.org.

Guest Preacher: The Reverend Gregory Basker

On Tuesday, 21 November we will welcome The Reverend Gregory Basker as our guest preacher at the 5:30 PM celebration of the Eucharist. Dr. Basker is a presbyter of the Church of South India and teaches theology and Scripture from a Tamil point of view at Tamilnadu Theological College, the Church of South India’s theological college in Madurai, India.

Announcing a 13-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land

We will be leading a 13-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, from May 28 through June 9, 2018.  We believe that this pilgrimage could be a life-changing experience for you.  Visiting the Holy Land will help you to understand the land and the culture in which Jesus lived and in which many of the Bible’s stories take place.  Having a visual memory of these places will forever change the way you read and understand Scripture, and will transform your relationship with Jesus.  In addition, you will gain insight into the present-day situation in the Holy Land and be better able to understand its complexities.  We believe this trip will transform you in significant ways.

Four of our Brothers – David Vryhof, Jonathan Maury, Nicholas Bartoli and Keith Nelson – will be leading this pilgrimage along with our friend and guide in Jerusalem, Canon Iyad Qumri.  We are certain that the travel within Israel/Palestine, the teaching, the shared worship, the gracious Middle Eastern hospitality, and the fellowship will be a wonderfully enriching experience for you.

Download an 8-page flyer describing the pilgrimage, and a registration form.  On behalf of the community, I invite you to consider making this life-changing pilgrimage.

Compassion

Compassion does not deny our clear perception of another person – our “take” on them, our being able to “size them up,” our being able to “see through” their gimmicks and games and posturing – but rather to see all this through new eyes. So much of what is irritating in life are people inarticulately, desperately asking for help.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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The Life We Share – Br. Curtis Almquist

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Br. Curtis Almquist1 Thessalonians 5:11

If you have the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land, you inevitably experience a great diversity of people.  Among them are Jews, Muslims, and Christians, all of whom lay claim to both the land, and to their own particular narrative of history: what has happened there down through the centuries, and why.  Though there is a common ground, there is not a common creed, as we well know… except that all three faith traditions look to the same place and time and person, the first person to be invited into a relationship with God.  And this is Abraham and his wife, Sarah, with whom God establishes a covenant.

A covenant is not the same as a contract.  A contract is a transaction, but a covenant is a relationship.  A contract is about interests, but a covenant is about identity.  And that is why contracts benefit, but covenants transform.  Covenants transform.  We are covenanted people.  I am drawing here on the teaching of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, sometime Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congrega­tions of the Commonwealth, who spoke about ten years ago to the Anglican bishops at the Lambeth Conference.[i]  In a covenant, two or more individuals, each respecting the dignity and the integrity of the other, come together in a bond of love and trust, to share their interests, sometimes even to share their lives, by pledging faithfulness to one another, to do together what neither can do alone.  A covenant is about relationship, a relationship that invites and presumes a transformative change will happen in both persons, both parties. Read More

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The “false self” is the self which is created and conferred by the culture in which we live. We become addicted to its expectations and demands, we worry about how we are seen and valued by others, and we lose touch with our “true self”, the self which is made in the image of God and finds its deepest fulfillment in living in union with God.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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Humility

Oh, it’s fine to admit our sins and weaknesses when we’ve decided what they are, and we might be right some of the time – but what about when someone else points out our sins and weaknesses? Do we have the humility to trust God, to snuggle in close under God’s wings, while we consider the painful truth or the well-meaning falsehood of what someone else has pointed out to us?

-Br. Robert L’Esperance, SSJE

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Join Us in Welcoming Kids for Peace-Boston

On Sunday, 19 November, we will welcome members of Kids for Peace-Boston along with some of their parents and mentors to the Sunday Eucharist. Kids for Peace is a program that brings together members of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities and helps them to grow in their understanding of one another. One of the ways they do this is to visit churches, synagogues and mosques to experience worship in different contexts. In the summer Kids for Peace – Boston sponsors a summer camp and hosts a Kids for Peace group from Israel/ Palestine. Following the Sunday Eucharist there will be a simple reception to welcome Kids for Peace – Boston. Please join us and say hello to our visitors.

Come Away & Rest Awhile

This week we’ve welcomed to our Guesthouse participants in Come Away, and Rest Awhile: A Week of Renewal for Clergy. Throughout the year our Guesthouse and Emery House are available for times of personal retreat and renewal. If you are looking for a quiet place to rest, pray, read and reconnect with God, please contact Chris in the Guesthouse office to schedule a time of personal retreat: (617) 876-3037, extension 10, or e-mail guesthouse@ssje.org.

Wholeness

We need to appropriate our past – which is the experience of redemption and the makings for wisdom – and we need a vision of our place in God’s future – which is the seedbed for hope. We live, we need to live, where those two realities cross in our present time.

-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

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