We are delighted to announce that Todd Blackham will be clothed as a novice in our Society at Evening Prayer on Sunday, 15 March (4:00 PM). This is a very moving rite of initiation into our Community, as a man puts on the habit, thus marking him as a member of our Community. All are welcome to attend.
Signs of Life
The SSJE Community’s Lenten program, “Signs of Life: Why Church Matters,” is now available for individuals and groups at www.signsoflife.org. The program, a joint effort with the Lifelong Learning Center at the Virginia Theological Seminary, examines five themes – Light, Water, Food, Shelter, and Community – in the light of scripture, the Christian liturgical tradition, and Christian spiritual practice. It seeks to explore the deep meaning embedded in the Church’s sacraments, symbols and practices. A 15-minute video has been produced for each theme, accompanied by two Facilitator’s Guides, one for use with a large class or adult forum, the other for smaller groups that invites more personal sharing. Gather a group of friends (or choose a prayer partner) to watch the weekly video, and use the Facilitator’s Guide to discuss the theme. It’s free and easily downloadable.
Monastic Residency Program to launch in Fall 2020
Many of you will know that for several years we have hosted residential interns. In the Fall of 2020 we will launch a new version of this program specifically designed for graduate students and seminarians. This nine-month residency is for students (both men and women), aged 21 or older, enrolled in full-time graduate study, who would also value living, praying, and working alongside our community for an academic year. Details, and an initial application, are on our website at www.SSJE.org/residency. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re pleased to have once again partnered with Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary in offering accompanying materials to support our upcoming lenten series. The full forum curriculum for Signs of Life: Why Church Matters is now available online.
Signs of Life: Why Church Matters is an opportunity for participants to engage with elemental aspects of liturgy and scripture: light, water, food, shelter, community. Each forum session will help participants connect the Sign of Life to their own spirituality, Christian worship, and a spiritual practice.
Have you explored the Signs of Life Reader yet? This reader is a collaboration between the Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist and members of the Virginia Theological Seminary community. It emerges from a week-long exploration of the signs and symbols of our common worship. It is designed as an invitation to explore Signs of Life, a five-week series to be released by SSJE and VTS.
During the week-long collaboration, the Rev. Becky Zartman introduced each topic with a short homily and a set of provocative questions that became the foundation for structured conversations with both individual Brothers and groups of Brothers. It is our hope that this reader will be a resource for your spiritual life and prepare you for participation in Signs of Life.
This month our brother, David Allen celebrates two significant anniversaries. On Thursday, 19 December he celebrates his 90thbirthday and on the 21st, the 61st anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. There will be a reception in honor of Brother David after the Eucharist on Sunday, 15 December. Please join us that day as we give thanks for Brother David.
Thursday, 8 PM
December 5, 12 & 19
For centuries, monks have been gathering to chant their bedtime prayers in a service known as Compline (from the Latin word meaning ‘complete’).
We are delighted by the successful launch of our contemplative Compline series last night. A hearty number – full of new faces – joined the Brothers in the darkened chapel, lit by many candles, when the chapel gates opened at 7:30pm. We shared quiet meditation time as more visitors arrived. The service began at 8pm and ran for 30 minutes of beautiful music, followed by another 30 minutes of quiet mediation time. Many stayed to soak in the atmosphere of beauty and peace.
The toughest of the three monastic vows, obedience is not about hazing others into conformity, nor infantilizing grown adults, nor abdicating personal responsibility, but about discovering the freedom to be fully alive. Br. Curtis Almquist invites us all to embrace this rich fare for our souls.
Explore the topic of obedience through Curtis’ reflection, suggested practices, reflection questions, and further resources. Read more >