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Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Time

Love Compilation

Love is of our essence. In the series’ final week, the Brothers explore God’s love for us and our love for others, which make us human.

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Questions:

Love 1: How might you love someone you may not necessarily like?
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Love 2: Are your expectations too rigid?
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Love 3: How are you a lover?
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Love 4: Do you greet the day with a growl or a yippee?
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Love 5: How does your love bubble up in response to others today?
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Love 6: What is the greatest experience of love you’ve ever had?
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Love 7: What is it about you that God delights in?
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Time to Love – Br. Luke Ditewig

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Br. Luke DitewigJohn 15:9-17

This Lent we have been reflecting on time as God’s gift. To review:

It’s time to stop. We were created to rest, refresh, renew, to breathe and be. We are wired for a rhythm with rests in order to be present to ourselves and others. Sabbath is not simply for sustenance but central to our identity.

It’s time to pray. God initiates connection. We don’t know how, but the Spirit prays for us with sighs too deep for words. All is welcomed and possible through our human senses and feelings. Pray however you can.

It’s time to work: to create, adapt, build, support, engineer, write, discover. Framing can help us focus. We need discipline to curb distractions. Work can be a blessing rather than an overbearing toil.

It’s time to play. For all of us at every age, play keeps us alive. “The opposite of play is not work but depression.” (1) Risk acting pure pleasure not productivity. Be imaginative. Keep learning. Our best work is playful. Play with your prayer. Stop to play.

Now for this last week of Lent: it’s time to love. This is not one more thing to do. It’s another gift to receive. It’s time to be loved. Read More

Play Compilation

Play can revive us, free us, and return us to ourselves. From molding clay to rainstorms and chicken coops, the Brothers explore how some unexpected ways to play have opened up new life.

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Questions:

Play 1: Play for at least half an hour today.
How does it feel?
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Play 2: What is your favorite project?
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Play 3: In play time today risk getting lost.
What happened?
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Play 4: What helps you relax and be fully present in the moment?
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Play 5: What activities take you outside of yourself?
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Play 6: What has surprised and delighted you most recently?
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Play 7: Book yourself a play date.
What did you do?
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Time to Play – Br. Curtis Almquist

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Br. Curtis AlmquistMatthew 18-1-5

This evening we continue with our lenten focus on God’s creation of time, and how we live in time as a blessing.  Our themes: Time to Stop, Time to Pray, Time to Work, Time to Love, and, this evening, Time to Play.  If we consider how often the word “play” figures into English discourse, “play” is obviously important to us.  We play games and sports; we play musical instruments; we play cards; we play with our pets.  We watch actors play their parts in stage plays.  And, just for fun, there’s all kinds of word plays, like “I used to be indecisive.  Now I’m not so sure.” (1) We can play an important role in life.  But then, playing can also become quite complicated, like in a power play, or playing up to someone, or playing something down.  One can play fair, or play foul, or  play safe.  One can also play along, or play favorites, or play the field, or play politics, or play into someone’s hands, or play with someone’s head.  Complicated play. Read More

Work Compilation

For many of us, work is at the heart of our struggles with Time. The Brothers discuss a Christian view of work, offering wisdom for managing our busy modern lives.

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Questions:

Work 1: Is replenishing your being a priority in your life?
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Work 2: Consider your routines – where is God?
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Work 3: How does your work serve others?
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Work 4: What limits would give you life?
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Work 5: By what measuring stick do you gauge your worth and the worth of others?
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Work 6: Make a list of three intentions for your work life today.
What difference would these make?
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Work 7: How is the pace of your life?
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It’s Time to Work – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

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Br. Geoffrey TristramForty years ago, there lived in England a remarkable priest called Reginald Somerset Ward.  He was enormously gifted as a spiritual director, so gifted that he left his parish and took up a sort of peripatetic ministry going around the country and meeting with bishops, clergy and laity who wanted his guidance and direction.  He always had one main thing that he always said to people from the very beginning if they wanted his spiritual direction.  “If you want me to direct you, you will have to abide by these 3 priorities.  I will always expect you to give your first priority to God, your second priority to your family, friends, leisure, recreation.  And then your third priority to work.  In that order.  And he never changed it.

And there’s a story of a young priest who came to see him and said “Can you be my spiritual director?”  Somerset Ward laid out his 3 priorities, and the priest said, “I couldn’t possibly do that: I’m far too busy.”  And Somerset Ward replied, “Well, I can’t direct you, because I don’t direct mad men!”  (I wonder if he’d have taken you on?) Read More

Pray: Compilation

You needn’t live in a monastery to make time to pray. The Brothers explore how crucial prayer is to their lives as they share unconventional ways and places they like to pray throughout the week.

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Questions:

Pray 1: Where do you find God in the ordinary?
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Pray 2: Where and how do you pray outside?
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Pray 3: What is the “arrow prayer” in your heart right now?
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Pray 4: Can you name out loud what you are most grateful for?
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Pray 5: How might being attuned to those around you shape your prayer today?
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Pray 6: What desires are shaping who you’re becoming right now?
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Pray 7: Listen: what is God presenting to you in prayer today?
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Time to Pray – Br. Mark Brown

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Br. Mark BrownRomans 8:18-27/Psalm 63/Matthew 6:5-13

We continue this evening with our series on Time.  Last week it was “Time to Stop”. This week it’s “Time to Pray”.  And after the Eucharist it will be time for soup and time to play “Stump the Preacher” with difficult questions.

One of the most interesting things to exist in time is the universe. And one of the most interesting things in the universe is also the most complex—by far the most complex.  That would be we human beings. From all that we can see and otherwise know about, human beings are the most complex things in the universe.  Not the largest, not the smallest, but the most complex.

We’ve evolved over millions of years to this level of complexity—a very fragile complexity, we might add.  We possess not only brains, but sentience.  And not only sentience, but consciousness.  And not only consciousness, but conscience, i.e., we have about us a moral sense, a sense of good and bad, better and worse.  And we have the capacity to be present to this moment of time, and to remember times past, and to imagine future times.  And we have language and mouths to both shape and articulate our experience of past, present and future, good and bad. All this together makes us unique: tremendously complex, wondrously gifted, frighteningly fragile in so many ways. Read More

Stop: Compilation

To balance our relationship to Time, we first must simply Stop. Speaking from their own experiences, the Brothers suggest ways to carve out time for rest.

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Questions:

Stop 1: Sit in total stillness for five minutes today. How does it feel?
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Stop 2: Where is your invitation to stop during the day?
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Stop 3: What taskmasters do you need to be liberated from to reclaim your dignity?
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Stop 4: How do you picture a day spent “being” – as opposed to “doing”?
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Stop 5: Where are you drawn when you follow your heart?
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Stop 6: Are you content right now?
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Stop 7: Schedule a day of complete rest: What does it help you realize about your life and heart?
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