Welcome to The Society of Saint John the Evangelist

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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 course to help you say "Yes" to your life.

The 49 videos move step-by-step through what a rule is, why to write how, how to process create one, and what to do once you've got one.  Each day's video is also accompanied by a passage from the Brothers' Rule of Life, a quote from their sermons, and an image for meditation.

49 days to say "Yes" to your life.  Start today.



Preaching Series:

A preaching series on the challenges and rewards of living by a rule of life. Drawing on chapters from SSJE's Rule.
To view the accompanying video series, please click here.

February 28 – Mutual Support and Encouragement – Br. Curtis Almquist
March 6 – Our Founders and the Grace of Tradition – Br. Geoffrey Tristram
March 13 – Our Dedication to the Disciple whom Jesus Loved – Br. Kevin Hackett
March 20 – The Maturing of Our Minds in Christ – Br. Mark Brown
March 27 – The Cell and Solitude – Br. David Vryhof

Day One – A Living Tradition

By Curator

A Living Tradition Question: Several Brothers have preached and  spoken of how tradition—and our Rule particularly—is less about the past than it is about the future, God’s future, and that therefore, always looking forward.  Can you say more? Br. Geoffrey Tristram: Living under a rule of life, a regula, as the Latin says it, for…

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Day Two – Handing on What We Have Received

By Curator

Question:  Tradition is often cited as an authoritative source, with roots in the past. How does it function in the present Rule, and in the community’s life? Br. Kevin Hackett: Tradition is such a rich word, which in its Latin origins (traditio) means simply, “that which is handed on or over.” A past of some…

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Day Three – Running the Race

By Curator

Question: If tradition is rooted in the past, how do you discern what is worth handing on and what has served its usefulness in the life of a community. Br. Mark Brown: Tradition is like a relay race, really, in which one generation hands on the baton on to the next, and our handing on…

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Day Four – Everything Up for Grabs

By Curator

Question: A feature new to this version of the Rule is a whole chapter dedicated to the Society’s founders and the graces of tradition (3). Why was this important to include? Br. Curtis Almquist: When we began the conversations about the Rule, we had no set agenda or any kind of imagined outcome. One of…

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Day Five – How Firm a Foundation

By Curator

Question: When the conversations about re-writing the Rule began, did you name certain assumptions that would inform the discussions, or were things more free form? Br. Curtis Almquist: The discussions were amazingly wide-ranging, but we knew that ultimately we were looking for boundaries. I would say that all of those discussions—some of which were incredibly…

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Day Six – Led into Truth

By Curator

Question: Some Brothers have said they were glad they didn’t know how much work the rewriting would be, that some of the discussions redefined “perseverance.” Br. Jonathan Maury: It was hard work. Very hard, at times, even exhausting. But I think we were given grace in those early discussions that enabled us to do far…

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Day Seven – On the Threshold of Glory

By Curator

Question: As Brothers reminisce about the process of rewriting, it sounds like you were often in a very liminal space, spiritually. Did you realize that at the time or has awareness come in retrospect? Br. Jonathan Maury: I think it is true to say that, in the moment, it usually felt as though this was…

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Letter from the Fellowship of Saint John – Martha Holden

By Curator

Developing a Rule of Life My first attempt at a rule of life listed everything that I thought I could be doing in order to have a sound (self-satisfying) [impressive] spiritual life.  My second attempt was three sentences long and abstract. Then I happened upon Basil Pennington’s The School of Love: the Cistercian Way to…

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Day Eight – An Interpreter's Guide

By Curator

Question: The Rule describes the Superior as the chief interpreter of the Rule. Br. Curtis, you were the first Superior whose tenure was entirely under its authority. Are there places in the Rule that required you to stretch that interpretative authority as the Community lived into its mandates? Br. Curtis Almquist: Oh yes. The most…

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Day Nine – The Messiness of Money

By Curator

Question: Br. Curtis, your nine years as Superior gave you the access of a surgeon to the Community and its life lived under this Rule. Can you comment on the vows as they are presented in the Rule? Br. Curtis Almquist: Gladly. I’ll do this in three parts, beginning with an integral aspect of our…

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Day Ten – Frank Talk about Sex

By Curator

Question: Yesterday we addressed how the Rule talks about money (and it sounded like the beginning of a new conversation). What do you want to take on next, sex or power? Br. Curtis Almquist: I’ll speak to the chapters we wrote on celibacy (9 – 11). I think the language is not quite real enough…

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Letter from the Fellowship of Saint John – Susan Harriss

By Curator

Surprising Advice to a Newlywed When I was first ordained I confided to Sr. Andrea, at the Order of St. Helena, that I was having trouble finding time to read Morning Prayer. I was a newly wed at the time. She responded quickly and fervently: she didn’t think it was a good idea to roll…

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Day Eleven – Listen to This!

By Curator

Question: We’ve talked about money and sex, which leaves us with the third vow. What might we say about obedience, about power? Br. Mark Brown: The three chapters on obedience (12 – 14) are extraordinarily subtle and forward-looking, and break new ground. The kind of obedience that the Rule imagines is very different from the…

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Day Twelve – Noise and Haste

By Curator

Question: Were there things that got left on the “cutting room floor” that you regret, turns of phrase, subjects, passages of Scripture that you wish had found their way into the finished text? Br. David Allen: I’m very happy with the Rule as it stands, of course, but I will say that I wish we…

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Day Thirteen – A Change in Propriety

By Curator

Question: Br. David, you’re now the senior Brother of the community, “the bearer of our corporate memory,” as the Rule says (47). You’ve lived under several different iterations of the Rule. When you consider the present version, how does it compare with what you experienced in earlier forms? Br. David Allen: Well, in many ways,…

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Day Fourteen – The Scandal of Particularity

By Curator

Question:  One of the most fascinating points arising from these conversations is various Brothers’ memories of how a particular turn of phrase or word came to be used. What stands out to you from your experience of those conversations? Br. James Koester: Sometimes, I can hear the distinctive voices of Brothers—some still with us, some…

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4 Comments

  1. Linda on May 9, 2016 at 02:02

    I welcome all prayers of brothers and sisters on this journey. Been a Christian 51 years as a Protestant. Read my 1st book about a monk 20 years ago, “Brother Lawrence” from the Middle Ages and began to practice that, known as practicing the presence of God. I’ve never met monks or nuns. I passed a nun once crossing the street in 1965. We don’t have those anywhere I ever lived. So some of these practices are new and exciting to me. Became Episcopalian last month.Interesting.

  2. Ted Garvin on March 11, 2013 at 12:38

    This has been a good Lenten discipline. Thanks so much.

  3. Cindy Snipes on February 28, 2013 at 19:07

    Thanks be to God for all the inspiration you share with so many of us who need it. Each of you have the sweetest dispositions. Your gifts of Peace & Love come shining thru each video, even if they are less than 2 minutes long! LOL
    I appreciate your kind devotion very much because I need God so much.

    Blessings and Love to you all! ❤

  4. Michael Donnelly on February 17, 2013 at 16:37

    Thank you for your devotion to our Lord. Thank you for this series which I will now embark on… I was directed to your site from my Pastor at our church in Phx, Az … (and i will leave that blank now that i know this is posted more publicly then i originally thought)

    All my days i have wanted to have the courage of prayer-filled days and yet failed so often along the way…. from the beginning of my days a yearning and a calling has been available to me and yet the courage to be was always lacking… even now as i write these words i feel the doubt creep in and the echoes of all the i cant’s rise in me… yet now finally reading the word of God more often I have begun to argue less and obey more…

    i hope this doesn’t just wander off into space and attached to this e-mail is the hope of prayer and the hope community and relationship with others…

    my wife ( for both our third) were bought together with desire to be of the Lord… and have each other and others to lean on and in the midst of life i seek the contemplative time to be one with the Lord…

    sharing these thoughts do help to clarify some things for me as i backspace through and plunge forward a clarity takes shape……..

    enough for this e-mail..

    Blessings to each of you
    Michael

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