Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Growing a Rule of Life

Relationship with God, Self, Creation & Others

God, the Chief Gardener of our souls, invites us to grow into fullness of life. Just as stakes and lattices nurture the growth of young plants, so too can spiritual disciplines support the flourishing of our whole being. Explore a tool from monastic spirituality called a ‘Rule of Life’ to cultivate your relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation.

Monastic Wisdom

for everyday

This six-week journey of reflection on growing a rule of life is now available as an anytime series for individuals and groups. Subscribe to receive the series' video meditations from the SSJE Brothers directly in your inbox, or scroll down and view the videos below. This video offering is accompanied by a helpful workbook, and facilitation guidance for small groups from the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary.

To receive this offering in your inbox, as a daily email for six weeks, add the date you would like to begin. (We recommend that you start on a Sunday to maintain the weekly sequence). If you are going to follow this series as a group, we suggest that everyone coordinate the same start date to receive the videos in sync.

 

Growing a Rule of Life – Mobile

As we explore the monastic practice of writing and keeping a Rule of Life, participants will:

  • Design a balanced plan for growing into a deeper relationship with God, Self, Others, and Creation.
  • Celebrate areas of their lives that are thriving and explore areas that need extra nourishment.
  • Tune their sensitivity to the rhythms of nature to help them in keeping a Rule of Life.
  • Grow in fellowship with other participants and support them through the growing process.

Ultimately each participant will create their own unique Rule of Life or ‘Garden Plot’ to sustain and expand beyond the class.

Facilitator’s Guides and other additional supporting materials are available online here >

Theological Reflection

Living In Rhythm
Following Nature's Rhythm

Br. James Koester marvels how the rhythms of the creation can draw us into deeper life with God and greater balance within ourselves.
Read more >

Prayer Journal

A 16 page easily printable workbook with reflections and space for daily questions.

Download here >
Sample Workbook Exercises >


Facilitator Guidance

In partnership with SSJE, the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary has created resources to help your community get small groups going.

See full support resources here >

Week 1 Day 1: Rule of Life

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“What is a Rule of Life?”

Br. David Vryhof introduces the monastic concept of the Rule of Life: it frees us from living randomly, by encouraging us to express our deepest values in our daily living.

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Week 1 Day 2: A Precious Gift

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“Life itself is a very precious gift that we have been given by God. The Rule is what we plan to do with that very precious gift.”

Br. Mark Brown uncovers how a Rule helps us embrace the precious gift of our life, living it to the fullest.

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Week 1 Day 3: Relationships

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“If you were to ask, ‘How would I begin thinking about a Rule?’, think about it in terms of relationships – how you relate to yourself, how you relate to others, how you relate to God.”

Br. Curtis Almquist suggests that the root of any Rule is relationships.

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Week 1 Day 4: Rhythms in Nature

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“We believe that in the natural world around us there are lessons to be learned from the patterns and rhythms of nature that we see around us.”

Br. David Vryhof invites us to consider the “garden plot” of our life and how it might benefit from following the patterns and rhythms we see in the natural world around us.

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Week 1 Day 5: The Garden of Your Life

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“Once you do plant, how do you help things grow?”

Br. Luke Ditewig explores the metaphor of the garden of our life, asking how we plant, cultivate, and prune to help our life to thrive.

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Week 1 Day 6: We Need Help

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“God cannot enter into a life that does not acknowledge the need for God or acknowledge that on my own I can’t do this.”

Br. John Braught locates the beginning point for any Rule – as for any spirituality – is acknowledging that we need help.

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Week 1 Day 7: Seeds

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“What are the ideas that have stuck in your mind? What has grabbed your attention?”

On the final day of the first week, Br. David Vryhof invites us to gather the “seeds” that have struck across the week, seeds that we will sow and tend in the weeks to come.

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Week 2 Day 1: Consider the Lilies

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“One of the best things we can do, in developing our own life of prayer, is to practice simply paying attention.”

Br. Geoffrey Tristram invites us to “consider the lilies,” to practice paying attention to Creation as a way of drawing near to the Creator.

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Week 2 Day 2: Wherever Love Is

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“Like that very old hymn reminds us, ‘Wherever love is, God himself is there.’”

Br. Mark Brown encourages us to reflect on where we experience God’s love in the world, as well as where we make God’s love manifest for others.

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Week 2 Day 3: Be the Soil

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“If God is in us and God is a part of who we are and flourishes in us then God actually dwells inside of us.”

Br. Jim Woodrum reminds us that God is at work in us, and all we have to do is be the soil that allows the blooms God is tending to grow.

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Week 2 Day 4: Nature Takes Time

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“Part of the journey is learning to be patient, learning to slow down, learning to change my expectations of what God is inviting.”

Br. Luke Ditewig looks to nature for a lesson in patience as we take the next step on the journey.

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Week 2 Day 5: Where Am I Going?

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“’What would you have me do now? Where am I going?’”

Br. Jim Woodrum reflects on the surprises of vocation and invites us to bring our questions to God in prayer.

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Week 2 Day 6: Offer an Intention

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“’God, I offer my whole person, my heart, my mind, my whole being to you in this practice.’”

Br. Keith Nelson commends the importance of not simply taking on a spiritual practice, but offering an intention for our practice to God before we begin it.

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Week 2 Day 7: Space to Grow

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“For many people prayer is the first thing to go when there are many other demands on our time.”

Br. Geoffrey Tristram encourages us to reflect on how we can give our life of prayer more space to grow, even when life gets busy.

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Week 3 Day 1: Loving Yourself

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“We have been created by the love of God, for the love of God, in the love of God.”

Br. Curtis Almquist encourages us to cooperate with God, who operates in our lives with love.

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Week 3 Day 2: Live in Your Body

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“The desert fathers repeated again and again how important it was to descend from our heads into our hearts and to live in our bodies. ”

Br. Nicholas Bartoli calls upon his own history of discovering yoga and dance to suggest the importance of remembering and honoring our bodies as we craft a Rule.

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Week 3 Day 3: Embracing Limitations

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“Embracing the frailty of our human nature is a way of giving thanks to God.”

Br. Jonathan Maury reminds us to incorporate into our Rule our weaknesses and limitations, not in judgment of them, but in recognition of our humanity and as a way of recognizing all as gift as we are being remade in Christ’s image.

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Week 3 Day 4: Creativity

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“Allow yourself to be surprised or to break out of a particular routine.”

Br. Keith Nelson reflects on the importance of surprise in exercising our creativity, and our prayer.

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Week 3 Day 5: See Yourself

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“How do you see yourself?”

Br. Curtis Almquist commends the practice of taking a “body map” as a way of discovering your own belovedness and accepting the invitation to see yourself as God sees you.

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Week 3 Day 6: Life in Christ is Holistic

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“There is nothing about us that does not belong as a part of a Rule of Life.”

Br. Jonathan Maury reminds us to think beyond the “spiritual” in crafting our Rule, and to include all of our lives and selves in its affirmations.

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Week 3 Day 7: Beauty & Enjoyment

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“Using your five senses to take in beauty will give you a different sense of balance in your life.”

Br. Curtis Almquist commends the importance of planning something you’ll enjoy into each day, to reset the balance of your day—and our life—toward beauty.

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Week 4 Day 1: Connections with Others

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“Spirituality is never a private affair; it always brings us into connection with others.”

Br. David Vryhof invites us to consider how a Rule might help us to reach out beyond the circle of those whom we find it easy to love and to touch the lives of others.

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Week 4 Day 2: Forgiveness

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“I am often painfully aware of how difficult I can be to live with.”

Br. Robert L’Esperance reflects on the challenges and graces of life in community.

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Week 4 Day 3: Conflict

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“For a very long time I was quite conflict adverse and felt that every conflict I had in relationships meant the end of that relationship.”

Br. John Braught suggest a different model for assessing and dealing with conflict in relationships.

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Week 4 Day 4: What Worked Yesterday?

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“What worked yesterday? What worked last week?”

Br. Nicholas Bartoli commends the simple practice of including in a Rule those practices that helped you in the past as you navigated relationships with God, self and others.

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Week 4 Day 5: Saying No

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“There is always more work to be done.”

Br. Luke Ditewig shares his own struggles and discoveries with saying “No” to some things in order to foster overall health and wellbeing.

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Week 4 Day 6: Receive Love

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“All of the love that we give or receive is just God’s love. It’s not our possession, it’s not our product.”

Br. Keith Nelson traces all love back to God, reminding us that we cannot cultivate love, we can simply receive it.

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Week 4 Day 7: Grow into Greater Life

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“The message of reconciliation is the message that we have for the world.”

At the close of the fourth week, Br. David Vryhof discusses how reconciliation can help us — and those we love, as well as those with whom we struggle — to grow into greater life.

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Week 5 Day 1: Good Soil

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“Is our heart good soil? Is it abundant? Is it rocky? Is it full of thistles and thorns?”

Br. James Koester reflects on the importance of maintaining and renewing the soil of our hearts, so that is can produce abundantly.

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Week 5 Day 2: Simply Gaze

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“Simply gaze at the object without attempting to put any qualifications on it.”

Br. Robert L’Esperance shares a transformative practice in which he has discovered a deep sense of peace and centeredness.

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Week 5 Day 3: The Work of Human Hands

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“I think of something raw that has come from the earth, from nature, and that’s somehow been worked through with the work of my own hands and then becomes something more.”

Br. Keith Nelson celebrates the power of the interspecies collaboration that happens when we recognize how the natural world participates in our actions, and how we interact with the processes of nature.

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Week 5 Day 4: Vocation

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“I feel like my vocation is the thing that I have to offer, the thing that I have to give, the blessing that I can pass on.”

Br. Nicholas Bartoli reflects on the mission to which God calls each of us through our vocations.

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Week 5 Day 5: Being Pruned

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“Though I can present myself in prayer as being willing to be pruned, the actual pruning happens out in the world as I am rubbing up against other people.”

Br. John Braught reflects on being pruned as a practical experience that happens through interactions with others in the world.

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Week 5 Day 6: The Flow of Blessings

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“One way I try to keep myself open to the flow of the blessings of the natural world is to be in it as much as possible.”

Br. Mark Brown shares his own simple practice for strengthening his sense of connection to the natural world: be out in nature as often as you can!

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Week 5 Day 7: Restoring Balance

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“As you look at your life, see where is the balance, and where are you out of balance.”

Br. James Koester reflects on the importance of restoring balance — to soil and to the soil of our hearts — in order to keep the weeds out and to help good growth to thrive.

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Week 6 Day 1: When Life is Very Difficult

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“Those rhythms, those disciplines which we have grown and established, will uphold us and support us and strengthen us when we feel that life is very, very difficult.”

Br. Geoffrey Tristram considers how a Rule can strengthen us and help us to preserve during the most challenging seasons of our life.

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Week 6 Day 2: Say Thank You

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“I’d begin with a sense of deep gratitude for the gift of life itself.”

Br. Mark Brown suggests how a Rule helps us say “thank you” to the Giver of life, by optimizing the conditions of our life for balance, growth, and exposure to light.

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Week 6 Day 3: What I Shall Be

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“God has envisioned so much more for the unfolding of my life.”

Br. Keith Nelson addresses the tension any Rule must encompass: between embracing the beloved reality of the self in present moment, and envisioning the greater unfolding of God’s kingdom in the future.

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Week 6 Day 4: Companions on the Journey

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“We need companions on the journey.”

Br. Luke Ditewig considers how our companions play a vital role in drawing us forward on the journey.

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Week 6 Day 5: Redirect Growth

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“The monastic life is about saying no to some things in order that our energies can be directed in other directions.”

Br. Mark Brown suggests how the monastic practice of taking vows might model a useful strategy for secular life: saying no to some things in order to redirect our energies toward the things we wish to value.

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Week 6 Day 6: Boundaries

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“I need rules, I need structure in order to go further and further.”

Br. John Braught reveals the importance of limits, rules, and boundaries in helping us to shape our life.

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Week 6 Day 7: Do It in Pencil

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“Be patient, try it out, see how it works and be realistic, and be full of hope, and full of joy.”

Br. Geoffrey Tristram encourages a playful and light touch as we set out to draft a Rule of Life — starting in pencil!

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71 Comments

  1. Sue on April 12, 2017 at 17:36

    Thank you so much for this series. I slightly ‘ missed the boat ‘ in terms of doing it along with others ( I found it about week 2-3 of lent, and a year behind)but I am so glad I found it. Although the videos and questions appear simple, I find them profound, in fact I am finding them quite transformative. I am also enjoying reading others comments.I am really going to miss them when the series finishes.
    Thank you!!!

  2. Marie Dahlborn on March 10, 2017 at 23:16

    I am looking forward to it

  3. Comfortable, Not Numb | Every Day Simple on October 22, 2016 at 14:33

    […] Lent, I’ve been loosely following along with SSJE’s “Growing a Rule of Life.” I already have unwritten rules, but before Easter morning, I plan to have them written […]

  4. Nancy Pfaff on June 23, 2016 at 20:25

    This exercise on developing a Rule of Life is just what I’ve needed! Thank you so much. I’d love to send a contribution to say Thanks more specifically.

  5. […] at Society of St. John the Evangelist (ssje.org). Study booklets can be downloaded for free from their site.Episcopal Relief & Development encourages congregations to order or download their annual […]

  6. Terence Dougherty on March 18, 2016 at 18:57

    Brother Braught, this touches on the ambiguity in each of us as well and as lovingly as anything I’ve ever seen.
    Thank you,& God Bless you

  7. Charles Searls Ridge on March 2, 2016 at 14:08

    Just to update you… there are (at least) two of us in Seattle that have been unable to download/watch the videos since 29 February. (We live in different parts of Seattle, have different servers, etc.) Neither of us had a problem prior to 29 February. Here’s hoping!

    • jcoats on March 4, 2016 at 06:03

      On the page ssje.org/growrule the links should work – if not email friends@ssje.org – apologies

  8. Marta E on February 29, 2016 at 07:12

    I leave tomorrow to go to visit my grandchildren. There are (boy/girl) twins, age 10 on St. Patrick’s Day and an older grandaughter who turned 11 at Christmas. They are ready (and thirsty) for this kind of stability and peace. I copy a portion of the (daily assigned) Psalm into a small notebook to carry with me throughout the day. The copying engraves it better into my heart. I plan to present and propose this to my grandchildren. The twin girl only wants to sing and go to church, and she will know that this is within her and she carries it with her. The boy twin says that he likes to write words because they give him calmness. He is ready. Little children crave God’s work engrafted upon their hearts. For the older girl, it may not be too late as she has recently turned receptive to a relationship with me. I only pray that I can bring this to them early so that they can carry it (God’s word) within them.

    • Richard on February 29, 2016 at 08:18

      Greetings, and may heavenly joy and the Holy Spirit be with you all day. I loved reading your thoughts, beautiful and sensitive, regarding your grand children. Two thoughts that came to me, I think becasue you are filled with light and “The Way” that your grand children recognize this in you immediately and gravitate to you both becasue of this and not only because you are their grandmother and they love you but I am certain without your knowing it that it is the light in you which also draws them to you – it’s like flowers/plants reaching for the sun…children instinctively know and instinctively want more…so water these plants becasue when they are full grown and the bloom will be beautiful and then they too will nurture others. A second thought which I think you might enjoy, each day I read my postings from SSJE, especially during Lent, I have been posting this on my FB page for others to read…I call it “Today…as Lent continues)…so, each day I have been blessed to discovered others reading or listening to the postings from SSJE. Thanks you for reading my thoughts, and in closing, may all of us who follow “the Way” be lead forward on this beautiful journey towards the light. Cheers, Richard

  9. John R. Dawson on February 26, 2016 at 13:57

    I realize that I’m coming late to the party. but just became aware of it a few days ago. Appears to be something of which I would like to be a part.

  10. Richard sias on February 22, 2016 at 08:00

    This response is to thank Br. Nicholas Bartoli…I am a retired professional dancer and have been an Episcopalian since Baptism, I am 74 years old…hearing you God bless wisdom regarding dance and honoring your body…may I say the blessing of the human instrument through my very long career as a ballet dancer then many years afterwards as a ballet teacher has given me the blessing of exceptional health both physically and mentally for my age God’s love and His gift to me of the dance has blessed me all these many years, so when’s listened to you words about honoring your body’s do the dance reminded me once again how blessed and fortunate I was to have been given the gift of dance and that I was able to honor and take care for my body in most glorious way. Again thank you.

  11. Tuesday, February 16, 2016 on February 16, 2016 at 06:17

    […] From the Brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist; join them at ssje.org/growrule […]

  12. consider the birds. – RunSingTeach on February 14, 2016 at 08:58

    […] have been following the SSJE “Growing a Rule of Life” study during Lent. Thus far, it has been a lovely metaphor of how my relationship with […]

  13. […] To sign up for the exercise, and to see the introductory video, visit the SSJE’s website at http://ssje.org/ssje/growrule/ or visit St. David’s website at http://www.st-davids.ca/resources/growing-a-rule-of-life/.  The […]

  14. Bertita Graebnerf on February 12, 2016 at 10:47

    This topic / ordering life / is very much of the moment for me as I am doing that very thing — reordering my waking/walking(life)/sleeping patterns. Knowing approximately 21 days are needed to re-set a habit, I am listening to this winter time of snoozing hibernation – a time for incubating the thought captive I was and setting myself to re-emerge in rhythm with age and stage and dreams in tact and ready for the promise of spring.
    This Lenten Practice – is a good help along this dreampath into a reality living into the promise and the possibility of what can be now.
    Thanks to each for their thought & contribution to mine.

  15. jcoats on February 11, 2016 at 21:18

    If you put your email in again our system will not double subscribe you. Hope that help friends@ssje.org

    • Richard on February 29, 2016 at 14:34

      Greetings, and may heavenly joy and the Holy Spirit be with you all day. I loved reading your thoughts, beautiful and sensitive, regarding your grand children. Two thoughts that came to me, I think becasue you are filled with light and “The Way” that your grand children recognize this in you immediately and gravitate to you both becasue of this and not only because you are their grandmother and they love you but I am certain without your knowing it that it is the light in you which also draws them to you – it’s like flowers/plants reaching for the sun…children instinctively know and instinctively want more…so water these plants becasue when they are full grown and the bloom will be beautiful and then they too will nurture others. A second thought which I think you might enjoy, each day I read my postings from SSJE, especially during Lent, I have been posting this on my FB page for others to read…I call it “Today…as Lent continues)…so, each day I have been blessed to discovered others reading or listening to the postings from SSJE. Thanks you for reading my thoughts, and in closing, may all of us who follow “the Way” be lead forward on this beautiful journey towards the light. Cheers, Richard
      Reply ↓

  16. […] teaching about the rewards and challenges of living a Rule of Life. These videos are available at http://www.SSJE.org/growrule/ and should be seen as complementary to the work we will do together. The video series asks people […]

  17. Richard W. Wheeler on February 9, 2016 at 16:43

    I am really looking forward to this gift which will be a prize for our family.

    Rick Wheeler

  18. S:2 | Sarah Lapenta-H & Paul Hebblethwaite on February 9, 2016 at 12:53

    […] Tonight many will be celebrating Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras before turning tomorrow to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. One of my Lenten practices (with approval from my spiritual director!) is taking a break from church, for the first time in my life. Another one of my practices is growing a rule of life as invited by SSJE. […]

  19. […] The Society of St. John the Evangelist has a video and discussion Lenten series: http://ssje.org/ssje/growrule/ […]

  20. Resources for Lent 2016 | Ed Tech Emergent on February 8, 2016 at 13:51

    […]  This year’s theme, which encompasses daily videos, emails and a workbook is entitled: Growing a Rule of Life. It begins with this introductory video by one of the wise […]

  21. […] studies (they have purchasing options, but I will be checking their sites each day for free): Growing a Rule of Life or Lent Study […]

  22. […] Growing a Rule of Life In this online series, the Brothers at the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) will use video and downloadable workbooks to help you design a balanced plan for growing into a deeper relationship with God, Self, Others and Creation. Enroll at http://ssje.org/ssje/growrule/. […]

  23. […] task. (But boy do I: I’m grading my students’ technology rules of life and promoting a fantastic Lenten program to help Christians all over the world structure their lives for deeper, richer experience of God, […]

  24. Lent Picks for 2016 | Rows of Sharon on February 4, 2016 at 13:10

    […] Growing a Rule of Life is this year’s offering from the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE). Thinking of God as the Chief Gardener of our souls and using a tool from monastic spirituality called a ‘Rule of Life’ we can explore and cultivate our relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation. Just as stakes and lattices nurture the growth of young plants, so too can spiritual disciplines support the flourishing of our whole being. You can sign up to receive a daily e-mail (along with video) of the devotion, download the booklet, or order a hard copy for a minimal price. There is also a downloadable “Growing a Rule of Life for Kids” that was developed by the Diocese of Ohio! […]

  25. Marilyn Hormann on February 2, 2016 at 23:14

    Br. Mark Brown’s visit to the recent Diocese of Ohio Winter Convocation, and Will Fowler’s luncheon workshop all were extremely helpful preparation for my workbook participation here in Fort Wayne, IN with many across the world during Lent. I look forward to the daily online guidance, too. God bless us all in building our loving relationships in the community of believers, the Jesus movement.

  26. Christopher Mclaren on February 2, 2016 at 15:34

    I notice that the text of some of the ending readings or blessings are not in the materials. Are they to be found another place or are we advised to purchase these books beforehand? Example the Wendell Berry poem and the Equilibrium poem

    thanks
    Christopher

    • Reviewer on February 3, 2016 at 09:31

      Hello Christopher,

      We do not have copyright permission to reprint some of those passages, but internet searches or libraries should turn them up fairly easily.

      • Rachel Endicott on February 16, 2016 at 19:38

        I found the final reading for the first session by an internet search. For the second session, I may be missing something, but I don’t even see the name of the poem to be read in the facilitators guide (the one by John O’Donohoe from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings). To which exact poem from the book are you referring?

  27. Monodeep Daniel on January 30, 2016 at 21:30

    I have been connected with the SSJE from a distance. As the Dean and Chaplain of St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University, I look forward to use this material with the students and senior members. I hope to encourage others to go straight to this site and gain resources for deeper life.

  28. Rev. Amelie A Wilmer on January 27, 2016 at 17:48

    We are very much looking forward to using the “Grow Rule” curriculum for our Lent Program this year. In preparing for our programming, I noticed that the suggested blessing from John O’Donahue’s book at the end of the curriculum for Phase 2 is not mentioned. Would you mind passing that along to us? This question will probably come up with others as they read through the materials, so perhaps you might want to post an update for the broader distribution group.

    Thank you so much for this excellent resource. We look forward to journeying with you through Lent again this year.

    Peace,

    Amelie+

    • ssjeadmin on January 29, 2016 at 06:25

      Thanks Amelie,
      The poem is “For Equilibrium, a Blessing”. I don’t have the book in front of me so cant give exact page reference for this. I did update the Word doc to include this, many thanks
      Conor

  29. Eben Carsey on January 25, 2016 at 16:29

    Hello. I just signed up. I might have also signed up many months ago. I just know that these SSJE Lenten series are so good that I really do not want to miss this one. Thank you so much.

  30. Emilie Nawrock on January 19, 2016 at 14:32

    A friend of mine passed along the VTS description of the Growing A Rule of Life Lenten Program and I introduced it to our Women’s study group. There are already seven signed up, and I will facilitate. May I use your description on your Introduction page to the study? We would use it to invite others via a Sunday church bulletin. Thank you.

    • Reviewer on January 20, 2016 at 06:49

      Hello Emilie, thanks for joining us for this series. Yes, you may use the Introduction excerpt for the bulletin. All of our content is covered under a Creative Commons Attribution license which means you could copy and paste to your site so long as you keep a link back to ssje.org.

  31. MARCONI DE SOUSA on January 15, 2016 at 06:53

    I would love to receive this during the period of Lent and thereafter too, because am very much involved in spiritual development for self and for others. This could be of tremendous value to me. Thank you and God bless you.

  32. Winnie Skeates on January 13, 2016 at 09:40

    I have loved using SSJE’s last two years’ Lenten programs, and would like to present this one as well. Here’s my challenge. My little church does not have phone or internet, and the signal on a cell phone is not always reliable. Is it possible to get a download of the weekly videos to use at a weekly session?

    • Reviewer on January 14, 2016 at 09:22

      Hello Winnie,

      As of today, the videos are in the final stages of editing, and so, are not yet available for download. Please subscribe to the series if you are not already, as this will ensure that you will receive the link from us once they are available.

  33. Brian Winter on January 11, 2016 at 14:10

    I just signed up and am hoping to use it at our church during Lent. If we do the small group portion of this meeting once a week, how much time do you think we need to allow for that? If everyone has already watched the video? Trying to advertise it and promote it, but need to set a time for this and then we will close each session with Compline as well. — Thank you it looks great!

    • Reviewer on January 12, 2016 at 09:46

      Hi Brian, while the time can certainly be adjusted once you get a sense of how it is going, our feedback from past years and the folks at VTS suggest a 1 hour meeting should be a reasonable amount of time to schedule.

  34. Evelyn Wheeler on January 9, 2016 at 12:54

    I would love to offer this in our parish, but am somewhat aghast at the fact that most of the suggested opening and closing readings are in books we do not have our our shelves. That’s a big price bite if we have to purchase all these books. Will the readings be provided to us? (We can pay a reasonable copyright fee if necessary.) Thank you!

    • Evelyn Wheeler on January 9, 2016 at 13:04

      (I have reviewed further; we will need only three books – whew! – and I am checking with the local library)

    • Evelyn Wheeler on January 11, 2016 at 15:54

      The library has come through! We will have all the materials we need; all we need now is for folks to sign up so we can order the workbooks.

      • Reviewer on January 12, 2016 at 09:49

        Evelyn, so glad you were able to solve your questions! Well done! SSJE and VTS have provided excerpts in the workbook of the suggested readings, so the basics are already covered. The Facilitator’s Guide does have some additional options for readings, and I think it is that to which you were referring. For folks who may not be able to track those down, those are supplemental, so it should not diminish or affect using the series without them. Thanks for your questions and answers, Evelyn!

  35. Larry Schmidbauer on January 7, 2016 at 07:30

    Signed up. Looking forward to the journey

  36. Carol on January 6, 2016 at 11:41

    My question is similar to one comment above. If we wanted to do this as a small group with our parish, should we have each person sign up so they can download or do I have permision to reproduce from the download 10 15 copies?

    Just wondering. Thank you and may the Lord bless and keep you.

    Carol

    • Reviewer on January 7, 2016 at 06:09

      Carol, that is a good question, thank you. Based on the feedback we have received during previous Lenten series, it seems that individual sign up may work best, as it allows for each person to be able to access both written and video materials at whatever times may fit best for them on a given day. This may be even more true with this year’s offering of writing a personal Rule. Through the kindness of a few donors, we have also been able to provide workbooks for a nominal cost of $3 per book or $20 for bundles of ten through Amazon.

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016UPQ1RE (for single book)

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017LTKOTE (for bundle of 10)

  37. Vik on January 5, 2016 at 22:21

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I look forward to this series. I would like to propose using this study for our Daughters of the King chapter. Would you recommend we do it as individuals or as a group?

    • Reviewer on January 6, 2016 at 07:52

      Thank you for the encouraging words, Vik. The series is really designed for both individual as well as group use. A middle ground might be individually going through the daily sessions and meeting weekly as a group to share responses and have conversation, or perform some of the exercises. You can find more resources via this link which may help you determine what you think may work best for your chapter: http://ssje.org/ssje/growruleresources/

  38. Rev. Kurt Huber ن (@Rev_Kurt) on December 16, 2015 at 16:16

    Where can we order workbooks?

  39. Brian Palmer on December 16, 2015 at 11:50

    I would like to lead a Lenten study group on “Growing a Rule of Life.” Can you please give me instructions on how I might do this. I have not led a study group of this nature before.

    Thank you.

    • ssjeadmin on December 19, 2015 at 04:48

      Hi Brian, together with the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at VTS we have created a page of
      Resources for Group and Church Leaders and Educators – http://www.SSJE.org/growruleresources

      On this you will find a 50 Page Facilitators guide to accompany the series.

  40. Stephen Secaur on November 21, 2015 at 10:35

    How do I get the Clergy and facilitator guide?

    • ssjeadmin on December 19, 2015 at 04:49

      Resources for Group and Church Leaders and Educators – http://www.SSJE.org/growruleresources
      On this you will find a 50 Page Facilitators guide to accompany the series.

  41. Jennifer Vasquez on October 5, 2015 at 13:56

    Can you say anything about how this resource might be used with children and families? Would there be enough provided to have a mid-week series using these materials? Thank you for the additional information!

    • Reviewer on October 6, 2015 at 09:36

      Yes, there is definitely enough material for a mid-week series. There will be a workbook produced for participants, as well as a facilitator’s guide. And the brothers will also have short videos in which they share their thoughts and experiences and offer a question for reflection. All of these components will be available for download in advance of the series for groups. The series contains both teaching as well as invitations to personal reflection, which may be used as building blocks toward writing one’s own Rule of Life, if so inclined. Children from about 10 or 12 years of age and beyond are probably best suited for the material. As there are a number of metaphors from the natural world used, there could be a bit of a “hands-on” aspect to utilizing the series. As it also sparks conversation and reflection, the videos, questions, or activities may serve as a starting point for conversation and collaboration.

  42. Sally Baynton on September 26, 2015 at 15:54

    I LOVED the Lenten Series on time last year. I have been meditating on the SSJE emails I get every day. I can’t imagine a better way to deepen my walk than to walk with the Brothers. Thank you!

  43. Matt Fisher on August 27, 2015 at 15:59

    If I am already signed up to receive Brother Give Us A Word, will I be automatically included in this program? Or does Growing a Rule of Life require a separate sign up?

    • jcoats on August 27, 2015 at 18:10

      You will be included – you can add your address and get a free copy of the participant if you are not on the Mailing List.

  44. […] in person—at convention. And while enthusiasm was high about the Brothers’ Lent 2016 offering, Growing a Rule of Life (full disclosure: the CMT helped them develop it), we want to take a moment to commend their other […]

  45. Philip Cunningham on June 29, 2015 at 09:53

    I’m a ( long distance!) member of FSJ and Vicar of a north of England parish. I’m wondering if it would be possible for each day in Lent 2016 to be down loaded onto our Facebook page? last year we put up a prayer every day and had over 200 followers – not too bad for a small parish. Many thanks for all you do,
    Philip

    • Reviewer on August 25, 2015 at 12:25

      Yes, it will be possible to do so. SSJE will provide specifics regarding how to do this as they are finalized, likely towards the end of December 2015. To ensure you receive information about the Growing a Rule of Life offering, please sign up to receive the information, located at this page, or visit this page for updates: http://ssje.org/ssje/growrule/

  46. Dorothy A Byrd on June 19, 2015 at 14:46

    I’m chairperson of the Adult Formation at St Simon’s Episcopal, Arlington Heights IL. I’m interested in using this study in the parish at large as well as individually. Can you send me information on how best to do this? Thanks.

    • Editor on June 22, 2015 at 09:50

      Dear Dorothy, Thrilled to learn of your interest. This curriculum, that SSJE is co-producing with Virginia Seminary, is not going to be published until January 2016. If you give us your address we will put you on our mailing list and send you a copy when it is published. Best Jamie Coats, Director Friends of SSJE – friends@ssje.org

      • The Rev. Dr. Dorothy White on December 29, 2015 at 17:04

        I am School Chaplain at a JK-12 school. I am interested in offering this to my Upper School and Middle School students as a discipline during lent. I am also hopeful that I may be able to modify the curriculum for use by our Lower School students. I do not speak for our school. Once I put the idea before our Leadership Team for approval, I will contact you.

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