Community News – April 2018

Of course April began with Easter. We joined in at the sunrise Vigil at Christ the King in Stone Ridge NY. Our chapel has been full of flowers, and our fireplace-cum-tomb has been blooming as well. Outside, our daffodils are finally opening, the trees are unfurling, and the green blade riseth. Our new groups and Companions are thriving. We welcomed Janet Blair and Annie Hall as Covenant Companion Candidates, our first “reception” service done online. We will gather in person in July, but we are grateful for this means of connecting. The five of us (Dario, Elizabeth, Annie, Janet, and myself) gather each week for reading, reflection, and sharing, and we text one another prayers each day. It’s wonderful to have these gifted and loving people sharing their lives with us. The Covenant Group is a delight. They too are praying for one another and bringing their best to our meetings. Please pray for all of them: Elizabeth, Shane, Dario, Annie, Janet, Cathy, Chris, Diane, Ernesto, Joy, Lauren, and Meredith. Elizabeth went to Scottsdale AZ for a week with the Mastery Foundation. She led the production team for the Making A Difference workshop there, and she graduated from the School for Leadership. As always, when one of us is gone the one left at home feels the loss more – both Shadow and Shane rejoiced when she returned! Now all is preparation – for the retreats coming up, for the Making A Difference workshop to be held at Holy Cross in May, for – oh, you’ll have to wait for later newsletters! But in the midst of it, the...

Community News – February 2018

February was full and lovely. We had lots to keep us busy! We both spent Ash Wednesday in service: Elizabeth led a retreat for the students at Berkeley Divinity School, and Shane gave out ashes and prayers at the Ulster Community College Food Pantry. We each continue our regular ministry with those communities. Together we led a retreat at Holy Cross, sponsored by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Teaneck, NJ. We reflected on the “armor of God,” and left with a “rule” of practices to strengthen our spiritual lives and a community of support and accountability. Thanks to St. Mark’s for sponsoring this, and inviting us to open it up to others! In the meantime, Shane flew to San Francisco over President’s Day weekend for the annual Board meeting of the Mastery Foundation. This was her first year on the Board, and she came home inspired and exhausted by the travel. She continues to volunteer with Mastery’s School for Leadership and the Making A Difference workshop, to be offered in Phoenix and West Park this spring. Otherwise we saw individuals for direction, worshipped and prayed together, and lived our lives. Spring is arriving, temperatures have come up, and walking is again delightful. The first snowdrops are out! The sun is up before Matins! Long underwear is in the drawer – at least for today. Be well, enjoy the...

Community News – January 2018

We began 2018 in 2017, with the annual Twelve-Step retreat at Holy Cross. We rejoiced to see old friends, and many new faces. We then spent three Sundays with the people of Christ Church, Marlboro NY and the Church of the Ascension in West Park. Their rector retired on December 31, and we were glad to preach and preside with them at this tender time. We each continue with our other work: seeing people for spiritual direction, preparing for spring retreats, volunteering with the Mastery Foundation. The food pantry is closed this month, but Shane will return next month. Our new Covenant Group is shaping up, with many wonderful people signing on. Three of our former group members are moving into deeper commitment as well, so we are full of organizing and preparing for their new beginnings. We now have a serious aspirant for residential life, and we ask for prayers for discernment and courage for her and for us. Stay tuned! We each managed some days of family time in January: Dario with his family in Italy, Elizabeth at the Jersey shore, and Shane at a wedding in Chicago and Milwaukee. We are grateful to be able to visit, and ready to get back to a normal schedule! But first, Shane and Elizabeth will take their annual house retreat January 26-31. We will be in silence, listening for God rather than phones or computers. Please pray for us, that we let God lead us and teach...

Community News – Christmas 2018

Community News Elizabeth and Shane have just returned from 16 days at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, where we preached and taught as their Advent Theologians in Residence. Our theme was “Exodus and Advent,” exploring the dynamics of going out (ex-odos) and coming to (ad-vent) in the history of Israel, in the life of Jesus and the Trinity, and in our human/divine lives. Thank you to all who made our time there rich and rewarding. We found ourselves experiencing “the wilderness” of being in a strange place, out of normal time and place, and we received the gifts of the wilderness – seeing things anew, seeing new things, depending on strangers, and the joy of returning home. Dario returns to Italy to spend Christmas with his parents. We are grateful for online technology that enables us to speak and worship wherever we are (we shared Vespers in the chapel in Cincinnati, and we shared Christmas greetings). Christmas here is simple, especially since we’ve been away. We took the opportunity to focus entirely on the Incarnation, rather than gifts or plans. Beautiful antiphons, a few flowers, candles and hymns and a few friends. All is calm, all is...

Community News – November 2017

We have now had several events at the new Companionary. On November 4 we hosted a “refresher day” for graduates of the Making A Difference workshop. Then the next day we held an open house for friends of all stripes. We’ve had several people stay for retreats this month, and we’re pleased to see the new space getting some use. Of course we are hoping that we will outgrow this space, as others feel called to the vowed life. Our two covenant groups ended this month, as we begin a new process for learning and sharing covenant life. Some people are continuing on, and others are stepping away, but all of them remain in our hearts. We have learned a lot from these past years, and we pray that that learning will benefit new and continuing Companions alike. Dario has produced a booklet to introduce people to the Companions, with a history and our charism and covenant as well as a description of the threads of Companionship and the process of finding your place in the weave. We hope to have that available for groups who’d like to know more, especially as we get ready to launch a new covenant group cycle in February. If you are interested in being part of that group, which will meet once a month on line for a year, email us anytime at...