Community News – June 2019

May has been full, and glorious. We were back-to-back at Trinity Retreat Center: Elizabeth led a retreat for the Missioners of the Diocese of Connecticut, and then attended Shane’s Mary Retreat. She is enjoying a more evenly paced schedule with gratitude and breathing a bit of a sigh of relief! Shane is looking forward to that ease, after a retreat she will lead this weekend. We have both been supplying at some of our favorite local churches this month as well. Shane went to Albany in support of bills for farmworkers’ rights. Farmworkers are not covered by the same protections and rights granted to other workers in the U.S., a legacy from slavery that is due to end. The food pantry is closed for the summer, so she has a bit more time to read and garden. Annie attended a training entitled “Understanding and Responding to Complicated Mourning” as part of her chaplaincy work. As she said, “great stuff.” Dario has finished the semester, and will spend the summer on grants past and proposed. In the meantime he continues to play music. You can read about his passion in the UN-Omaha newsletter: Professors who Play. He’s been making videos of his guitar work, but we won’t embarrass him here. Ernesto continues his ministry in Beatriz, NE, and his work on behalf of children in the foster home system. Diane completed an icon of St. Mary Magdalene that will be blessed during the Companions’ summer retreat. She also became the guardian of an unaccompanied minor recently arrived from Central America who attends the local high school. Lauren is settling into...

Community News – May 2019

Spring has sprung! It’s time to pray outside, to be up and out early and late. Shane and Elizabeth spent Holy Week at Trinity Retreat Center in Connecticut. They joined in liturgies and reflections led by Daniel Simons, and offered a Saturday meditation exercise. The Vigil was held at 5 a.m. on Sunday, so we had a chance to really dwell in the in-between of Saturday. Elizabeth has been on the road, first at Yale for direction and then on her annual retreat at Eastern Point Retreat Center in Massachusetts. Shane has been busy preparing for “the Mary retreat.” The Covenant Companions celebrated Easter in their respective ways and places. It was Ernesto’s first Holy Week in an ELCA parish, and Annie’s first at her new work at St. Mary’s. Ernesto prepared by going on a “retreat” cruise with clergy friends. Annie, we think, had another plan. We are now seven on our regular Covenant Companion calls, and learning more about each other. With so many people, the real struggle is to find a time to meet! It’s a nice problem. As always, please pray for us to listen for what God is up to with us and among us, and to follow with open hearts and minds. Thank you for your...

Community News – April 2019

At the Companionary, the big news (well, to some of us) is animals returning or awakening. Herons, hawks, groundhogs, robins, turkeys – everyone is emerging. The stray goose or duck finds their way to our new (unintended) pond, where road improvements blocked drainage. Flowers, too, are starting to show themselves. Spring is here. Among the larger animals, Shane and Elizabeth began Lent with three days of silence. Shane served a local church for Ash Wednesday when their priest suffered a family loss, but otherwise it was a quiet three days. Then they had nine people for the mini-retreat, a wonderful day of reflection and sharing. Elizabeth got a few days away, dog sitting for friends. She returned an hour before Dario arrived for a quick, lovely visit. It was great to see him without a computer screen! Shane led a retreat for a Narcotics Anonymous group in Connecticut. This was a new group for her, a nice chance to grow in awareness and fellowship. Dario received a grant to build a supercomputer for his research. On the other side of his visit to us he gave a talk to colleagues at Princeton, and got some helpful feedback. Ernesto decided to record himself reading the Charism and Covenant, to play in the car on his way to work. It is so powerful to hear it read, to hear it alive in the world. We don’t have the recording on the website, but if you haven’t read the charism you can find it here. The covenant group completes their yearly cycle this month. On March 31 Lauren Hare and Diane Paulsell...

Community News – February 2019

Some sort of spring is approaching. The tree branches are filling up, the first bluebirds are back (crazy birds!), the light is longer. The orchids are in bloom on the windowsill. We began the month in Omaha, where Elizabeth and Shane met with Ernesto, Dario, and Kaity to explore beginning a local group. We attended services and led a forum at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church, where Ernesto is retiring at the end of this month. In March he begins another chapter as interim pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice, NE. Annie has moved to Maryland and begun two jobs, one as a grief counselor with a hospice service and another as a lay pastoral assistant in areas of formation and congregational development. Dario has been serving as chair of a search committee at work, and now he will be the head of the search committee at St. Martha’s. So our Covenant Companions continue to be busy. In the meantime, we stay in touch and pray for one another daily. Elizabeth led the junior class at Berkeley Divinity School in their spring retreat, and then returned the next week for her usual stint of spiritual direction. She is training as a coach for the School for Leadership. Shane is preparing for retreats coming up this spring. She joined the Board of Trustees of the Mastery Foundation for their annual meeting, but managed to do it via Zoom this year – less wonderful bonding time, but a good use of resources this year. The covenant group continues to evolve. Two members will become Candidates for Covenant Companionship, and four...

Community News – January 2019

Another full month. Elizabeth and Shane rang in the new year at Holy Cross Monastery with the annual 12-Step retreat. Then they led the brothers in reflections on the feminine face of God, as part of their annual retreat. Then we had the annual winter retreat at the Companionary. Five blessed days of silence, hiking, reflection. This retreat always opens a new door into the coming year, into what is emerging among the Companions as well as what is emerging in each of us. The next thing emerging is in Omaha, Nebraska. Who’d have thought of that? Crazy God. We have two Covenant Companions and a Covenant Group member there, and they want to explore how to deepen as a local community. So next week Elizabeth and Shane will brave the winter skies for four days of conversation and connection. The covenant group members who began last March are in the process of discerning their future with the Companions, seeing where they fit and what they can commit to. So we are in conversation with each of them over these next two weeks. Please pray for clarity for each of them, and for us. It’s been an amazing year with...