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...

Community News – November 2018

What a month! Where to start? Shane was supposed to lead a group at the end of October. She got sick the first night. God is good – Elizabeth was home, willing, and able to lead them with grace and ease. That let Shane recover for a few days before going to Northern Ireland for the School for Leadership annual 5-Day workshop (actually 8 days, with travel and preparations on site). She returned and led a recovery retreat a week later. She is now getting a few days of quiet! Next month will be quieter. Elizabeth had a quieter month, after stepping in. She went to Yale for her monthly sojourn, but otherwise tended the hearth while Shane was away. Susan had just gotten settled here when her tenants left and she needed to move back to Connecticut. We are sad to see her go, but continue to be in touch. We’re holding some things for ransom . . . The up side is that our guest room is available again. We have an aspirant visiting, discerning whether to enter as a residential member. We are excited, and aware that we never know the whole plan. Please pray for her and for us. Further afield, we now have three people in Omaha NE – a chapter waiting to form! We are making plans to visit and talk about how they can be a local community as well as part of our extended online family. You never know where seeds will blow to . . . Dario is finishing another busy semester. Annie is recovering from knee surgery. Ernesto is...

Community News – October 2018

October finds us bursting with news of some changes for the Companions. This month we wholeheartedly welcome Ernesto Medina as a Candidate for Covenant Companionship. Ernesto is a long time priest who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. We are delighted that Kaitlin Reese of Omaha and Emilie Trautman of New Paltz are joining the Covenant Group this month, also. At the Companionary we have an addition to the household with Susan Ahlstrom joining us for much of each week. Susan is a Reiki Master and is now completing certification in the Emotional Freedom Technique. She shares her time between West Park and New Haven, where she works for a nonprofit organization that works with and for people experiencing homelessness. It is a joy to have her as part of the community for awhile. Our prayer life continues to call us to the Spirit’s action in us and through our ministries. Shane participated in an Enneagram retreat at Holy Cross Monastery with Michelle Meech, has spent a good chunk of time preparing for retreats and to be part of the faculty at the Mastery Foundation School for Leadership in Newry, Ireland in early November. She continues to enjoy her work as a spiritual director. Elizabeth participated in an “Undoing Racism” Workshop in Kingston, NY, and continues that work with an ongoing group. She followed that with a two day stay at a hermitage. She spends a good amount of time providing spiritual direction at the Companionary, at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and preparing for upcoming...

Community News – September 2018

Fall is here! The temperature is up and down, and the “program year” has begun. August was lovely, with time off to explore the coast of Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as well as read and prepare retreats. Shadow enjoyed the company of two Holy Cross brothers during that time. Now we’re back, refreshed and ready to go. Last weekend we led a retreat on Christ Sophia at Holy Cross Monastery. The group was wonderful, and we all got a lot from it. Now Elizabeth heads back to Berkeley Divinity School to offer spiritual direction, and Shane begins her fall round of retreats with a retreat for couples in recovery at Incarnation Camp in Connecticut. We often do retreats that aren’t listed here or on our website, if a parish group or other self-contained group ask to work with us. So when you see blocks of time with no retreats listed, that’s what up. We’d love to invite you to everything, but we can’t. Annie and Dario are both in transition – Dario as a new school year begins, and Annie as her CPE residency ended and she recovers from knee replacement surgery. Our covenant group took August off, and returns this week. We’re pleased to be welcoming some new members, as we’ve decided to open the group every six months rather than once a year. They continue to delight us with their desire to live intentionally and in community. Our Board is engaged in strategic planning, looking at where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to be. It’s a tricky thing, trying to plan...