[Sayma-Discuss] School of the Spirit

Quakerkristi at aol.com Quakerkristi at aol.com
Fri Mar 6 14:42:37 EST 2009

I am forwarding two emails from The School of the  Spirit
3 SAYMA members attended the 2 year session  that just ended
Maybe some of you know someone who might be  interested in the next sessions. 
 If so pass some of this  along.
_Subscribe  me!_ 

News from the School of the  Spirit Ministry   
December  2008
In This Issue   _The  Idea of a Retreat_ 
(mip://02b21a20/default.html#LETTER.BLOCK14)   _On  Being a Spiritual Nurturer_ 
(mip://02b21a20/default.html#LETTER.BLOCK9)   _Testing the Waters retreats_ 
(mip://02b21a20/default.html#LETTER.BLOCK22)   _A  Report from The Way of Ministry_ 
(mip://02b21a20/default.html#LETTER.BLOCK20)   _Forgiving_ (mip://02b21a20/default.html#LETTER.BLOCK12)   
_Endnotes_ (mip://02b21a20/default.html#LETTER.BLOCK21)      
(http://visitor.constantcontact.com/email.jsp?m=1102273236614)     Quick Links   
_Our  Website_ 

_A New  Survey_ 

Dear Patty,   
The articles and reports in this issue of  Snapshots  challenge each one of 
us to ask what are we ready  to surrender in order to be more available to 
God's  liberating love.  The theme is ripe for this season  as we welcome the free 
divine gift of the Christ-child  in each one of us.

In this issue you can read  (and listen to!) why we need to go on retreat and 
what  we need to leave behind in order to do so.   Reflections from the 
Spiritual Nurturer and  The Way of  Ministry programs tell us what might be found  
when we surrender ourselves. And a prayer on forgiveness  reminds us how 
central this is to welcoming the  unconditionality of God's love. 

Thank you to all  those who completed last month's survey. Ninety-five  
percent responded that they would like the newsletter to  include soul-nourishing 
essays and articles.  In  the coming months Snapshots will feature  projects 
from the most recent class of the Spiritual  Nurturer program.  Please take a 
new short _survey_ 
to  help us know how you might best receive these essays and  presentations. 

For those of you who did not  receive the inaugural issue of Snapshots, it 
can be  read on our _website_ 
(http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=awiywucab.0.oynzbvcab.gutvjscab.0&ts=S0374&p=http://www.quakerinfo.com/sotsnl0811.shtml) .  And please 
forward  Snapshots to a  friend; the link is in the Quick Links sidebar to the 

Michael Green
for the  School of the Spirit Ministry  

The  Idea of a Retreat by Gilbert  Kilpack

Many Friends who have prepared to go on retreat have  found Gilbert Kilpack's 
essay The Idea of a Retreat a  useful companion.  Friend Gilbert was a 
writer, lecturer,  and from 1948 a staff member at Pendle Hill. He was appointed  
Director of Studies in 1954. The essay is presented here with  the permission of 
Pendle Hill Publications. While the essay  dates from the late 1940s, the 
author's plea is no less  relevant today. 

"Now that the world's sorrow is so  visibly poignant, the necessity of making 
a retreat is greater  than ever. The aberration of war-mindedness and the 
complexity  of our mechanistic ["digital"? ed.]  civilization have robbed us of 
all human  steadiness."

On retreat, the author challenges us to  spiritual honesty. "This is the 
hardest thing of all. It is  such an easy step from feeling religious to the  
assumption that one really is. . . . We love to be the  discoverers of truth but 
we hate to be discovered by her; yet  those momentary flashes of absolute 
honesty which cleave the  darkness of our lives and reveal our petty pretensions 
are  necessary to clear the ground for growth."

The entire  essay can be listened to or read _here_ 
ts.shtml) .

A reminder:

Linda  Chidsey and Carolyn Moon will facilitate their annual winter  silent 
retreat at Powell House, the retreat home of New York  Yearly Meeting, January 
16-19, 2009. The cost of the long  weekend is $260 prior to January 1, and 
$280 from January 1.  To register, click _here_ 
.cgi) .

On  Being a Spiritual Nurturer, 2007 - 2008

It has been the  tradition since its first class that those participating in  
the Spiritual Nurturer program organize their closing ceremony  on the final 
morning of the last residency.  For the  seventh class, this closing ceremony 
included a moving examen  in which each claimed what they were taking through 
the gate  that led from the program to whatever might be next. Here is a  
selection from that examen.

I  take away integration and the knowing that the bridge is the  Holy Spirit 
within me. I am grateful for the grace of this  knowing and of you holding me 
in that knowing. You are my  blessed community and I'll take you in my heart.

I take  from the whole experience the courage to share brokenness and  shame. 
I share that brokenness with the world because I know  you are with me.

I don't know where the road goes, I  just know I'll follow it, taking with me 
the clear conviction  that I am God's and knowing I have left behind the 
burdens I  do not need--maybe not all, but enough to make my steps light  and my 
heart clear.

I take away my choice to live in  prophetic witness, spiritual companioning 
with a decided  Quaker flare, awareness of self as recorder of Truth, and  

I take away the gift of paradox: freedom and  bondage. Freedom in God's love 
for me through Christ; bondage  to serve when called upon, to preach God's 

I  take away greater self-knowledge and more compassion for  myself. I take 
away a surprising realization that where my  earth witness meets the witnessing 
I need for myself, there is  a central point where they come together, a 
point which is  about embracing the Other. 

I take away a new capacity  for patient trust that something is waiting to be 
born; that  the pain we see in the world is the love that is trying to be  

Testing the Waters retreats  and the next Spiritual  Nurturer program   
For  those interested in the next class of the program On Being a  Spiritual 
Nurturer, go to our website to read the prospectus  and to download the 
application and scholarship forms.  

The program begins in September 2009 and the deadline  to receive 
applications is May 25, 2009. To help with your  discernment we are holding two Testing 
the Waters retreat  days:

February 7, 2009 at First Friends Meeting in  Greensboro, NC
March 28, 2009 at Alexandria Friends Meeting  in VA

The requested donation for each day is $25. To  register, please send us an 
_email_ (mailto:info at schoolofthespirit.org)  with your contact information and  
indicating for which retreat day you are  registering.

A  Report from The Way of  Ministry   
Following upon the theme of surrender and  liberation, we share with you here 
an extract from a report  written by Michael Wajda, clerk of the SOTS board, 
who was  person-of-presence at the very recent second residency of our  new 
program The Way of  Ministry. 

"In  another session one of the teachers shared the story of her  journey in 
ministry, which included negotiating with God,  submission, and being invited 
by Jesus to join him on the  cross.  Her first response was "Yuk."  Then, she  
relinquished and joined Christ.  Instead of pain what she  found was 
"sweetness" that consoled her.  Jesus gathered  up her current suffering and her past 
sufferings and she was  changed.  In this experience Christ joined her more 
than  she joined him.  You could hear a pin drop in the large  room of Brinton 
House as she was sharing this story.  I  was taken to a place of deep gratitude 
and  prayer."

The complete text of Michael's report  can be read _here_ 
yministryreport.pdf) .  


To remove obstacles blocking  the free flow of God's love within and through 
I must  forgive my shortcomings, my mistakes, my failures whether  perceived 
or real. 

God forgives me when I stumble and  allows me to try again. 

God shows me what to do; I  must develop the habit of forgiveness.

Forgiving my own  sins is not enough, but it is a starting point. 

I must  also forgive the inadequacies I perceive in others.  

God knows and accepts us as we are. 

When I see  with doubting or critical eyes rather than the eyes of love,  my 
vision is not clear. 

To truly see the reflection of  the beloved other, 
I must practice unconditional love or  the mirror of my soul will remain 

God loves and  forgives me just as He loves and forgives you. 

I can  do no less.

Janis Ansell, Spiritual Nurturer  class of 2008

Annual  Appeal
The SOTS Annual Appeal letter has been  mailed. Whether or not you have 
received the letter, we  welcome your gift of whatever size. Tuition from our 
programs  covers 75% of our annual budget; the rest (around $30,000)  must come 
from grants and contributions from individuals like  you. Details as to how you 
can give are at the foot of this  newsletter. Thank you.

Spiritual Renewal  Weekend
If you are, or will be, a graduate of On Being a Spiritual  Nurturer or The 
Way of  Ministry, mark November 12-14, 2009 on your calendars.  Over this 
weekend SOTS will hold a retreat at the Franciscan  Spiritual Center in Aston, PA, 
for the spiritual enrichment of  program graduates. More details will be 
announced in the  months ahead.

New  Website and Email Addresses
SOTS now has new, easier  to remember website and email addresses:

on the web http://www.schoolofthespirit.org

email info at schoolofthespirit.org

In the months  ahead Snapshots will  be in touch with program participants 
regarding articles,  essays, photos, audio and video presentations that might 
gift  this newsletter and enrich the spiritual lives of readers.  However, if 
you wish to propose your own work, then please  send us an _email_ 
(mailto:info at schoolofthespirit.org) .

Mindfulness Bell
Many of  us spend many hours working at our computers, forgetting the  deeper 
internal space that we might inhabit.  As a  reminder, you can download a 
widget to your computer that will  sound a mindfulness bell at specified or 
random times of the  day. Find this widget _here_ 
html) .

A Ministry of Prayer and  Learning devoted to the School of the Spirit 
is  dedicated to all who wish to be more faithful listeners and  responders 
to the inward work of Christ.

Donations are  always welcome. Checks may be sent to the address below, made  
out to Philadelphia Yearly  Meeting earmarked for the School of the  Spirit.

A Ministry of  Prayer and Learning devoted to the School of the Spirit is a  
ministry under the care of 
the Worship and Care Committee  of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

_Forward  email_ 

This email was forwarded to quakerkristi at aol.com, by _Patty Levering_ 
(mailto:pattylev at bellsouth.net) .
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