Sisters in Scripture
Advent Invitation
11/26/2018  Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

Advent invites us...

not to hurry, but to slow down...
not to acquire, but to let go...
not to celebrate, but to anticipate...
not to do, but to be.

This year is one of those rare ones when Advent does not begin on Thanksgiving weekend. In that space after turkey casseroles, shopping and to-do lists, we have a few days to turn our faces to the coming season of Advent, a season of darkness and waiting. 
Why turn from light to darkness? Why halt when there's so much to do? Why turn inward when the whole world beckons? Because some things...

take time,
take quiet,
take darkness
take intention.

We can only glimpse the deeper meaning of Christmas as God-with-us if we are willing to be intentional. When we choose to enter this liminal space, we sidestep, at least for a time, the hurly-burly rush toward a Christmas that celebrates ever-larger gifts, revelry, sentimental nostalgia and the inevitable post-Christmas crash that asks, "Is that all there is?" 

Set aside some time in the coming days to make some choices around Advent. Some suggestions:

In the quiet of pre-dawn darkness or evening gloaming, light a single candle or advent wreath. Enjoy the glow and stillness, quiet your mind and be open to God's presence alongside

Read the first chapter of Luke, a few verses a day. Write down phrases, ideas or words you had not noticed before. Save Luke 2:1-20, the Nativity narrative, to savor on Christmas eve or day.

Set your phone to chime each day at noon or some other appointed time. Stop what you are about and sit quietly. Enjoy. Reflect. Decide to say "yes" to all the good intention you can bring to the day.

Create your own Advent space--blue or purple cloth beneath the candle, a Bible or journal alongside, a personal symbol like a branch or pine cone. Save the Christ Child to add to the Nativity set on Christmas morn.



What is Sisters in Scripture?

Sisters in Scripture began as a bible study for women and while it still is that today, the ministry has grown into much more.  Bible Studies were followed by workshops and presentations which evolved into a full line of retreat offerings—some as short as a partial day, others over several days, on a rich variety of topics. 
Recently, online retreats have been added to in-person retreats
Spiritual Direction with Kathleen is also available via phone/Skype or in person at either of two locations: Lynnwood, WA (occasionaly) and Bella Vista, AR (regularly).

Bible Studies

Sisters in Scripture offers a variety of studies available for purchase from this site.  Each study seeks to prayerfully engage the scriptures to arrive at meaning for today and in our everyday lives.  To do so, we enter the story through the lens of various biblical characters using both biblical scholarship and our own creative imagination. 
Each chapter includes Background, Prayer, Reflection Questions, and a Closer Look at the Text.  To see the full line of studies, go to  the Bible Studies page or the Purchase Books page on this site.

Retreats and Presentation

As with the interactive focus in my studies, the retreats are also designed to help participants enter into and experience the theme through a variety of modalities: prayer, silence, presentation, discussion, music, art, poetry, etc.  In addition to leading retreats, for the past four years, I have been co-teaching a course on Spiritual Retreats in the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, a sacred task that allows retreat ministry to expand through the future ministries of those I teach.

A partial list of retreat offerings would include: Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth, The Women Who Follow Jesus, The First Supper, Witnesses on the Way: an Interactive Stations of the Cross, Encounters with the Risen Lord, God’s Gift of Abundant Time, Grandmother God: Loving as God Loves, An Evening with Esther, and Wisdom from Tobit.

Spiritual Direction

A more apt name might be "spiritual companioning.”  I often think of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus when doing Spiritual Direction.  On life's road, Christ draws alongside, unseen but ever present, though we are often only partially aware.  Spiritual Direction is intentional attentiveness to that Presence in the company of an other who walks that same journey.  To read more about this gentle disciple, go to the Spiritual Direction page on this website.

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