Sisters in Scripture
Not Silent
7/26/2018  Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

Sisters in Scripture Blog Post, Not Silent
One of the fringe benefits of working at a church all these years is having a chapel down the hall.  There are other chapels in my world—the backyard swing, my writing table, the side of my bed, sometimes inside my car, but there is something immediate about walking into the cool, dim, hushed space that is a church.

Sunday’s prayers, psalms, praise and petitions still hang in the air like incense.   I head to one of several special spots where I have fallen to my knees before, where my heart has been stirred or my tears been shed, where I have carried the Body of Christ back to my seat in humble reverence.  Here there is no preamble or pretense; there is only prayer.

This day I reel from disappointment.  How could I have spoken so quickly, so harshly?  That very morning I’d prayed that my words be kind as well as truthful.  Was I wrong?  Was I foolish?  Was I hopelessly out of touch?  It all tumbled out.  Then I sat in the silence.  Silence.  I turned my blame in God’s direction.  It doesn’t help, you know, that you are always so silent.

An undetermined length of time passes, and I return to my office still disappointed but able to focus on the work before me.  A co-worker’s kindness waylays me.  Her words fall soft on my bruised heart.  I file, I type, I return some calls.  A few to-do’s get checked off my list.  I notice the stunning beauty just outside my window.  The pristine blue of a summer sky, the rim of hills below, trees that nod in the soft breeze, bird song and the call of children at play.  

Gratified by the pile of papers finally cleared from my desk, I look up to see it is five o’clock.  I pull out my cell phone and hit re-dial, unsure of what I’ll say but needing to reconnect.  A cheery hello reassures me that the transgression of the morning is past, attention turned to the dinner ahead.  See you soon.  Love you.  Bye.  

Purse in hand, I head to the car then turn and walk down the hall to the chapel.  I return to the place of morning prayer, sit, and whisper, "thank you.”  The silence is soft, tender, embracing.  My ears hear nothing.  But in that other silence that is my heart, I hear, "I am not silent—just soft-spoken.”  



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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