Sisters in Scripture
Ordinary Day
1/12/2019  Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

Ordinary Day 

Walk into the comfort of my daughter’s cozy kitchen and you’ll be greeted by a hand-lettered chalkboard saying, "Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.”  Kristal has a way of bringing hospitality, beauty, and grace into every encounter.  

Now that all the Christmas decorations are tucked away for another year and folks have returned to work and school, it feels like a return to normal.  The church has a fitting name for this season of normal, Ordinary Time.  We are now officially between the seasons of Christmas and Easter which begins, of course, with the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, March 6th.  This year we get nearly two months of Ordinary Time, starting now.  Yay!  Two months to grow in awareness and appreciation.  Let this be my new year resolution, to be aware of the treasure of the ordinary.

When I was a teen, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town,” was a popular presentation for high school productions.  In it, a deceased young mother, Emily, is allowed to return to earth to observe one day of her life, her 12th birthday.  She delights in the rediscovery of every childhood joy and acquaintance.  

"Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you!” 
But her initial joy is replaced by sadness as she realizes how little she or anyone else appreciates the ordinariness of that day.  She laments to the stage manager, another character in the play, 
"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?”  

He replies, "No.  The saints and poets, maybe.  They do some.”  

Then let us be saints, poets, and mystics!—not too small an ambition for the new year, or at least the first two months of a new year.  Not too big an ambition either.  If Jesus’ coming to live among us means anything, it means that he shared in our ordinary human life.  He chose to spend most of his life, 30 years of it living the same kind of ordinary existence that we do.   

That big gap in the Gospels, the one from the Nativity to his adulthood, those were years Jesus lived an ordinary life.  Like us.  Luke gives us that one tantalizing scene of Jesus in the temple at age 12, but the rest of those 30 years are left to our imagining.  2000 years ago, did Jesus really have a life like ours?


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 (occasionally) 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.
To View Photos of the latest Retreat, Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth click on the link.  
A comment from Julie Joslund, Pastor of Edmonds Lutheran Church:
Kathleen and Betsey’s Advent Retreat Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth is fabulous! The story and the inspiration of young Mary becoming the mother of our Lord - with all the incumbent questions, joys and fears - comes to life with the images, colors, words, songs and dances from long ago Nazareth…. right up to today. Participants are involved and included in the retreat experience. It is hands on and fulfilling. Everyone goes away with a full heart, ready to engage the season of Advent and the coming once again of Christ into our days. 

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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