|Feast of the Epiphany 2021|
For this first newsletter of 2021, I offer you three poems gleaned from Christmas cards that span 30+ years: 1987, 2000, and 2021. And then some music at the end that really ushers in a new year!
Feast of the Epiphany
Today, January 6th, is the traditional Feast of Epiphany, the story of the Three Kings or Wise Men. It is also the day the Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrates Christmas. Let us take some time to re-read Matthew 2:1-12 and reflect on this familiar story and the invitation it holds for us.
This poem was received in 1987, as sent out by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. He referenced it as "from an Iranian Christmas card."
If, as with Herod,
we fill our lives with things,
and again with things,
if we consider ourselves
so important that we must fill
every moment of our lives with action,
when will we have the time
to make the long, slow journey
across the burning desert
as did the Magi?
Or sit and watch the stars
as did the shepherds?
Or brood over the coming of the child
as did Mary?
For each of us
there is a desert to travel
a star to discover
and a being within ourselves
to bring to life.
I wrote this poem for our Christmas letter in 2000, the turn to a new millennium. Remember when Y2K seemed scary?
I offer it to you again twenty years later--though it feels like so many more. Once again we find ourselves on the cusp of change beyond our doing, perhaps, even, beyond our understanding, compelled nonetheless to grapple with its meaning in our lives and world, with the rare opportunity to make choices that affect the future.
Assisi Follow-up: More Good News
is the online journal born of the Assisi Colloquy that could not convene due to Covid-19. The website for that is now up and running and can be accessed here: MAGDALA
. There is much more still to be added--including the first journal edition in November. That edition on the Holy Spirit will include my article on Teresa of Avila and Her Poetry. I'll let you know once that appears. Meanwhile, MAGDALA has provided a link to my website--nice. The journal comes out of Italy and will be offered in three languages: English, Italian and French. Guess we've now gone international!
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.
Retreats and Presentations
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 a previous Retreat, Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth, click on the link.
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
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.
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.
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.
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). For more information on Spiritual Direction please contact Kathleen!