Sisters in Scripture
Deal with our Dragons
7/2/2020  Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

 In a recent Zoom session on Mary Magdalene, I referenced the Golden Legend, a Medieval collection of fanciful stories about various saints. It was compiled in the 1260’s by Jacobus de Voragine and wildly popular in the Middle Ages, more widely read and known than the Bible, and taken by folks of that time to be as true as the sacred text.

Its colorful, whimsical tales fueled legends like the search for the Holy Grail and inspired cities to rival one another for patron saints and relics. We may cast a bemused glance at such phantasmagorical literature, but there is often a kernel of truth or a gem of wisdom to be found for the seeker. My favorite example is that of St. Martha and the Dragon.

In the Golden Legend, Martha, her sister, Mary, and brother, Lazarus, all set off from the Holy Land in a rudderless ship and cast themselves upon the whim of the sea and grace of God. They are, of course, miraculously guided, and eventually the Mediterranean coughs them up on the rocky shores of Marseilles, France, where their various adventures ensue.   These adventures become the stuff of local legend and various locations, particularly in France, still foster popular devotion and bear their names.  
Dragons, of course, were a terrible problem in the Middle Ages terrorizing villagers, shooting flames, snorting smoke, and chewing up folks in a single chomp. They did, however, provide stalwart knights a good deal of job security, as evidenced by that most popular and famous dragon-slayer of all, St. George. 

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.

 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.

  Miriam of Exodus

Saturday, July 18, 2020
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM PDT
11:30 - 1:30 CDT
12:30 - 2:30 EDT
Monday, July 20, 2020
9:30 - 11:30 AM PDT
 11:30 - 1:30 CDT
12:30 - 2:30 EDT
at the invitation of St. Placid Priory, Lacey, WA
Miriam first appears as a little girl, clever, compassionate, resourceful, and fearless.  We see her next as a young woman, leading other women in song and dance on the shores of the Red Sea.  And we encounter her as an old woman who has borne the trial of years and must come to terms with the inner burdens carried for too long.  At last, her death is recorded, and the community mourns her as a beloved leader and prophet.

Miriam is the only woman in the Bible for whom we know the span of her lifetime.  She shares this distinction of a life-long story with her brother, Moses, David, the shepherd-boy-turned-king, and, of course, Jesus.  What might the example of a life lived in service and love of God tell us about how to live our own lives?  Join us for a zoom presentation on Miriam AND discover the other women instrumental in saving the life of her brother, Moses.

To sign up for Saturday, go to: Miriam on Saturday 

To sign up for Monday, go to: Miriam  on Monday 

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. 

Available Retreats

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


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