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  • 1. Food for the SOUL The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine 2013 to 2014
  • 2. FOOD FOR THE SOUL 2013 — 2014 The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine 2 Quiet Garden Days June 22, July 13, August 10, September 21, 2013 Inspired by the Quiet Garden Trust in England, these are days to relax, renew, and rest outdoors in the beauty of God’s creation, as well as to enjoy the Sisters’ chapel and library. In case of rain, there is plenty of space indoors to wander, sit, dream, and pray. We begin the day with a brief time of prayer; then a Sister will offer suggestions on how to use the day. The rest of the morning is yours. The Eucharist is celebrated at noon, followed by dinner, and the afternoon is again free, with a brief gathering at 3:30 pm for a closing time of prayer, and the option of sharing the blessings of the day. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4 pm. Fee: $20 if you bring a bag lunch (+ $15 if you wish a hot meal). Pray as You Can, Not as You Can’t September 20 - 22, 2013 Jean Gill wrote, “Prayer is like a window. It is our way of opening our Self to God. It is the response to our deep desire to allow the Spirit of God to blow through our souls, to feel the movement of God within our Self. . . .” We will look at prayer through different kinds of windows, e.g. bay windows, stained glass windows, rattling windows, and picture windows. Led by Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, SSJD, Prioress and Novice Director. Begins 4 pm Friday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Fee: $220; deposit: $50.
  • 3. 3 SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: RETURN OF JOHN BELL Doing Worship Differently October 1 - 3, 2013 The liturgies of the Church have traditionally shown variety of both style and content, according to denomination, season of the year, reason for gathering, potential of the local space and people. But a common presumption has been that the pastor knows best. This is a notion from a pre-literate society in which the priest or minister was the only educated person. We live in a different world today which requires an approach to preparing worship which is more cooperative and thereby more creative, which respects tradition and yet breaches barriers of tired convention. “Doing Worship Differently” does not intend to undermine 'normal' Sunday morning worship, but to enable participants to discover alternative ways of engaging minds and congregations in offering to God different textures of prayer, scriptural reflection and praise. Led by John Bell of the Iona Community, an inspiring speaker and the composer of much well-known and loved contemporary Christian music used in the Iona Community and around the world. Begins 4 pm Tuesday; ends 1:30 pm Thursday. Fee: $280; deposit: $50 A Mosaic of Colours — A return engagement by popular demand! October 12, 2013 Discover your creativity and enjoy the challenge, fun and fellowship of making colour-dyed silk scarves as Christmas gifts for yourself or others. Led by Sr. Jessica Kennedy, SSJD, our Sister in charge of the infirmary. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4:00 pm. Fee: $40 if you bring a bag lunch ($30 for Associates and Oblates) Includes silk fabric and dyes. A hot meal is an additional $15.
  • 4. 4 Connecting More Deeply with Jesus October 26, 2013 Jesus said, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you” (Revelation 3:20). This transformative Quiet Day will help you to dissolve inner barriers that may be preventing you from fully accepting Jesus into your heart and mind. Jesus also said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Through a series of gentle guided meditations, reflections, and discussions, you will have the opportunity to connect directly with the enduring strength, compassion, love, and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Led by Ellen Fleming. In 1993, Ellen experienced a profound mystical vision of Jesus while listening to a guided meditation tape. She has over twenty years of personal experience in establishing and maintaining a strong and resilient inner connection to Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4:00 pm. Fee: $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates) if you bring a bag lunch. A hot meal is an additional $15. The Task of Making Peace: Transforming the World from Within November 15 - 17, 2013 Despite evidence to the contrary, transforming the world is not an impossible task! Fundamental to our lives as Christians living in an often troubled world is the understanding that hope is a choice. God calls us to the task of making peace and enables us to offer peace to others. A viable, practical way to cultivate peace around us is to deepen our inner life. Together we'll explore, and practice, an ancient form of silent, interior prayer, sometimes called "the prayer of the heart", that was recovered for us by Dom John Main. Led by the Rev. Frances Drolet-Smith, an Oblate of SSJD. Frances is a parish priest in the Diocese of NS & PEI, a wife and mother, for whom the practice of Christian Meditation has been an accessible way to deepen her friendship with God and live hopefully. Begins 4 pm Friday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Fee: $220; deposit: $50.
  • 5. 5 Advent Quiet Day for Associates, Oblates and Friends November 30, 2013 In Advent, We Watch, We Wait, We Wonder The Holy Season of Advent is a time when the world around us is filled with people who are shopping and baking and attempting to meet all manner of expectations—their own and others’—of what Christmas should be like. On this Advent Quiet Day, we take the time together to contemplate and anticipate the birth of our Lord—a baby to be born in a manger, rather than a prince to be born in a palace. We will have the opportunity to watch together, to pray and wait together, and to experience the joy and wonder of the miracle that was (and is) Jesus’ birth. Together we will explore what it means to model Mary and to say, “Here am I. . . Let it be with me according to your word”. Led by the Rt. Rev. Barry Clarke, Bishop of the Diocese of Montreal and an Associate of SSJD. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4:00 pm. Fee: $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates) if you bring a bag lunch. A hot meal is an additional $15. Christmas Retreat: Snapshots of Christmas December 23 - 26, 2013 Celebrate Christmas with the Sisters, enjoying the pre-Christmas and Christmas liturgies, with time for both quiet reflection and festive celebration. Sisters of SSJD will lead participants in a daily reflection using the films of the Christmas Season, with opportunity to express their creativity in decorating the Guest House as well as joining in the singing and celebrations of Christmas. Begins 4 pm Monday; ends after breakfast, Thursday. Special holiday rate of $220 for this three-day retreat; deposit: $50. Creating the New Year December 31, 2013 - January 1, 2014 Consider spending 28 hours (or more if you wish) at the Convent, celebrating the New Year in an environment of peace and quiet fellowship. Enjoy a candlelight labyrinth walk (weather permitting), festive food, and a new creative way of beginning your year. Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, SSJD, Prioress and Novitiate Director, will guide participants in finding a balance of life through living life mindfully and intentionally. Begins 9 am Tuesday; ends 1:30 pm Wednesday. Fee: $110; deposit: $50.
  • 6. 6 Walking the Rock of Faith January 18, 2014 Simon Peter was the Rock of Faith on which Jesus chose to build his Church; according to all the Gospels, he was also an imperfect human being who could exasperate and, in the end, deny his Lord. Join Sr. Sue Elwyn, SSJD, as we look at how this flawed and faulty Rock of Faith can be a model for our own lives in Christ. Sr. Sue is the Spiritual Care Co-ordinator at St. John’s Rehab. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4:00 pm. Fee: $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates) if you bring a bag lunch. A hot meal is an additional $15. Drawing Spirituality with Celtic Knots — Return Engagement January 25 - 26, 2014 Can you draw a dot, a line and a square? Of course you can! Surprisingly, they are the 3 key steps to learning a simple, accessible, authentic way of drawing Celtic knots—no art training required. The method will open you to an appreciation of knots as a spiritual meditative practice that is playful and easy, but also thoughtful drawing remarkable depth and meaning from connections to the Bible, theology and liturgy. Or. . . knots can also be just fun creative doodling! The Saturday workshop will be an introduction to the knots, focused on establishing ease and familiarity with a basic repertoire of interlace types. The Sunday workshop will be a more advanced session, exploring complex variations, with closer attention to ways that knotwork is capable of disclosing insight and meaning hidden in the enormous collection of examples from the religious and secular historical record. Led by The Rev. Brian Dench, author of The Knotty Book, and a graphic designer and former president of the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto. Each day begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4 pm. Fee: $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates) if you bring a bag lunch. A hot meal is an additional $15. Fee for staying overnight (including meals) and attending both sessions is $125.
  • 7. 7 Patrick's Song — Brigid's Well — Columba's Island February 7 - 9, 2014 Far from being a romantic historical curiosity, the chapter of our Christian story that was lived out on the Atlantic islands from the 5th to the 7th century has once again become a rich spiritual resource for our contemporary spiritual questing. This retreat on Celtic Spirituality will be led by The Rev. Dr. Canon Herbert O’Driscoll, a brilliant scholar and mesmerizing Irish storyteller. He is the celebrated author of 30 books, including A Doorway in Time, a reflection of his own Celtic spirituality. Dr. O'Driscoll is also one of the most highly regarded preachers in the Anglican Church, a former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, BC, and former Warden of the College of Preachers at Washington National Cathedral. Begins 4 pm Friday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Fee: $250; deposit: $50. Diakonia: Epiphany Images of Christian Ministry February 13 - 15, 2014 Following on last year’s Lenten retreat, this 48 hour experience will explore diakonia through contemplative pondering on the images of Epiphany, paying particular attention to the place of baptism, revelation, and mission as dimensions of our ministry. There will be time for theological and spiritual reflection, participation in the life of the Sisters of St. John the Divine, including their Daily Office, and for connecting with others within the ecumenical, diaconal tradition. The retreat is open to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding and practice of ministry. Begins 4 pm Thursday; ends 2:30 pm Saturday. Overnight cost: $230; commuters: $120. Deposit for both: $50. Led by: Maylanne Maybee, Principal & Program Staff, Centre for Christian Studies, Winnipeg. Maylanne has been a deacon for more than 30 years. She is a writer, speaker and advocate for the Diaconate in Anglican and ecumenical circles. She is also a long-
  • 8. 8 time Associate of SSJD; Ted Dodd, Program Staff, Centre for Christian Studies, Winnipeg. Ted is the first person in the United Church to change ministry designation from ordained to diaconal. He completed a D.Min. in 2008 with a focus on transformational theological development; Sr. Debra Johnston, N/SSJD. Debra was a deaconess with the ELCA Deaconess Community from 1987 to 2000 when she was ordained a Pastor of the ELCIC. She has served five congregations and is currently under special call by the Eastern Synod to serve with the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine. The Lord Is My Light February 28 - March 2, 2014 This retreat, based on the music of Taizé, will consist of prayer services in the Taizé style as well as brief inputs based on the theme of “Preparing for Lent”. There will also be the opportunity for one-on-one conversations with a spiritual guide. The retreat will be led by Fr. Erik Oland, SJ. Fr. Oland is a long time associate of Loyola House in Guelph where he was involved in retreat ministry and training prior to taking up his current responsibilities as Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate in Montreal. Fr. Oland is a classical musician by training and has performed in a wide range of musical styles. He visited Taizé (France) in 2007. Begins 4 pm Friday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Fee: $250; deposit: $50. Lenten Quiet Day for Associates, Oblates and Friends March 15, 2014 “To live fully, to love wastefully, and to find the courage to be all that I can be.” What does it mean to live life to the full? What does it mean to love wastefully as the father of the prodigal son did? What would happen if all Christians sought to be the best they could be and worked together to transform the world around them? Where do we find the courage to be all that we can be? Led by Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, SSJD, Prioress and Novice Director. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4 pm. Fee: $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates) if you bring a bag lunch. A hot meal is an additional $15.
  • 9. 9 Understanding Icons March 28 - 30, 2014 Icons have been venerated around the world for centuries. This workshop will explore their history and meaning. Participants will learn clues on how to read an icon as well as take time to contemplate these "windows into heaven". Led by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Trapnell, icon writer and minister of the Charing Cross Pastoral Charge of The United Church of Canada. Begins 4 pm Friday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Fee: $220; deposit: $50. A Spiritual Spa for Mums: A Retreat for Busy Mothers April 5, 2014 Rediscover or discover for the first time, the true peace that passes all understanding. Mums of all ages and stages, working outside the house or in, can learn from centuries of Benedictine wisdom how to simplify their lives and make space for God. Join other harried mothers in learning how to create a frame of discipline for a deep spiritual peace that will lighten the burden of work, parenting, and relationships. More relaxing and rejuvenating than any quick-fix trip to the spa! Led by Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, SSJD, Prioress and Novitiate Director and Molly Finlay, Principal, Finlay Communications, and Special Advisor, Communications, at World Vision Canada. She is actively involved in the Ontario Liberal Party, an Associate of SSJD and is married and a mother of 2 young girls. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4 pm. Fee: $25 ($15 for Associates and Oblates) if you bring a bag lunch. A hot meal is an additional $15. Holy Week Retreat April 16 - 20, 2014 As Christians we are called to walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Join us as we walk through the triumphs, the sufferings and the glories of Holy Week and Easter Day. Sr. Debra Johnston, N/SSJD and a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, will lead the conversation as we look at our own lives in relation to Jesus’ experiences. Begins 4 pm Wednesday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Special Holy Week fee: $340; deposit: $50.
  • 10. 10 SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY — The Rev. Carl Daw, Jr. Audible Grace: Promise and Challenge in Congregational Song May 23 - 25, 2014 The goal of this retreat is to cultivate an awareness and appreciation of sacramental dimensions in what we sing in worship, especially the ways congregational song awakens memory and hope. Such connections with the past and the future engage us on many levels and offer both promise and challenge for shaping our faith and for leading us into paths of service and witness. This retreat will be led by the Rev. Carl P. Daw, Jr., an American Episcopal priest who served at various parishes throughout the Eastern United States before he began work on hymns. He served on the committee that created the 1982 Episcopal hymnal, and served in a variety of roles related to sacred music. Now Curator of Hymnological Collections and Adjunct Professor of Hymnology at Boston University School of Theology, he previously was Executive Director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada from 1996- 2009. In May 2011, he was named a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music. Begins 4 pm Friday; ends 1:30 pm Sunday. Fee: $280; deposit: $50. Special Event Open to the Public A Hymn Festival with Carl Daw Saturday, May 24th at 7:30 pm Fee (for those not attending the retreat): $20 (at the door)
  • 11. 11 Quiet Garden Days June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13, 2014 Inspired by the Quiet Garden Trust in England, these are days to relax, renew, and rest outdoors in the beauty of God’s creation, as well as to enjoy the Sisters’ chapel and library. In case of rain, there is plenty of space indoors to wander, sit, dream, and pray. We begin the day with a brief time of prayer; then a Sister will offer suggestions on how to use the day. The rest of the morning is yours. The Eucharist is celebrated at noon, followed by dinner, and the afternoon is again free, with a brief gathering at 3:30 pm for a closing time of prayer, and the option of sharing the blessings of the day. Begins 9:30 am with gathering for coffee; ends 4 pm. Fee: $20 if you bring a bag lunch (+ $15 if you wish a hot meal). For Women Seeking Direction in Their Lives Women at a Crossroads July 4 - 27, 2014 This 3½ week program, held each summer, is for women who are intentionally committed to seeking God's guidance in living out their baptismal call — in business or professional careers, in homemaking or lay careers, in the church, in ordained ministry or life in a religious community, or in the many other ways in which we may serve God. You may be called to participate in this program if you are interested in: • sharing in an intentional Christian community • learning how to live a balanced life of prayer, work, study, rest and recreation • engaging in classes and discussions about Christian life and vocation • receiving personal guidance in deepening your prayer life • discerning God’s will for your life There is no fee for room and board, but participants contribute to the life of the Community by sharing in the Sisters' work. A monetary contribution (tax deductible) may be made to the Sisterhood.
  • 12. 12 PREVIEW FOR FALL, 2014 The Hospitality of Abraham (The Ven. Stephen Rowe) Sept. 19 - 21 Lectio and Visio Divina (Br. Ignatius Feaver, OFM Cap.) Oct. 11 Redeeming the Time (Fr. Monty Williams, SJ) Oct. 24 - 26 Being and Believing in the Age of the Spirit Oct. 31 - Nov. 2 (Phyllis Tickle) Mosaic of Colours (Sr. Jessica Kennedy, SSJD) Nov. 15 Advent Quiet Day: Christ Will Come Again (Bp. Linda Nicholls) Nov. 29 Christmas Retreat (SSJD Sisters) Dec. 23 - 26 New Year’s Retreat (A Sister of SSJD) Dec. 31 - Jan. 1 FOOD FOR THE SOUL: OPPORTUNITIES AND FEES Guided Retreats: These overnight retreats focus on a particular theme and include four or five talks over the course of two days, with ample time for personal reflection, reading, walking, and prayer. Participants are invited to join the Sisters for chapel services. Meals are eaten in silence, and the Guest House is a place of silence during the retreat. The fee and (nonrefundable) deposit is listed under the description for each retreat. Commuters are welcome if there is space. The fee is 55% of the overnight fee, and the deposit is the same as listed. The full-time student rate is $55 per night. Quiet Saturdays: These are one-day retreats, beginning with coffee and conversation at 9:30 am and ending by 4 pm. Each focuses on a particular theme, and the retreat leader gives two or three short talks during the day, leaving ample time for participants' prayer and personal reflection, and the opportunity to join the sisters for the noon Eucharist. There is an opportunity for quiet conversation over a bag lunch or, for an additional fee, a hot (silent) dinner in the Refectory with the Sisters. Fees are listed under the description for each Quiet Saturday. No deposits are required for Quiet Saturdays. Quiet Garden Days: Enjoy some time for rest, reflection and prayer in the Convent courtyard, labyrinth, gardens and walks, beginning with coffee and conversation at 9:30 am and ending by 4 pm. A Sister will give a brief introduction with suggestions for how to use your day, you may join the Sisters for the noon Eucharist, and the day ends with a brief gathering for
  • 13. 13 sharing and reflection. The standard fee is $20 including coffee breaks, $5.00 of which goes to help support the Quiet Garden Trust. Bring a bag lunch; coffee and tea provided. (A hot meal is available in the refectory for an additional $15.00.) No deposit required. Personal Retreats: Schedule your own retreat or come with a friend. Standard fee is $75 per night, including three meals. If you would like to have individual spiritual direction during your retreat, the cost is $25.00 per session. A reduction of $10 per night is offered for seniors. Fee for full-time students is $40. Bursary Assistance: Please let us know if you cannot afford the full cost of a retreat (even at senior / student rates). We can assist with a special bursary fund supported by donations for this purpose. Please contact the Guest House Office for a bursary application form. Special Dietary concerns: We are able to provide for gluten-free and vegetarian diets only. If you have any food allergies, please consult with the Guest House prior to arrival. DESIGN YOUR OWN PROGRAM See our website or contact the Guest House for information on the following: • Personal retreats scheduled to suit your timetable, for a day, a week, or longer; • Group retreats and quiet days for your church or fellowship group. Bring your own leader or ask for a Sister to lead; • Personal sabbatical time: come for a month or longer and enjoy the prayerful, peaceful environment of the Convent chapel, library, and gardens as well as comfortable accommodation and delicious meals.
  • 14. 14 CUSTOMIZED SABBATICAL PROGRAMS Do you have some sabbatical time coming up? Consider spending all or part of it at St. John’s Convent Guest House, and making use of our varied resources: • our library of over 16,000 volumes which includes an excellent collection on spirituality, theology, church history, and scripture study, as well as good recreational reading plus the Associate Library with another 2000 volumes; • easy access to the Toronto School of Theology and its varied denominational colleges; • availability of all the cultural resources of the Greater Toronto Area; • the option of participating in any or all of the “Food for the Soul” programs while you are here; • the availability of spiritual direction at the Convent; • the opportunity to join the Sisters, as desired, for the daily celebration of the Eucharist as well as sung Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline; • comfortable rooms, lounges, and pantries, with the option of a room with ensuite bath (depending on availability); • a peaceful, relaxed environment both inside and out, with beautiful gardens and walks; • option of taking a bag lunch if you are going out for the day; • free high-speed internet access; • free parking and laundry facilities; • easy accessibility to public transit. Special weekly and monthly rates are available. Contact the Guest House for details. guesthouse@ssjd.ca
  • 15. 15 Guided Retreats 2013 Pray as You Can, Not as You Can’t Sept. 20 - 22 Doing Worship Differently Oct. 1 - 3 The Task of Making Peace: Transforming the World from Within Nov. 15 - 17 Christmas Retreat Dec. 23 - 26 Creating the New Year Dec. 31 - Jan. 1 2014 Patrick's Song—Brigid's Well—Columba's Island Feb. 7 - 9 Diakonia — Epiphany Images of Christian Ministry Feb. 13 - 15 The Lord Is My Light Feb. 28 - Mar. 2 Understanding Icons Mar. 28 - 30 Holy Week Retreat Apr. 16 - 20 Audible Grace: Promise and Challenge in Congregational Song May 23 - 25 Quiet Saturdays 2013 A Mosaic of Colours Oct. 12 Connecting with Jesus for Emotional Healing Oct. 26 Advent Quiet Day for Associates, Oblates and Friends Nov. 30 2014 Walking the Rock of Faith Jan. 18 Lenten Quiet Day for Associates, Oblates and Friends Mar. 15 A Spiritual Spa for Mums: A Retreat for Busy Mothers Apr. 5 Workshops A Mosaic of Colours Oct. 12, 2013 Drawing Spirituality with Celtic Knots — intro Jan. 25, 2014 Drawing Spirituality with Celtic Knots — advanced Jan. 26, 2014 Quiet Garden Days June 22, July 13, Aug. 10, Sep. 21, 2013 Quiet Garden Days June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sep. 13, 2014 Summary of Programs June, 2013 - August, 2014
  • 16. 16 TO REGISTER FOR ALL FOOD FOR THE SOUL EVENTS: To register for any of the Food for the Soul events, please fill out a registration form and mail it to St. John’s Convent with your deposit. The Guest House only accepts cash or cheques. Registration forms can be downloaded from our web site at www.ssjd.ca or can be requested from the Guest House office. Where no deposit is needed, you can submit your registration form by e-mail. St. John’s Convent Guest House 233 Cummer Ave. Toronto, ON M2N 2E8 Phone: 416-226-2201, ext. 305 e-mail: foodforthesoul@ssjd.ca www.ssjd.ca

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