News from the School of the Spirit Ministry
Over the coming months, and with your help, we hope we will be graced with a newsletter that will nourish you spiritually, inform you of upcoming events, and keep you in touch with all who are connected with the School of the Spirit Ministry. To this end, we would appreciate your completing a very brief survey by clicking here.
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for the School of the Spirit Ministry
John Punshon Exposes SOTS's Light
John Punshon, author of Encounter with Silence
and Portrait in Grey
lifted up the School of the Spirit Ministry as one of four reasons for
hope in his address at the FUM Triennials earlier this year. John was a
friend to Sandra Cronk, as she and Kathryn Damiano conceived of this
Ministry in the late 1980s. He wrote in part:
"[The School of
the Spirit's] concern is with ministry and preparation for ministry
through faithfulness, silent worship, inward preparation and a
deepening personal awareness of the inward presence of the Spirit. . .
.[Our worship] is a distinctive and immensely powerful way to approach
God and has its characteristic and necessary conventions embodied in
those who are called to eldership and ministry . . . [T]he School of
the Spirit reminds us that we are a corporate body for mutual support
as well as a collection of individuals."
The complete text can be read here
. That portion relating to this Ministry can be read here
|On Being a Spiritual Nurturer, 2009 - 2011
The prospectus for the next class of the On Being a Spiritual Nurturer
program is now available on our website, along with an application form and a scholarship application form. To download or print these documents, click here
The program begins in September 2009 and the deadline to receive applications is May 25, 2009. To help with your discernment we are holding two Testing the Waters
February 7, 2009 at First Friends Meeting in Greensboro, NC
March 28, 2009 at Alexandria Friends Meeting in VA
The requested donation for each day is $25. To register, please send us an email
with your contact information and indicating for which retreat day you are registering.
In the meantime, the current class is fast approaching its final residency in the middle of this month. It will be a poignant time, when we will re-tell our story together, as two disciples re-told their story to a stranger on the road to Emmaus. The 21 participants from seven yearly meetings, the teachers (Michael Green, Patty Levering, and Carole Treadway), a guest minister (Deborah Fisch), and persons of presence (Carolyn Moon and Matt Drake) will worship, share, and sup together with the expectation that we will recognize Christ Jesus in our midst. We invite your prayers that each participant will be fully awake during this important stage of their journey.
The Way of Ministry, 2008 - 2009
Our new one-year program The Way of Ministry,
co-sponsored with Pendle Hill, has been launched through the grace and mercy of God -- and no small amount of prayer, faith, work, and tears.
It was a joy for the teachers (Marcelle Martin, Laura Melly, and Beckey Phipps), elders (Katharine Jacobsen and Barbarajene Williams), person of presence (Nancy Fennell), two guest ministers (Brian Drayton and Jonathan Vogel-Bourne), and 22 participants from nine yearly meetings and one from the Church of Canada to gather for the first residency at the end of August.
During this residency they enacted and embraced an early Quaker story of
corporate faithfulness and travel in the ministry. Led to spread the Quaker message
to colonial New England, despite likely persecution, eleven Friends set sail
from Portsmouth in 1657 on the Woodhouse
-- a boat not designed for ocean
voyaging. Daily, they sought their bearings in worship and heard the
consistent encouragement, "Steer a straight course and mind nothing but
As the class considered the
risks of following similar leadings, one participant admitted, "Never before
could I have imagined having such courage, but with this group, I
would get on the boat!"
Note: We are aware of the desire for this program to be offered again and we are in the midst of our discernment regarding a second class.
Dwelling Deep: An Extended Meeting for Worship, January 2009
Linda Chidsey and Carolyn Moon will facilitate their annual winter silent retreat at Powell House, the retreat home of New York Yearly Meeting, January 16-19, 2009.
During this 3 day retreat, Friends are invited to enter more fully into the
silence and to experience the deeper rhythms in which we might live.
This retreat will include the opportunity for solitude, individual and
corporate worship, silent meals, and active
silence. There will also
be opportunities for individual and group spiritual reflection. Come
and simply BE with God; listen and attend to the Divine stirrings of
Linda Chidsey, a member of Housatonic Meeting, is a recorded minister
in New York Yearly Meeting. She carries a concern for spiritual nurture
and pastoral care. Linda recently served as clerk of NYYM and serves on the School of the Spirit Ministry board.
Carolyn Moon, serving as Linda's elder, is a member of Gwynedd Friends
Meeting in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. She also serves on our board.
The cost of the long weekend is $260 prior to January 1, and $280 from January 1. To register, click here
If you have participated in our program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer, you will be familiar with opening a residency with Snapshots -- a short personal story that offers a window into your daily walk with God. We invite all participants in our programs -- past and present -- to share with us your snapshots, as well as news of upcoming events which you may be facilitating.
| A Prayer
When I was the stream,
when I was the forest,
when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot, fin and wing,
when I was the sky itself,
No one ever asked me, did I have a purpose,
no one wondered if there was anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not
It was when I left all we once were
that the agony began,
the questions came,
and I wept and wept.
I'd never known before.
So I returned to the river,
I returned to the mountains,
and I asked for their hand in marriage.
I begged to wed every object and every creature.
And when they accepted,
God was ever-present in my arms.
And God did not say,
"Where have you been?"
For then I knew my soul
- every soul -
has always held God.
|A Ministry of Prayer and Learning devoted to the School of the Spirit
is dedicated to all who wish to be more faithful listeners and responders to the inward work of Christ.
Donations are always welcome. Checks may be sent to the address below, made out to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
earmarked for the School of the Spirit.
A Ministry of Prayer and Learning devoted to the School of the Spirit is a ministry under the care of
the Worship and Care Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
the School of the Spirit Ministry | c/o 1306 Hillsborough Road | Chapel Hill | NC | 27516