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Holy Longings
Newsletter
Nature can remind us of the greatness of God. The beauty of the grounds at House of Prayer Retreat Center is no exception. We participate in its beauty even after we’re back in our own homes. God is in the beauty of the universe. God is also in the every day and the ordinary events of our lives because God loves us. 

            Spend a few minutes looking at the photo of the labyrinth above. What does it say to you about God and God's love? Quietly experience God's love for you. Sit quietly and close your eyes for a few moments to focus your mind and heart, remembering that God loves you. Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you and to fill you with peace. Breathe deeply and slowly until you feel peace within yourself. Then ask, “What is God saying to me?” “What do I want to say to God?” After a few moments open your eyes and know that you have been praying. The above is adapted from a Lenten Retreat offered on line from the Sisters of St. Joseph at Good Ground Press.com

New Path for House of Prayer
            The House of Prayer Retreat Center is on a new path; what does God have in mind for us? How will we carry out our Mission Statement and serve the people of SW Florida in the future? We are reassured, knowing the true spirit of HOP is not a place; it’s a community of people seeking God. Change is seldom easy. All of us have a strong attachment to the tranquil, sacred Alva site. Recently the board was uplifted by these words from Isaiah 43:19.
 
Thank You (Lord) that you open up doors of opportunity for us, when other doors slam shut, or at times when we feel that we have reached a dead end in our lives. Thank You for giving us this opportunity, this new beginning, and I pray that You would be with us as we seek to adjust to new situations and surroundings.”
 
At this time there us an interested buyer for the Alva property. A sale is not imminent. We thank you for your feedback so far. Now we welcome and seek your input on a specific question. It’s time for us to begin visioning for the future. What will HOP  look like one year from now? Please send an email to barbara.hopretreatcenter@gmail.com. Your thoughts and dreams will guide HOPRC to the future.
Please know that you will continue to hear details about our new path here in Holy Longings Newsletter each month. Be sure that you and your HOPRC friends are subscribed to this publication if you’d like to stay informed.  
In the Spirit of our God of Comfort

Barbara Darling, Acting Director, House of Prayer Retreat Center

Yoga Class Continues
            Trisha Fry led five women and men in the first of a new series of yoga classes at HOP recently. Mark your calendars as this class will continue on the last Saturday of each month through May.  A big thank you to Trish, the newest member of our group of program presenters. Her class is a spiritually focused yoga experience and participants of the February class especially appreciated that.

From our Guesthouse Library
            An intriguing title found in the library is Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Author Brian D. McClaren seriously explores our Christian identity in a multi-faith world even though it brings to mind the age old chicken joke.
            McLaren writes, “Before looking for a punch line, just for fun try to imagine the scene: four of history’s greatest religious leaders… not fighting, not arguing, not damning and condemning one another, not launching crusades or jihads, but walking together, moving together, leading together. Doesn’t that already reverse some of our expectations?”
            The book challenges much of the current cultural thought about religion and the widespread fear of “the other”. It’s a topical read for our times.
 
Thank You Lord that you open up doors of opportunity for us, when other doors slam shut, or at times when we feel that we have reached a dead end in our lives. Thank You for giving us this opportunity, this new beginning, and I pray that You would be with us as we seek to adjust to new situations and surroundings.” Isaiah 43:19
At this time there us an interested buyer for the Alva property. A sale is not imminent. We thank you for your feedback so far. Now we welcome and seek your input on a specific question. It’s time for us to begin visioning for the future. What will HOP look like one year from now?  Please send an email to barbara.hopretreatcenter@gmail.com.

Your thoughts and dreams will guide HOPRC to the future. Please know that you will continue to hear details about our new path in Holy Longings Newsletter each month. Be sure that you and your HOPRC friends are subscribed to this publication if you’d like to stay informed.  
 
 

  

 

March 2017

Wednesday, 3/1  9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Ongoing Series: (First Wednesday of the month through June)
Richard Rohr Series:  Journey with us as we follow the mystics through the narrow gate . . . seeing God in all things.
Facilitator: Rev. Carla L. Palmer"
Cost: $15. Students with valid ID $5
 
Thursday, 3/2  10 am – 11:30 am
Special Program: I Thirst: Water Reflections for Lent
Week One: The Wonder of Water
Facilitator: Barb Darling
Lenten meditations and conversations about the Divine Presence living and acting in our world and how we can respond in faith.
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5
 
Thursday, 3/9  10 am – 11:30 am
Special Program: I Thirst: Water Reflections for Lent
Week Two: Water: It’s Personal
Facilitator: Barb Darling
Lenten meditations and conversations about the Divine Presence living and acting in our world and how we can respond in faith.
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5
 
Saturday, 3/11  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Special Program: Spirituality of Dreams
Facilitator: Sharon Rooks, PhD
Dreams tell our life stories in images as we sleep. Come share your story with other dreamers in a spiritual setting. Bring your brown bag lunch.
Cost: $25 Students with valid ID $15

Monday, 3/13  10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Ongoing Series: (Second Monday of the month through May)
Centering Prayer Support and Practice Group
Facilitator: Sharon Rooks, PhD
We meet to experience Centering Prayer, a contemplative prayer of silence, and will read and discuss David Frenette's "The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God.”
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5

Thursday, 3/16  10 am – 11:30 am
Special Program: I Thirst: Water Reflections for Lent
Week Three: “There wasn’t a drop of water”
Facilitator: Barb Darling
Lenten meditations and conversations about the Divine Presence living and acting in our world and how we can respond in faith.
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5


Thursday, 3/16  2 p.m. - 4 p.m.         
Ongoing Series: (Third Thursday of the month year-round)
Women’s Story Circle                                        
Facilitator: Barbara Darling
Connect with other women as you write and share the wisdom of your life's journey.  No writing experience needed.                                                   
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5

Saturday, 3/18 10 am-3 pm
Day of Retreat - ‘Exploring Tantric Yoga Within Christian Spirituality’
Presenter: Rev. James Reho, PhD
Drawing from his recent book Tantric Jesus, James Reho will recast important themes in Christian spirituality—ranging from the goodness of creation to the Divine Feminine to our own sexuality—in a new light through the insights of tantric yoga.  We will also explore together how these rediscovered insights can fuel our own mystical lives and our lives of service to the world. After the workshop, signed copies of ‘Tantric Jesus’ will be available for purchase.
Cost: $25 Students with valid ID $15
 
Thursday, 3/23  10 am – 11:30 am
Special Program: I Thirst: Water Reflections for Lent
Week Four: Laudato Si’      
Facilitator: Barb Darling
Lenten meditations and conversations about the Divine Presence living and acting in our world and how we can respond in faith.
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5

Saturday, 3/25  10 am – 12:00 pm

Yoga and the spirit of creativity workshop
Facilitator: Trisha Fry
Come enjoy a celebration of yoga and creativity.  A 2 hour workshop combining an hour of beginner/intermediate yoga along with meditation, mindfulness, and pranayama (breathwork) to inspire our creativity. 
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5
 
Thursday, 3/30  10 am – 11:30 am
Special Program: I Thirst: Water Reflections for Lent
Week Five: Who Owns Water?
Facilitator: Barb Darling
Lenten meditations and conversations about the Divine Presence living and acting in our world and how we can respond in faith.
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5



 April 2017

Wednesday, 4/5  9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Ongoing Series: (First Wednesday of the month through June)
Richard Rohr Series:  Journey with us as we follow the mystics through the narrow gate . . . seeing God in all things.
Facilitator: Rev. Carla L. Palmer"
Cost: $15. Students with valid ID $5
 
Thursday, 4/6  10 am – 11:30 am
Special Program: I Thirst: Water Reflections for Lent
Week Six: Jesus said, “I Am Thirsty”
Facilitator: Barb Darling
Lenten meditations and conversations about the Divine Presence living and acting in our world and how we can respond in faith.
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5


Monday, 4/10  10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Ongoing Series: (Second Monday of the month through May)
Centering Prayer Support and Practice Group
Facilitator: Sharon Rooks, PhD
We meet to experience Centering Prayer, a contemplative prayer of silence, and will read and discuss David Frenette's "The Path of Centering Prayer: Deepening Your Experience of God.”
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5
 
 
Thursday, 4/20  2 p.m. - 4 p.m.         
Ongoing Series: (Third Thursday of the month)
Women’s Story Circle                                        
Facilitator: Barbara Darling
Connect with other women as you write and share the wisdom of your life's journey.  No writing experience needed.                                                   
Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5

Saturday, 4/15  10 am-3 pm 
Day of Retreat – “Holy Saturday: Being Prayerfully in the Presence”
Presenter: Rich Byrne, D.Min
In the midst of these Holiest Days of the Christian Year, let us gather and support each other in the Presence of this Divine Mystery. Guidance will be occasionally offered, but the bulk of this holy day will be in meditative prayer.
Cost: $25 Students with valid ID $15





To register for a program or event call the office at (239) 728-3614, email at office.hopretreatcenter@gmail.com or register online here.




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House of Prayer Retreat Center
   17880 Cypress Creek Rd. Alva, Florida 33920  
Phone: (239) 728-3614  
   Email: 
office.hopretreatcenter@gmail.com  


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