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Vol 19 : Issue 5 : June 2016
Dear Friends of the House of Prayer,
Most of you will know by now that 'yours truly' is the new incumbent at our beautiful retreat center. Following several months of thoughtful discernment and screening, the board of directors offered me the Executive Director position at HOP in early May. And I was, and am, deeply honored and humbled to accept this new role in my life.
I consider the role of retreat center director as a calling. As an invitation to embrace a sacred way of life; rather than simply putting in hours with a skill set I happen to have. I liken my new position to that of 'Servant-Leader' - one who demonstrates spiritual leadership, companionship, direction, and vision to all I am called to serve and minister alongside. And especially one who listens, learns, and humbly receives from the loving intelligence all around me.
So if you are a brand new or seasoned visitor to HOP, I welcome your support, ideas, and companionship in our common quest to advance the mission of this unique spirituality center in southwest FL.
~ June at a Glance ~
Our Richard Rohr DVD series, How Do We Breathe Under Water? will continue on the first Wednesday of the month. Centering Prayer (with Sharon Rooks) continues on the second Monday; and our Third Saturday of the Month Day of Retreat (on Ordinary Mystics) will be my debut program as director!
Working title: 'The Zen Fool' - keep an eye on the calendar for info on all events.
One of my favorite poet-philosophers of recent times, was the late John O'Donohue. Like myself, an 'Ordinary Mystic' from the Old Sod! He once commented, "Life is a journey through unforeseen sacred places that enlarge and enrich the soul. "
Relocating to southwest Florida as director of HOP, wasn't even remotely on my radar a year ago. But when the 'Great Spirit' prompts and prods; well you can only utter a resounding "Yes!"
Monday, 6/13/16, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
(Second Monday of the month through March)
Centering Prayer Support and Practice Group Facilitated by Sharon Rooks
Centering Prayer, a practice that invites us to go more deeply into silence and stillness, is so necessary in today’s fast paced, noisy world. In our sessions, we will utilize Joyce Rockwood Hudson's book, "Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom -Tradition in Christianity." Cost: $15 Students with valid ID $5
Thursday, 6/16/16, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Women’s Story Circle
Facilitated by Barb 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, 6/18/16, 10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.
(Registration, coffee and pastries at 9:30 a.m.) Day of Retreat: Ordinary Mystics
Facilitated by Gerard Murphy
Mystics are ordinary men and women who listen deeply and respond to God's activity in their lives. The Zen poet Ryōkan was born in 1758 in the remote and snowy province of Echigo, located in northern Honshu, bordering the Sea of Japan. His father was the village headman and a haiku poet of some note, and Ryōkan received a thorough education in the classics of China and Japan. Following a spiritual crisis around the age of twenty, however, he renounced his patrimony and entered a Zen monastery. Following his ordination as a Zen monk he left the monastery and for the remainder of his life lived as a mendicant hermit in the mountains of Northern Japan. This DOR will explore the "ordinary mysticism" of this gentle soul and how his poetic wisdom can speak to us today. Please bring a notepad and pen. Cost: $25. Students with valid ID $10
To register for a program or event call the office at (239) 728-3614, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or register online here.
This weekend (6/4/16) we are hosting an overnight, group retreat. We could use the assistance of a volunteer to take care of laundry, thereafter. If you would like to make arrangements to come volunteer for laundry-duty on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, please contact the office at (239) 728-3614 or
(239) 443-6773 (after hours). Thank you! Easy Ways to Support House of Prayer Retreat Center
With Goodshop, your purchases will earn a donation for us even if you forget to go to GoodShop first! At no extra cost to you, Goodshop will donate a percentage of your purchases to HOP. Go to GoodShop.com, designate "Mother of God House of Prayer" as the cause you support, then click to your favorite store and shop. The same principle applies by shopping at Amazon Smile.
A Way to Donate
House of Prayer Retreat Center welcomes all who wish to become more grounded in God’s graces. As people welcome those graces they often wish to make a gesture of gratitude in return. One way you can help sustain this unique and holy place is: Become a Sponsor in Ministryby donating money to be used for a specific purpose. Perhaps you would like to underwrite the cost of a special event like Music Under the Oaks or cover a staff person’s salary for a month, a quarter or a year, for instance. Please call for more information about any of these opportunities: 239-728-3614.
We are grateful to all of you for your continued support!